I’m a little slow to catch on with Hannibal so I just binge-watched all three episodes and now I’m left feeling a little drained.
When I first heard that there would be a Hannibal series, my initial reaction was – OMFG AGAIN?
I hate, HATE the idea of turning perfectly good films into TV shows. Great films were developed as films because they work as grand stand-alone pieces. Great TV shows are developed as TV shows because they have an expansive universe that is worth exploring over several episodes.
Scroll down a few posts and you’ll see the giant sh*t I took on the trailer for the new Zombieland series. Watch the trailer and you’ll scream a big ‘HELLS NO’ as well. Zombieland The Original was hilarious and worked as an offbeat glimpse into, well, Zombieland. How much can you milk from it before it becomes stale? You’re RUINING Zombieland, Amazon! Lets everyone just pretend Zombieland The Series has nothing to do with Zombieland The Movie.
Anyway, I had a looksie at the First Look Promo and I thought, “Ehh, I’ll give it a go.”
First off, HUGH DANCY! Fancy, schmancy, Hugh Dancy. I’ve always adored him. As Galahad in King Arthur. As Char in Ella Enchanted. As that British dude in The Sleeping Dictionary. As Mortimer Granville in Hysteria. As Daniel Deronda in Daniel Deronda. Yes, I do realize that out of the five works that I’ve just named, three are shit and two are only not bad. He’s just had the shittest luck. I should really get around to watching Adam – the one movie that was critically-acclaimed with him in it. Nevertheless, I will forever support my dearest Hugh. (How great would it be if this became a hit so then both him and his wifey, Claire Danes, can be massive TV stars together! Does Will Graham + Carrie Matheson = GREATNESS?)
Secondly, LE CHIFFRE! Mads Mikkelsen is the steadfast villain of the industry. We can always count on him to be menacing, yet charming, and perpetually bemused. Must be a Nordic thing. I’ve loved him ever since he got his Aragorn on for King Arthur. God, that was such a rubbish film, but I enjoyed it so so much!
And yeah, I guess seeing Morpheus was pretty cool too.
SO! After gobbling up all three in the space of an evening, my conclusion is this: Hannibal hits all the right marks, but I’m left feeling the same, which is – “eh?”
The events of Hannibal are centered on Mr Claire Danes (Hugh Dancy as FBI Criminal Profiler, Will Graham) and Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen as enigmatic psychiatrist, Dr Hannibal Lecter). Morpheus is Jack Crawford, an FBI agent who heads the Department of Behavioral Sciences – basically the branch that deals with psychos. Morpheus needs Will Graham’s help because Will something of an idiot savant when it comes to catching psychopaths. This is because Will to empathize with these psycho-killers, making him inherently unstable. Dr Hannibal Lecter is brought in by Morpheus to be Will’s personal brain handler to make sure he doesn’t go toppling over the edge into killer-dom. Haha, good one, Morpheus.
So, is the new Hannibal worth watching?
– Showrunners are striking the perfect tone – eerie, suspenseful, and all that Hannibalistic jazz
– Stunning visuals – it doesn’t shy away from being graphic, but isn’t gratuitously so. This may sound sick, but they elevate these murders into an artform.
– Excellent male leads – Mr Claire Danes and Le Chiffre? Sold.
– Intriguing dynamic between the protagonists – the characters interact well and all seem to have a good chemistry. There is a foundation there worth exploring.
Right now, the only thing that is carrying this show is the great visuals, because you can’t help but want to keep watching a show that’s come from minds as sick as this:
Ehh, maybe not:
– Dialogue is confusing and completely contrived – its trying hard to be Mad Men, but all their conversations just feel incomplete. Like when you’re trying to flirt and all your innuendoes fall flat.
– Really lame female leads – did you run out of casting budget after hiring awesome male leads? No offense, ladies, but you kinda stink.
– Sluggish storyline – the storyline feels needlessly complex and slightly stagnant.
– Its not as food porny as I’d like it to be. Even though the ‘food’ is human organs.
My one major gripe is how contrived it all feels. Its like the showrunning / writing team got together and were determined to make the next The Killing or Dexter. However, its very colour-by-numbers – it checks off all the right boxes, but its like STOP TRYING SO HARD TO BE BRILLIANT. Where is the heart, people? Stop trying to produce a hit TV show and just go focus on making it as excellent as it can be.
Conclusion: I’m going to stick around. I think it needs a little time to hit its stride. Plus, I will never abandon my beloved Hugh.