Category Archives: Hannibal

Hannibal Recap (S01 E04-E05): Moronic metaphors and Jessica Pearson

Tonight is a Hugh Dancy night, it seems! Je t’aime, Mr Claire Danes.

For all those following Hannibal, its been revealed that NBC refused to air Episode 4 in the wake of the Boston Bombings.

At first, I thought it was for fear of offending their viewers’ delicate sensibilities. Oh dear, how are all those Republican housewives who watch Hannibal going to keep from fainting? Now, I feel like a bit of an asshole. At the same time though, if we didn’t air a series known for its explicit content because of some human tragedy, you might as well just shut down all TV stations permanently. There is a freaking WAR going on, NBC.

There’s not much to recap with the Episode 4 webisodes. There are lots of obscure conversations between Hannibal and Mr Claire Danes, Hannibal and Morpheus, Hannibal and other Psychiatrist Chick (what’s-her-face?), as well as Hannibal and Psycho-killer’s Daughter. Just A LOT of confusing conversations interlaced with poorly-executed metaphors and irrelevant allegories.

"There's something so foreign about family. It's like an ill-fitting suit."

“There’s something so foreign about family. It’s like an ill-fitting suit.”

WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?!

I can understand why Hannibal speaks in this way. Mads Mikkelsen sounds rather enigmatic, in fact (especially with his Danish accent). The rest of them just sound MORONIC.

Another complaint I had in my previous Hannibal recap was that there was too little food porn. I wanted my mouth to drool at the succulent food that Hannibal was making (which is rather perverse, I admit). However, I see that they’re trying a different, less controversial tack with this. Hannibal in the kitchen looks more like a scientist or a taxidermist. Everything looks very clinical and sterile. All the food looks INCREDIBLY unappetising. I guess we wouldn’t want to make cannibalism look delicious. That would definite offend viewers’ delicate sensibilities.

And for our main course, a boudin noir made with baby's kidneys and congealed Oriental blood.

And for our main course, a boudin noir made with baby’s kidneys and congealed Oriental blood.

However, one thing saves this episode for me. Special guest star: Jessica Pearson! For those of you who don’t watch Suits – you suck, and I hate you. Gina Torres guest stars as Morpheus’ wifey. Did you know she’s also his wifey in real-times? Nice one, Morpheus.

MY IDOL.

Episode 5 is a bit better. There are still a several ridiculous obscure conversations, each one more contrived than the last. But, we get to play with another serial killer! Whoohoo!

This time, the serial killer is a dude with a brain tumour who targets criminals and ‘saves’ them by turning them into angels. How does he turn them into angels, you ask? Why, little children, he carves out the skin on their backs into two flaps and hangs them up using fishing wire, of course! What a silly question:

'Makeshift Angels' by Psycho-killer #3

‘Makeshift Angels’ by Psycho-killer #3

The episode pretty much falls into shambles after that big reveal. It can’t seem to decide if it wants to be a police procedural or an ongoing serial. There are other shows that manage to be both, yet Hannibal insists on trying to be smarter than it is and then failing at everything.

It neglects the police procedural side of things as if its scared of being like CSI. C’mon, Hannibal showrunners – CSI is a multi-award winning, ratings hit for a reason.

I wouldn’t mind so much if they excelled in building relationships between the characters and explored the Hannibal mythology. However, they suck at that too. Instead, we just get a bunch of poorly-drawn characters, sitting around, talking with mixed metaphors and wondering why the baddies are still on the loose. Here’s a suggestion: stop sitting around on your asses, positing theories of Sun Tzu and go DO SOMETHING.

That’s actually becoming a hallmark of the Hannibal series – sitting / standing around and talking. That’s all they do! Talk, talk, talk, talk – about their bad childhoods and struggling relationships – all, of course, in obscure metaphors that  make as much sense as the storyline.

For example, why does Jessica Pearson, after one meal with Hannibal, decide to go to him for counselling? Yeah, lets just go interfere with Morpheus’ work life by spilling the beans about his marriage to his COLLEAGUE. And then we suddenly find out she has cancer? Okay…? It took me a while to process that she actually had cancer. I thought cancer was just another metaphor for her failing marriage…

Dr Hannibal, I have cancer. In my heart. Its called love. My undying love for Morpheus.

Dr Hannibal, I have cancer. In my heart. Its called love. My undying love for Morpheus.

I hesitate to say this, but even Mr Claire Danes is disappointing me a little. Its not completely his fault. You can only do so much with bad material (Sleepwalking? Um, okay?). It’s okay, Hugh – I forgive you. But, will Claire? She needs someone else to help her fill out her awards shelf.

I'm sorry, world.

I’m sorry, world.

In the end, we can still rely on our favourite menacing yet debonair villain, Mads Mikkelsen. He is ever the industry stalwart. The redundant dialogue transforms into diamonds when spilling from his mouth. Too bad its being wasted on such a sub-standard series.

Sexy and he knows it.

In conclusion, Hannibal still LOOKS like it should be a critically acclaimed series, but it gets in its own way. They want Mad Men dialogue, Dexter gore, Carnivale atmosphere, etc etc. In the end, all they’re getting is a steaming pile of convoluted crap.

Here’s to hoping Hannibal gets a handle on their metaphors.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hannibal Recap (S01 E01-E03): Murder by numbers

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?)

Claire: “Shit, Hugh, go get your own…”

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!

King Arthur reunion!

King Arthur reunion!

And yeah, I guess seeing Morpheus was pretty cool too.

...that I'm going to be in a fabulous new TV show.

…that I’m going to be in a fabulous new TV show.

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?

Aw, YES:

– 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:

Yep, that’s fungus growing out of a human body.

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.

Don’t be sad, Hugh. I shall never leave you!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,