TV Series of the Week: Hannibal (2013)

So I’ve recently started to watch (and in marathon fashion, have now finished) the first two seasons of NBC’s “Hannibal” and it is bloody brilliant. Arguably one of the best TV series I have seen in my life.

It is a psychological thriller about a super empathetic and slightly autistic FBI Special Investigator called Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), who is called in by FBI Detective Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) to help investigate the most ghastly and gruesome of murders. This is due to his uncanny knack to be able to think like a psychopath. When concerns are raised about Will’s mental state, Jack decides to get a psychiatric profile done on him. Introducing the ingenious psychiatrist Dr Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).

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Mikkelsen has taken Lecter a whole different route to those previously portrayed. He’s cool, suave and still remains completely chilling. In fact, he is actually a little bit of a ladies man. The series does seem to be a prequel to the movies though, so maybe Sir Anthony’s Hannibal was just as cool in his younger days. His vested interest in fine arts like classical music (he plays the harpsichord) and cooking are particularly emphasized. In fact, my favorite thing about the show are the montages where he is playing/listening to fine music whilst cooking some food and it just looks absolutely delicious. Then you remember that it’s supposed to be a person’s kidney and you immediately feel horrified with yourself.

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Obviously this is the third incarnation of Hannibal the cannibal, the other two appearing in feature length movies and being portrayed by Brian Cox (Manhunter) and Sir Anthony Hopkins (Red Dragon, Silence of the Lambs (Academy Award™ for Best Actor) and Hannibal). Eventually we learn secrets about the more sinister side of Dr Lecter, and anyone who is familiar with the original movies know exactly what he is capable of. Believe me, the Hannibals from the movies are absolute kittens compared to the monster Mads Mikkelsen is portraying.

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A warning though; this show is extremely, extremely graphic. There seems to be no sort of censorship on the gory nature of the murders, you see everything. It is shocking, but it just helps to emphasize how cold and dark the good doctor really is.

At the end of the day, it’s absolutely brilliant stuff from all involved (actors and directors all the same) and I have to say; watch out Sir Anthony. At the rate things are going, Mikkelsen’s Hannibal might just eat yours alive. He may just be waiting for “some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

 

Hannibal will return for a third season in early 2015

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