I've just finished watching season one of Hannibal and I absolutely loved it. Now I have to share!10 Reasons to watch Hannibal:
1. The acting is superb. Mads Mikkelsen is brilliant as Hannibal - he's the perfect psychopath. He sees himself above everybody else and yet comes across to those who meet him as completely charming and compassionate. Wonderfully creepy. Hugh Dancy as Will Graham is a man totally on the edge - barely keeping it together and yet manages to have brilliant insights. The acting for all the performers is top notch.
2. The chemistry between Hannibal and Will is electric. At times it feels like poetry between these two. They seem like good friends and yet we know Hannibal is totally playing Will. The manipulation creates an amazing tension.
3. The cinematography is stunning. The colouring, shot framing and juxtaposition is brilliant.
4. Its subject matter is intriguing (though highly disturbing). I suspect this would actually put many people off this show. But I love it (I have discovered I am drawn to the macabre). The crime scenes are gruesome and brutal. But they are also incredibly beautiful. It seems like a contradiction but because the show is about the artistry and the passion of the crime this is represented by the way the scenes are shot.
5. The score is haunting. It took me a while to realise that there is a constant low vibration running through all the scenes. Sometimes I found it a little overpowering but mostly I tuned it out. It enhances the underlying tension running through each episode.
6. ALL the characters are strong. I always love watching Lawrence Fishburne and he brings a lovely gravitas as Jack Crawford to the series. I LOVED watching Gillian Anderson as Hannibal's psychiatrist. So very different to Scully. And there's even a connection to Supernatural. The young girl in Sam's psych ward in The Born Again Identity (Kacey Rohl) plays a girl who spends much of her time in a mental ward. And then there's Eddie Izzard. Icing on the friggin' cake!
7. The story lines are compelling. There's a mix of MoTW and overall story arc. Most of the episodes ties into the overall arc (especially the character journeys) but there are also crimes to be solved each week.
8. There's food porn. I'm not a foodie but wow...I love watching the dishes that Hannibal prepares and serves his guests. Knowing what the dishes actually contain is totally creepy and disgusting - but I rather love that mix of artistry and horror.
9. There are connections to the film Silence of the Lambs. For anyone having seen that film will know Hannibal Lecter and will know what ends up happening to him. This all happens before that the events of that film and my understanding is that this is original material based on the characters created by Thomas Harris. There are some lovely moments during the season that I am sure are shouts outs to the film (I won't say too much for fear of spoiling).
10. Um...everything else! There's actually nothing I dislike so if there's anything I've missed then I like that too! Ooh...I didn't mention the psychology. I love all the psych discussions - especially surrounding the investigations of the serial killers. And the dream sequences - I didn't mention those.Reasons for not watching:
This series will not be for everyone. It's very dark and there are very few light moments (er..if any). You are left feeling pretty drained after an episode. The crime scenes are truly gruesome and they seem to try and up the ante each week - getting more and more horrific. I felt so sorry for Will and just wanted to get in there and look after the poor man (um...also something I loved about it). The cannibalism will no doubt turn many a stomach - as it probably should. But for me it's this level of taboo that makes the series so engaging and interesting. It's heavy going though.Images
(none of these are mine)
Hannibal and Will
Food! Looks good but you wouldn't want to eat it...;)
Hannibal's place. The placement of the chairs are always used so effectively.
The recurring antler theme.
If you're looking for something new to watch (and you like your tv on the macabre side) then I urge you to check it out.