"I don't want to kill you, Dr. Lecter. Not now that I finally find you interesting." - Will Graham
Hannibal, a show based on the works of Thomas Harris, ran for three seasons on NBC from 2013 to 2015 before it was cancelled. It was set up as a build up to The Great Red Dragon, though it pulled inspiration from several other books in the Hannibal series as well. It follows the story of gifted FBI profiler Will Graham as he is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and twisted world of his psychiatrist Hannibal Lector. Hannibal, of course, is a serial killer and cannibal who eats the rude and gains his greatest pleasure in life by driving Will to face his truest self. This incarnation of the story was brought to life by showrunner Bryan Fuller, who had previously brought such gems as Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies, and Wonderfalls to life.
To be quite honest, I have never read Thomas Harris' books nor seen any of the movies based on them, so I had very little knowledge of the story prior to watching this series. Normally, I wouldn't venture into a show with such a dark premise, but Bryan Fuller has never steered me wrong in the past, so I had to at least check it out. What I discovered was the most devastatingly gorgeous series that I have ever seen attempted on television. Hannibal isn't just a show, it is a meticulously laid out piece of art - every detail thought out and in its place, from the beautiful, beautiful visuals, to the hauntingly perfect sound design. Yes it is bloody and graphic (it is a show about a cannibal after all), but there is a beauty to everything, and even though I had to watch several scenes throughout the series from between my fingers when it became too much, it was so hard to look away. Moreover, once you get past the dark imagery, gore, and psychological twists and turns that pull out your heartstrings, it is the epitome of a dark comedy, only becoming more and more absurd throughout the three seasons we were graced with.
The best part of the show for me was the progression of the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lector. While it was far from being anything remotely healthy for either man involved, the bond that they shared together was so intriguing and unlike anything I've ever seen explored before. They are not good for one another in any sense of the word, yet they fit together perfectly. The things they did to each other were absolutely horrible, but they understood each other better than anyone else. Their relationship was portrayed as nothing but an inevitability neither could escape from, and so for me, the ending was extremely satisfying. While I would enjoy to see the story continue in some fashion in the future, I would be perfectly happy if it never came to fruition. Hannibal left its mark on the tv landscape forever, and it's a shame that more people weren't pulled into its beautiful dreamscape, but it's a miracle that it was able to go on for as long as it did in the first place.
|Will Graham, Hannibal Lector, Frederick Chilton
|Mizumono, Secondo, Dolce, Digestivo, The Wrath of the Lamb
|Will/Hannibal, Alana/Margot, Will and Bedelia, Hannibal and Chilton