This is my design - Hannibal the TV series.
During a massive snow storm in New England back in 2013 I discovered the very popular and well hyped NBC thriller Hannibal which I had heard only amazing things about. Going into this completely blind, I bought this deciding to take a chance since I downright adored the original novels/films by Thomas Harris. A huge reason why I was curious about this show was the fact it seemed to be telling the story I've been the most interested in. Believe it or not my favorite film from the Hannibal series is Manhunter aka Red Dragon. The 1986 Michael Mann film that is highly underrated. Manhunter goes down as one of my all time favorite movies, and believe it or not as good as it's remake is, I've never truly been able to get into it as much as I did as the original. Sure it screams the 80's, and there are some very over the top moments such as Will looking out the window and saying "It's just you and me sport." but I've always seen that film as a breathtaking living breathing piece of art. The fact that Silence Of The Lambs is actually a sequel has always stunned me and keeps the first film in the shadows due to it's box office failure.
Silence came, sweeping the box office as well as academy awards and redefined "Thrillers" and horror for the new decade.
I've been a fan of Manhunter and Silence Of The Lambs for years since my mother was a huge fan of them and the novels. I feel the series did in fact take a downfall with the third film Hannibal in which they really seemed to cash in on Anthony Hopkins' Oscar winning performance in Silence. With Jodie Foster not returning, the movie honestly did seem like a giant mess as good as the film was. A perfect way to end the series. It didn't take long for Manhunter to be retold, but sadly didn't capture the magic Manhunter did. Hopkins' part was beefed up (I still laugh over the fact they claimed they used CGI to make him look younger) and sadly Edward Norton didn't capture the same chilling performance William Petersen did. Still Ralph Fiennes did a great job, and the series truly seemed in limo with the prequel Hannibal Rising. It seemed the once very popular series was dead and that was that.
Until the TV show came.
I really gotta say that television seems to be returning to it's roots that the 1980's was playing with. Taking popular films and turning them into weekly shows. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't Luckily this time it was complete and utter brilliance. I still remember seeing previews for the show "Did you just smell me?" and being a little taken aback. How could this movie/series of books be turned into a TV show? Tons of Television as of lately have really been amazing. They took the film Psycho and made Bates Motel. From Dusk Till Dawn, The Walking Dead, Ash Vs Evil Dead, Supernatural, even True Blood. Shows are getting darker, more grittier, and taking great movies with cult following and expanding on them. This in my eyes was the perfect series to turn into a TV show.
I still remember binge watching the first season and being completely speechless. Never before have I seen a show so beautifully shot. I was instantly thrilled at the casting choices. First off Hugh Dancy seems born to play this role. He's like a modern day William Petersen with his shaggy hair, and sympathetic eyes. He's the heart of the show, and expanding on his "gift" of being able to see what the killer sees. The opening scene of the series where Will is explaining a home invasion instantly sets up the tone for the entire show. I love him reenacting the crimes, showing the design, and flashing backwards on what the killer felt and did. Showing a lonely hero that isn't perfect, has flaws, and is on the spectrum was brilliant.
The second biggest win for this show is the casting of Hannibal himself, the brain of the show which is played by Mads Mikkelsen (best known as the villain of Casino Royal) This is a role few would want to take over after Hopkins Oscar winning performance. For Mads the stars certainly did aline, and this was a role he was born to play for this generation. He tackles the role with his own smooth and beautiful cultured style. You could seriously spend hours listening to this man talk and be captivated. His chemistry with Dancy is one for the books and the fact these two haven't won any awards yet blows my mind. I know this show has a massive cult following, but I gotta say, it deserves it. Each episode is Manhunter expanded. It's elegant, beautiful., and breathtaking. Each shot carefully planned out and colorful art for the eyes and soul. I've never found a show so well paced, and driven by it's characters. It's surreal, haunting, and most of all a force that few stories can match.
With awesome changes with race and gender to characters we all know too well from the films and novel, the stories keep going and keep us on the edge of our seats. The season two cliffhanger was one of the best I've seen in years.
Season one tackles the set up of how Hannibal and Will came to be. It follows the Hobbs case, the first official one that both characters worked beside each other on. Expanding on the universe, as well as showing some of the most stomach turning, jaw dropping crime scenes of all time. The first season legit seems to top itself episode after episode. The action and drama are fast paced and leads to a great ending cliff hanger before picking back up with season two.
Having only seen a few episodes of season 3 where we finally get to see the Red Dragon aka Manhunter story play out, this is a bitter sweet ending since the show was canceled. (The fact a brilliant show like this gets canned and the fucking Walking Dead keeps going is beyond me.) The show's creator Bryan Fuller decided to say fuck it since his original plan of five or so seasons was thrown to the ashes. Before he could continue and maybe tell the Silence Of The Lambs story (which I heard was going to be hard due to the rights.) the show was given a horrible time slot and given the kiss of death. Knowing despite the massive swarm of fans, and cult following Fuller decided to say fuck it and end the show the way he wanted it to end. This was one of the few episodes I actually saw and was speechless at how it ended. Good for you Bryan, perfect "Fuck you" to NBC.
I plan on writing a closing thoughts review after I view all of season three. Until then cheers to one of the most brilliant and beautiful shows ever made!