Let me state right up front that this week’s Pick is a bit of a rerun, but I feel this one deserves another mention. Hannibal, one of the best shows on television, started its third season last week, and I don’t want it to get buried in the traditional Summer television dead zone.
When I first heard that NBC was developing a TV series based on the character of Hannibal Lecter, I was skeptical. While I enjoyed the novels and character as played by both Brian Cox and Anthony Hopkins (I skipped Hannibal Rising. Sorry Gaspard Ulliel. I can’t comment on your portrayal.), trying to put Lecter on TV on a weekly basis (And on a broadcast network at that!) sounded like a terrible idea.
I am very happy to report that I was completely wrong.
Hannibal serves a prequel to the events of Red Dragon (Or Manhunter, if you’re a fan of the 1986 film adaptation) and covers how Will Graham first met Hannibal Lecter while working for the FBI. To say much more than that risks spoiler the show’s wonderful story arc, but it does take things in some surprising directions.
The show’s production design is also outstanding. That’s not an aspect of a series that I comment on very often, but Hannibal is truly one of the best looking shows on television. Just the scenes of Dr. Lecter cooking are mesmerizing. The food looks incredible, but then there’s that nagging fear about his choice of ingredients.
As I said earlier, the series is starting its third season, but last I checked every episode was available on Comcast On Demand (Your cable system may vary). The second season ended with a hell of a cliffhanger, and show creator Bryan Fuller has promised that the second half of this season will cover the events of Red Dragon. Also, Gillian Anderson is a regular this season (after recurring in the previous seasons), and that is always a good thing.
The show is incredibly well done and well worth checking out (Also, some additional viewers wouldn’t hurt in the quest for a fourth season). Fuller has said that he has an overall plan for the entire series. I hope he gets the chance to show it to us.
- Alan Decker
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