Thursday, April 11, 2013

TV PILOT REVIEW: Hannibal (2013)


There's something to be said for excellent television. Especially in an environment filled with "reality" entertainment and melodramatic tween romancing. So, when you come across something as elegant and rousing as Hannibal...your eyes and ears are met with sweet malevolent pleasure.

Since we deal mostly in films, I'll try to be brief with this one.

I adore this kind of TV show. Everything about it is impeccably crafted with a sincere nod to the source material while delving into a fresh new take. I'm as casual as they come in terms of being a fan of the books and the films. Silence of the Lambs is the lone high point of the films and as far as I was concerned, Anthony Hopkins WAS Hannibal Lecter. Well, NBC did something brilliant. They hired Bryan Fuller to shepard in this project. They also got Mads Mikkelsen to play the title role. Have you seen Valhalla Rising, yet?? In my eyes...Mikkelsen can do no wrong. He has his own brand of villainy, which is evident once he enters the scene as the iconic Dr. Lecter.

"ApĂ©ritif" certainly takes its time to introduce all the key players, as well as all the new elements...which is why I am thankful that it is an hour show. FBI Special Investigator Will Graham is played with patient abandon by the fine Hugh Dancy. An inspired choice for the role of Hannibal's protagonist, Dancy displays a knack for those awkward character types seemingly afflicted by a deeper emotional struggle. There's a great scene where Lecter stares at Graham while feeding him "protein breakfast" that he so thoughtfully prepared. It's great stuff as it foreshadows what is to come in a subtle way. Dancy fits nicely alongside an acting veteran like Lawrence Fishburne, whom I may say, has found his television calling in roles like this. CSI, included.


Anyway, Graham can get himself inside the killer's mind and see what the killer sees. His natural ability to do so kind of alienates him from normal society, thus creating a sort of mental cage for himself. It is alluded that he is more Asperger than Sherlock, which is a welcome twist for the character as it adds much more depth and fragility to the role. Fishburne's Jack Crawford (Graham's boss) appoints him to help catch a cannibal on the loose hunting lovely young brunettes.

Perhaps, my only one complaint about the show is that it is on NBC. I wish it was on something like Showtime, where they can pretty much get away with anything. Having said that, it is nice to see some decent grue for a prime time affair...as sparing as it often times is. That's not to say that the show is hampered in any way. It is an exquisite feast for all the senses and it has captured my full interest.

NBC has ordered an entire 13-episode season for Hannibal so, it is certainly not going anywhere anytime soon. And unless the show takes a serious turn for the worse (which I really can't see it doing), it should be around for multiple seasons. Then, again...I thought that about Fuller's Dead Like Me. Still, the preview for this first season teases the likes of Gillian Anderson, Lance Henriksen and Eddie Izzard to show up...so, it might be a good idea to tune in now.

If you haven't been able to get into that new Bates Motel  show quite yet and are in the market to transition from the end of season 3 of The Walking Dead, then this show might be exactly what you are looking for. DVR Hannibal  and devour every bit of Mikkelsen's Lecter and wallow in Graham's emotional mire as they both square off in the definitive television chess match. Deviantly recommended!







Thanks for reading,

bryan.





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