Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snow Tube: Hannibal

Skimming around Amazon Prime I found they have NBC's Hannibal available and decided to give it a whirl since I've been a big fan of star Mads Mikkelsen since The Pusher series.  Four episodes later and I'm slowly working my way through the violent, moody and nightmarish program that chronicles the work of non-official FBI profiler Will Graham and his relationship with Dr. Hannibal Lector inspired by Thomas Harris' novels.  Lector, the cannibal therapist who of course was played to cinematic villain greatness in 1991's The Silence of the Lambs by Anthony Hopkins but before that was seen on screen in 1986's Manhunter and portrayed by Brian Cox in an effectively threatening yet helpful manner .  Mads Mikkelsen takes over the role in the series and is the best thing about it.  He manages to be creepy and ominous yet charming and stylish with poise for days. 

Hugh Dancy picks up the role of Will Graham after a haunted badass turn by Manhunter's William L. Petersen and an OK one by Red Dragon's Edward Norton.  Dancy's look and voice reminds me of Justin Bartha from The Hangover only instead of a neurotic nice guy we get an uneasy and unstable serial killer expert who is slowly being pulled back into the field regularly to deal with the monsters.  Samuel L. Jackson, I mean Laurence Fishburne shows up as Will's boss, Jack Crawford and shouts a lot.  The show is visually attention grabbing with it's slick f/x and shocking for network TV violence.  Blood spray and posed corpses are in every episode thus far.  There's also some unexpected bits of sick humor throughout that have kept the first four episodes interesting, mostly referring to Lector's unspoken but shown affinity for eating humans and serving it to others.  Oh and Mads is always dressed really well and the ties on every character are really wide with awesome fat knots.  Double Windsor anyone?

Developed by Bryan Fuller, Hannibal is taking a cable model and putting it on network TV with 13 episode seasons and a 7 year arc already mapped out that would consist of original material, the Red Dragon era when Graham and Lector go head to head, then into Silence of the Lambs territory when Lector is in prison, moving into the Hannibal days when Lector has escaped and one of his victims comes looking for revenge then a final season that would resolve Lector's story.  Unfortunately the show hasn't exactly set the world on fire ratings wise in it's Thursday night slot and has been scheduled to return on Fridays which isn't exactly viewer paradise unless you're an established name like Tim Allen or Tom Selleck.  So we'll see how things go when Season 2 starts in a couple weeks and find out if we'll get to Season 7.

Check out the awesomely bad 80's style trailer for Manhunter:

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