According to TV by the Numbers, "Hannibal" was on the verge of cancellation before it was picked up for another 13-episode midseason. The series was doing fairly well in the beginning, but the ratings began dropping significantly after NBC skipped an episode after the Boston bombings. Whether fans were upset that the story was missing a few pieces in the middle or were simply too rattled after the bombings to continue with such a violent show, summer and fall may be a great time to catch up with the 13-episode first season before it comes back next year. Here's why it is worth watching this season and next.
"Hannibal" is surreal
"Hannibal" is an extremely violent show and definitely not suitable for youngsters. Having said that, the violence is portrayed in a surreal, dreamlike manner and could be likened to a Salvador Dalí painting. There is not a whole lot of actual murdering going on but, instead, visions of the aftermath.
For some, this might be more disturbing than anything else on TV. But it also creates a sense of spine-tingling fear that will keep viewers paralyzed and on the edge of their seats. That can be wonderful or horrible depending on how much viewers enjoy that sort of suspense and how easily they can shake it once the show is over.
"Hannibal" is a well-acted thrill rideThe actors on the show are truly impressive. Every main character, supporting character, and even the guest stars are so talented. It can often feel like viewers are standing alongside the characters, watching the scenes unfold. While the actors portray the story realistically, the surreal setting and vibe are not overshadowed.
Hugh Dancy as Will Graham is one of the most astounding actors of the bunch and is arguably Emmy nod-worthy. Dancy conveys Graham's fear of losing his mind in such a way that it easily becomes the viewers' fear, as well.
A main concern for viewers is rooting for poor Will, while also maintaining a guilty curiosity about seeing just how far he will slip into oblivion. Realizing that Hannibal shares the same curiosity may make viewers just a little disgusted with themselves, but that is part of the extremely dark tinge of humor that is so indicative of all the Hannibal Lecter movies.
Hannibal is reinvented
Mads Mikkelsen has reinvented the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. This is a good thing. Rather than focusing on Mikkelsen's impression of someone else's character, viewers are drawn into the telling of a whole new tale. All viewers know for sure is that Hannibal loves to eat highly unappealing "food."
Hannibal is not outwardly insane. He seems to be a normal person, whom viewers might find themselves nearly empathizing with until he proves his sociopathy. The best moments of the series are those when Hannibal seems to be showing genuine emotion and empathy in one moment before reverting to his truly cold, calculating self.
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