Series Review: Hannibal

Hannibal (by Bryan Fuller, 2013) – Renowned psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter forms a relationship with FBI criminal profiler Will Graham, fascinated by the latter’s empathy with serial killers.

Verdict

All the awards for this series, please.

5/5

Review

It’s that time of the year again: the awards season. Before the Emmys award ceremony takes place tomorrow, I would like to file a formal complaint. Hannibal was robbed. The Emmys has completely snubbed Hannibal for the following accolades:

5. Outstanding Art Direction / Directing

There is no way to look past Hannibal‘s impressive cinematography, symbolic and lush in its details. That is even if the food is people. The beef is people, the lamb is people, so is the water. Hell, even cellos and bloody totem poles are people. This is a show that takes body horror to a whole new level, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hearts of cinephiles dance to see Stanley Kubrick’s familiar design of symmetrical discomfort, one of many nods towards classics in the horror genre and beyond. There is commendable aesthetics in the gruesome art of terror, and Hannibal proves that.

4. Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Author Thomas Harris introduces Will Graham in Red Dragon as an eideteker with the burden of pure empathy and projection. Many things go unsaid, and Hannibal takes advantage of this unexplored territory. Through the eyes of Graham, we get to dive into the dark psyche of the perpetrators.

All thanks to scripts that shine brighter than Emmys. Œuf was a perfect example of an episode grips even when stripped down to a simple character study. Polished dialogue proves deeply revelatory of humanity and character psychology.

Criminal profiling aside, mental disorders in cases are portrayed with respect and realism. While most police procedural dramas trudge along episodic formulas, Hannibal keeps things fresh. We may all be in on Hannibal’s secret, but none of us knows what to expect of his manipulative ways.

Hannibal NBC
I eat dead people, Will.

2. Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series 

Which show has a more outstanding cast than one with brilliant guest stars like Eddie Izzard and Gillian Anderson? Who better to play Jack Crawford to subtle perfection than two-time Emmy award winner Laurence Fishburne?

The answer is none. Jack Crawford is bloody Morpheus, for Lecter’s sake. Science squad trio Hettienne Park, Scott Thompson and Aaron Abrams would also like their deserved Emmy back, please.

The cast of Hannibal
I apologise on Emmy’s behalf, you flawless folks.

1. Outstanding Lead/Supporting Actors

Who dares awaken Hannibal Lecter, after the great Anthony Hopkins has fully inhabited the character in our minds? Despite his daunting predecessor, Mads Mikkelsen lunges into the role with unsettling comfort and ease. He is subtle, cold, astute, and dangerous. Even when unseen, he lurks and manipulates from dark corners.

As Hopkins once did with Clarice Starling, our new Hannibal finds his victim in Will Graham. Hugh Dancy masterfully unveils decaying strength and exposes vulnerability in the agent’s downward spiral, as the flesh-eating psychiatrist’s mind games starts to take its toll. Soon, every Fannibal tries their darnest to reach out and save him through the screen.

All that said, and not one single Emmy for this phenomenal series.

Don’t even get me started on Orphan Black. Shockingly rude, Emmys. But since we’ll be staying in and skipping the ceremony, we would really love to have you for dinner.

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