A few thoughts on “Hannibal.”

This isn’t really a review or anything like that, just a sort of dumping ground for a hodge podge of thoughts about the show.

First of all, I was simply blown away by the pilot. Really! I was gape-mouthed in wonder, love at first sight blown away. And everything I’ve seen so far supports my original reaction. I was really reluctant to see anything Lecter related become a TV show, as I was so attached to the characters from the books – but this is a wonderful interpretation, though it is very different (and not at all canon, if that’s a sore spot for you). The writing and acting are fantastic, but the camera work is sublime. You rarely see cinema these days made with such care. I mean, when was the last time you watched a TV show and gasped, “MY GOD! THE COLOR SATURATION!” Probably never, right?* But I actually did that, and I have a witness to prove it.

The show is just so beautifully shot. It’s luscious to the point that I start to feel guilty that such violent imagery is so pretty to me. From the magnificent cascades of slow motion blood spatter to the pretty-as-a-postcard vignettes of Graham’s nightmares, each new horror is lovingly crafted and bewitching to the eye.

I’m really grateful that Hannibal Lecter isn’t my therapist, though I do enjoy watching him at work. And isn’t it nice to see a really different sort of Lecter? So dapper, yet…somehow wrong. Much more menacing than other screen versions. This actor brings no false frisson of the Halloween haunted house theme attraction; he embodies a barely veiled coldness like that of a predator. I love it. I particularly like his micro-expressions. Such a controlled performance.

It’s nice to watch someone cook on television, too – someone who isn’t on a chirpy celebri-chef on the Food Network. Someone who isn’t afraid to get in there and saute his own organ meat.

I have inappropriate thoughts about Graham, too – but not of the sort you would expect. I keep thinking to myself, why does he continue to sleep in t-shirts if he’s just going to drench them in sweat and strip them off every night? And is “Graham in his tight boxer shorts” the new “Mulder’s got his shirt off again”? Perhaps that is unkind.

Mustn’t be unkind. We all know what happens to the rude when Lecter’s around.

I like this new Graham, too. I think watching him fracture will be as much fun for the viewer as it will be for Lecter. He is distinctly damaged, and watching Lecter opening him up is like watching his internal cracks turn into faultlines. Fascinating stuff, and so well acted.

What is up with that stag? I have so many thoughts about this, but I will let the show play out the symbolism before I delve into it too deeply.

Will we learn more about Graham’s gentle wolf pack of stray dogs?

Why does Freddie Lounds get all the cool lady clothes?

That’s enough rambling, I suppose, except to say that it’s amazing, and you should see it.

*Well, maybe a couple of times on “Pushing Daisies,” but that was also a Bryan Fuller show.


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