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.

An open letter to (the other) Sarah.

Dear (Other) Sarah Crowder,

I’d really like you to get a new e-mail address. I’m not 100% sure what your e-mail address actually is, but it must be pretty damned close to mine because I continually get your e-mail.

No, I don’t know your LinkedIn business associates. I’m really glad that your friend’s massage business is going well, and that the opening party was a success, but as much as I need a massage, I don’t know your friend, and I don’t live in the Pacific Northwest. I also really appreciated the invitation to your family reunion BBQ, but again, I don’t know your family. I’m sure they’re lovely people, though.

Maybe you get e-mail intended for me sometimes, too. I have no way of knowing. Feel free to tell my friends “Hi” for me. Go ahead and reply. They’re mostly a mellow bunch, and who knows – they might even like you more than me. I am pretty cranky, after all.

Look, I know we have a very common name, and I’m almost sorry I got to Gmail first (and truly sorry that I did not include my middle initial in my handle), but here we are. If you don’t want to get a new e-mail handle*, at least make sure that the people trying to contact you have your correct address. I seriously get a lot of your e-mail. (Was it misprinted on your business cards?)

Anyway, I hope this letter finds you well. But if you’re feeling a little stressed out, I bet your friend would give you a discount on a massage. It wouldn’t hurt to ask, right?

Sincerely,
Sarah L. Crowder

*Both “SCisAwesomeForevs@hotmail” or “scrazyscrowder@juno” sound fun, right?

I want to unfollow “The Following.”

I want to unfollow “The Following,” but I just can’t seem to do it.

The dialogue is terrible. It’s like dramatic tension as imagined by 14 year old boys who shop at Hot Topic. And though I can’t fault the actors – there are some good performances here – it’s still painful to hear excellent actors plow their way through such stilted dialogue.

The concept is very cool, and it could have been great. A serial killer with a cult of serial killers following him? That could have been some excellent TV. Joe Carroll is like a literary Charles Manson. But they’ve barely touched upon Poe and the “dark romanticism” (is that a thing?) that inspires him…and when they have, they’ve done boneheaded things like MISPRONOUNCE “Amontillado.” Really? No one on set could figure that one out? No one at the reading table read “The Cask of Amontillado” in junior high English? Or, failing that, no one had actually had a glass of Amontillado Sherry? I’m dying and flailing here, and spouting dialogue as bad as that killer nanny, just from the shock of this.

It’s a terrible show. Look, I know it’s getting good reviews and the ratings are decent enough that it has already been renewed for another season, but c’mon, guys. It’s terrible. I once tried to explain part of the plot to my partner, but he laughed so hard at its absurdity that I gave up.

But I can’t stop watching it. And it’s not simple hate-watching, either. I really do want to know what happens next. But it’s so bad that I just shouldn’t care. I want to stop caring. I really do. I want to stop watching. But I’m on Hulu the minute a new show is posted. I’m in a creepy, toxic relationship with an awful TV show, and I don’t know how to stop.

Do they have self-help books for this?

Also, can someone kill that killer nanny for me? I HATE HER SO MUCH.

“TV is so much better than movies these days because TV shows aren’t TV shows anymore. Because now we live in this DVD, iTunes, Hulu age, and show creators and networks are realizing that and letting shows develop on those terms rather than ‘We gotta just punch it week to week, man.’ Now they’re like, ‘What will happen if someone watches the entire show?’ If Twin Peaks had come out two years ago, it would still be on the air. It would be this massive tapestry.”
Patton Oswalt

Another rejected Twitter bio.

“Afraid of clowns, spiders, & sticky jam hands. I enjoy pretending to be a T-Rex, wearing cardigan sweaters, & insisting that everyone around me listen to whatever obscure band I love at the moment. OXFORD COMMA FOREVS!”

Note: This one is mostly accurate.

Pitch idea.

Today’s pitch: Comedy series about an aging all-woman hair metal band named Sügar Katt, their super tough (yet gentle and wise) female roadie, and their return to the big time with an unexpected late career hit. Hijinks include a rivalry with another band called BitchGarten, dealing with hipster fans who only like them ironically, and whether being on top again is worth it.

It’s like Spinal Tap meets Jem, only 20 years later. Includes a lot of salty language and adult situations, plus music that will rock your face off.

The show’s name? JAM OUT WITH YOUR CLAM OUT.

That’s right. You’re welcome.

P.S. Their first hit was called “Leather and Lace.”