Hannibal. It was everything I was hoping it would be even if I had no real idea of how it would go. I mean, I did because I’ve read the books, but there’s a lot of room to work and grow and what you ever know about Hannibal isn’t always as it seems. And given that most of what we’ve seen of Will Graham came from Manhunter, where the relationship between he and Lecter was mostly defined by how it ended: with Will discovering who Lecter was an getting stabbed for his trouble, he has even more room to grow.
It is the stuff of great fanfiction, my friends and this is fanfiction by the professionals with a great cast.
Now, I love Hugh Dancy but I don’t always love the roles he chooses. This time, the script and the storyline is playing to his strengths in a way only he can. I see now why Bryan Fuller jumped on casting him.
Mads Mikkelsen has a hell of a poker face, which is a good thing when you’re trying to portray someone who gives little away. He has a sort of quiet quality to him that, unlike Superman who is hiding that body under a suit, I could buy as being someone that everyone might overlook as being truly psycho.
Mostly what we saw of the other characters, including Laurence Fishburne, was connecting the dots. I imagine we’ll see a bit more from them as the series progresses. The first half was pretty much dedicated to getting into Will Graham, which makes sense since he’s a lead we have less familiarity with. Plus it saved the money shot of Mads being all cannibally until after the commercial break.
I love the mood of the show and the way that it is shot in moody blue and red tones that will make the color RED jump out at you. It would be a good thing if you really like RED. But also it’s difficult to get a real sense of time and place. The first time we see Hannibal he is wearing a more retro-looking suit, perhaps taking cues from the movies.
Anthony Hopkin’s Hannibal seemed to have a bit more twinkle than our Mads Hannibal, but there are aspects of that portrayal that I find more in character from the books. If that’s better or worse would depend on your preference. I like both for different reasons. The only criticism I had was that my ear is less attuned to Mads’s accent so it was difficult at first for me to understand what he was saying. His voice has that quiet, soothing quality but by the second scene he was in I’d sorted it out.
The other thing that some may find troubling is the graphic nature of the story. Meaning gore. Meaning very disturbing imagery. If you go into a series about a cannibal serial killer and are surprised by this, turn in your TV now. Seriously.
Now, I already knew this show as for me, but seeing Kids in the Hall’s Scott Thompson made me grin and previews that promise Gillian Anderson and Eddie Izzard, plus others that I was too overwhelmed to properly comprehend make it beyond must-see TV.
I’m excited to see everyone settled into their roles. It has some great potential and a very promising start. Can’t wait for the next!
ETA: Watch Aperitif for free at Amazon!