Hannibal – Television Corner Review


Before I go into detail I have to tell you all one thing about the Hannibal TV show – its intensely stupid. And I mean extremely stupid. Its a show that is ostensibly about very clever people saying intelligent things to each-other but this falls down when you realise – every character (apart from Hannibal) is a total moron. Now that I’ve slandered the intelligence of the show it might come as a surprise to you that I really like it. (it helps if you’re drunk. Take one shot every-time someone say the name ‘Abigail Hobbs’ and you might end up in hospital)

Somehow Gillian Anderson keeps getting hotter with age, Dorian Gray style

Hannibal is set before all of the movies based on the books of Thomas Harris. This is before Manhunter and Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lecter is a top psychiatrist who the FBI call in to provide therapy to Will Graham, their best criminal profiler. From here we’re treated to the most screwed up bromance you’ll witness all year. I won’t spoil the details of the show as most of its charm is based around some intensely shocking and gory scenes. Apparently in this part of the US all of the serial killers are totally twisted and can’t just murder people in the normal way. In my day, you would strangle or if it was a special occasion decapitate a victim but in Hannibal you’re more likely to be made into a doll, or an angel, or a tree.

He was a fungi to be around

The other huge selling point of the programme is the man himself. Played by Mads Mikkelsen, he’s a different beast from Anthony Hopkins creepy killer with a penchant for dramatic flair. Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is cold,calculating, smart, distant, all at once. Oh, and he eats people. When Lecter is on screen the show comes alive. He holds all of the attention with just a look or a smile. He is sparse with the chat but when he speaks you get chills down your spine. His good-guy counterpart Will Graham is played by Hugh Dancy who chews the scenery in one of the most hammy, unsubtle performances I’ve ever seen. Every tick, or thought, or fear is broadcast as loudly as possible by Dancy although he thankfully dials it down in season 2. This over-acting serves to make Mikkelsen even more watchable as seeing his understated style can be relaxing after Dancy sweats his way though another line.

This actually happens
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No, really

So why did I call the show ‘intensely stupid’? Well that’s mainly due to the fact that Lecter is obviously a creepy serial killer but somehow none of these supposedly highly trained profilers suspects a thing. Hannibal constantly talks about food, knows too much about the murder spree and people around him keep disappearing. Plus he’s European, you know how weird us guys are. Despite this lack of intelligence Hannibal is good campy fun that provides many unintentionally funny scenes. If you don’t take it seriously there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had. Maybe if the makers were more self-aware they could embrace the silliness and go crazy with it but right now it a ridiculous show with a mesmerising central performance. Just don’t expect psychological sophistication.

Are you a Hannibal fan? Do you agree with my view of the show? Have you ever eaten human flesh? Let me know in the comments below. BonΒ appetite!


  1. MMMM yummy what a delectable post! hahaha I love this show and I agree with all of your points. It is stupid, like hello you guys are trained specialists do you not know this guy is a freak! And yes why does every killer have to turn the body into something crazy. LOL I never stopped and thought about that. Mads Mikkelsen is totally one of my fave new actors right now. Would you like some duck pate, I made it myself?


  2. Great write-up friend! Quit making me chuckle!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Seriously though, this is somewhat disappointing news. I totally find myself in the crowd who were hoping to be getting a psychologically revealing TV show. I haven’t seen one epi yet. But I might not change that if this show is really quite cheesy. I do love Mads Mikkelson, though. So. . .maybe. A very luke-warm ‘maybe.’ lol


  3. Hey, don’t rip on the cannibal puns! Haha. I’m a huge fan of Hannibal, movies and books, and I was very impressed by the telly version’s brilliant twist on the source material. About the slew of creative killing, it does require a huge suspension of disbelief. Then again, which episodic crime show doesn’t? πŸ˜‰

    I think horror fans will find much to love about the tiny references in its incredibly beautiful cinematography. Admittedly campy, I’d say that it remains sophisticated in its subtle commentary on human psychology, be it in Hannibal’s clever manipulation the portrayal of varied co-dependent relationships (Hannibal / Will, Margot / Mason).


    • You’re right about the fantastic cinematography. Some of its really beautiful. And the show doesn’t hold back on the horror elements!

      I really like Hannibal but I don’t think it’s as smart as it thinks it is. The second season was a big improvement though


    • I suppose it would be hard to string out a show about Hannibal eating people if the guys after him weren’t idiots! It would be over in about two episodes.

      But yeah, some of the imagery that’s used and the colours are truly beautiful so it’s lovely to look at


  4. You make a lot of really good points here. I am always getting pissed at Bloom, Jack and Will for their amazing clueless-ness. Only Lounds knows what is going on most of the time. But damn, is the show ever so cool to look at and that finale was insane.

    The show’s imagery, while sometimes a bit too overdone, is still engaging and Mads is…well he’s Mads and he’s worth watching the show period. Loved watching Verger get his and that last interview between Mason and Jack was intense. Great post man! Already looking forward to next season,


  5. Everybody here is a total moron (apart from Hannibal himself) but yet you still love it? Ha..ha.. I love your honesty Mikey. But after seeing miss Gillian Anderson here I could see why you dig this show πŸ˜‰


  6. things go slow in Hannibal, hannibal is clever so he erased his tracks perfectly, its all about imagination. yeah there are not gory murders like that but bryan fuller takes it to a higher level , he wants to show that if hannibal is a intelligent murderer that sees killing as an art, there are other ppl as well, he wants to show that murderers are more intelligent right now , intelligent in a very psychic way of course! this show is based on imaginative killings not some usual procedural cop shows! if you wanna see some guy getting gun down in a shop lifting , you can watch CSI or LAW and Order and all sorts of that!!
    god, why so serious after all!?


  7. I love stupid shows…but no, I haven’t seen Hannibal yet. Its somewhere lost on my way too long tv series list. I really like that Mads guy. So, maybe I’ll watch this for a good laugh soon πŸ™‚ Awesome post!


  8. “Plus he’s European, you know how weird us guys are.” LOL. So true. πŸ˜‰ Nice write-up, Mike!! I can see some of your points, but I don’t think the show is stupid, really. I think maybe it just plays up Hannibal’s intelligence soooo ridiculously much that everybody else seems dumb in comparison. And I love Hugh Dancy!! Where’s Zoe? I need my Hannibal girl to back me up on this! Haha. Glad you still like the show though!


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