Ever since watching the first episode of NBC's Hannibal in 2013, I was completely enthralled in the grandiose and elegant style that was brought to life by series creator Bryan Fuller. The beautiful cinematography and rich imagery created such a warm atmosphere that only left me craving for more as season one ended. To be honest, it did take an episode or two to get used to Mads Mikkelsen's voice as he played Hannibal Lector. While he does have a very thick Danish accent, it definitely smooths out and is actually a satisfying and intriguing voice once you get adjusted to it. I highly admire the Hannibal movies based on the books with Silence of the Lambs being one of my all-time favorite movies. On the flip side, the TV series will be an absolute masterpiece if Fuller is able to finish the series according to plan.
Since season one and two, the reviews have constantly been receiving higher marks among critics and also gaining many awards and nominations. In 2014 at the IGN Awards, Hannibal was nominated and won awards for "Best New TV Series & Best TV Horror Series." The show also won "Best Network Television Series" at the Saturn Awards, with Mads Mikkelsen going home with the "Best Actor on Television" award. The show has had multiple nominations and awards won since, so there is no debating that Hannibal is a well-received show. The question I ask is why isn't there a bigger interest from the general audience? When the show debuted in April 2013, it opened to a strong 4.36 million viewers with the ratings dropping to 1.98 million by the season finale. Now the show's reviews and critical response didn't decrease, they were actually getting better throughout the season. The same went for Season 2. I constantly try to understand why this show doesn't get much attention from more people, and when I ask that very question, none of the answers make any sense. Reasons include: "The show is too dark. " Well there's plenty of other dark shows that get viewers. "There's too much gore"; but everyone loved the Red Wedding. Point is, there are shows such as Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, and Walking Dead, that each have an aspect similar in nature to Hannibal. Yes it does have an extreme amount of gore, much more than any network show could dream of having, but it's not being bloody without reason. There's an art to someone being turned into a cello or having a human totem pole erected. Also, the show doesn’t rely on the gore. In fact the most fascinating elements are the dialogue and relationships you see building between the characters. Another mouth-watering aspect is the food. Hannibal's cooking is visually much better than anything you’ll see on the Food Network. Watching Dr. Lector incorporate his “special ingredients” into the food, plus everything from the preparation to serving it in a feast makes for a delicious viewing.
The video below shows one of my absolute favorite scenes which showcases many great aspects of the series, with an homage to the Ridley Scott film.
I think Hannibal is doing everything right in terms of making a great show and basing it on source material. So much creative and brilliant work is put into this show. Bryan Fuller has really manifested a dark series that combines elegance with psychological horror in a bloody beautiful way. The casting is top notch which includes Laurence Fishburne, Hugh Dancy, and Gillian Anderson. Mads Mikkelsen is, in my opinion, the quintessential Hannibal Lector. All due respect to Anthony Hopkins, who gave terrific performances, but Mads encapsulates all the unique and monstrous traits that Dr. Lector showed in the books. Now if the show wants to get more interest from the public, I believe having it on Netflix would do it wonders. Especially with a new season coming up, people would want to get caught up before getting invested. Having a show of this caliber on Netflix would easily double the amount of viewers in my opinion. Either way, I hope that more people can open up their minds to shows like Hannibal. It really does such a fantastic job of heightening reality in such an absurd way, while still being something people can reason with.