The great Hannibal saga started when Thomas Harris wrote Red Dragon which got three book sequels. There are now three adaptations of the first book in the Hannibal series and one adaptation each of the other sequels.
The third adaptation of Red Dragon plays out in the final season of the Hannibal tv series. A series that modernizes the book series and is like a great melting pot of all the books in the series.
I had first started watching the Hannibal TV series (a series lead by Bryan Fuller who had previously made Pushing Up Daises and Dead Like Me) after watching Bates Motel which I gave up on after five episodes. I was very wary of another modernization but I fell in love with Hannibal.
Here are five big reasons why I did so.
1.) Representation that wasn't forced
We are living in a day and age where there should be representation for all types of people. That means that not everyone in a story should be white, able-bodied, ect.
The human race is a wide spectrum and movies, books, ect. should do their best to reflect that.
However, many people seem to forget that integrity needs to be thought about too. It shouldn't all be about representation when a story greatly suffers for it. You can just take a look at casting where the entire focus is "Look! We aren't racists, homophobes, ect.! Look at this cast!" to see what I mean.
While the Hannibal show does change males to females (genderbending) and whites to blacks (racebending) at no point does it feel forced. It never screams attention to itself and focuses on the story at hand.
Yes, you do notice it but it's never distracting.
2.) Great actors
What would a show be without a good cast?
Sometimes a bad script can be pulled off by horrible actors. I find myself liking performances of certain actors and wish that they would get a better script.
Hannibal has both a good script and a good cast.
Hugh Dancy plays Will Graham and does a wonderful job with the role. As the series goes on you see him descend deeper and deeper into madness while hoping he doesn't break.
Of course one of the starring roles is Hannibal Lecter who is played by Mads Mikklesen. Anthony Hopkins left a legacy with his performance of Hannibal so the next person had a big set of shoes to fill. Not only would the person have to perform well, he would have to do it to a point where people wouldn't complain that he's not Hopkins.
I am glad to say that Mikklesen gives Hopkins a run for his money.
3.) Gore had a point and wasn't just gore
Too often in horror is gore just gore. There is no atmosphere or great love for the characters, but just the joy of seeing people get killed off in gruesome ways. Now I do enjoy a Final Destination movie from time to time, but seeing those types of 'horror' shows and movies gets extremely draining after awhile.
Hannibal has its gruesome centerpieces be more than just gore. The picture above is horrifying but there is a point in the show: the corpse is a former patient of Hannibal's that tried to kill Will. At this point in the show Will is trying to gain Hannibal's trust and so does this.
When characters die they are first given time to be adored so that you feel for their deaths. They're not blindly killed for a mere shock effect.
4.) Had a good plot
Adapting Hannibal into a tv show had such potential to just turn the series into a show focusing on Hannibal Lecter. I don't mean in a nuanced way but in a "OMG! Look! A cannibal is doing horrifying things!" way.
They could've easily done the show with gore for gore's sake. They could've easily done the show without delving into the twisted mind of Hannibal without making him human.
But the show went the extra mile to give us tv viewers something special. A nuanced plot with little things that makes rewatching each episode a must. Or gather a group of Hannibal fans who are more insightful than you are.
5.) Looked amazing
The last thing I will talk about in this article is the stunning visuals. Many times Hannibal went from regular tv show to an artsy show. Things were slowed down, usually a teacup or something else breaking, and you were able to just take in the visuals on screen.
Even the more horrifying scenes of the show had something profoundly beautiful to them. Each part of every episode made you just want to rewind and watch things again.
The few sex scenes there were, were done more artistically than erotically.
What are some things that made the Hannibal TV show awesome for you?