WARNING: This show is extremely gory. Extremely. I won’t talk about that aspect of the show beyond this warning, but just be sure to know that it is incredibly gory and dark.
That being said, it is also one of the most beautiful, and sadly most underrated, shows that just ended. It lived for three seasons, 10 episodes each, and they were all so well done that the cancellation of the show comes as a strong disappointment to each and every fan.
As you may have guessed, Hannibal focused on the cannibal character most famed from The Silence of the Lambs and other films about the character. But this series was different to those movies; it didn’t tell the same stories as them, instead focusing on the relationship between Hannibal and Will Graham, FBI consultant with troubles of his own. When he investigates crime scenes, Will imagines himself as the killer, with every detail and reason in his mind with perfect clarity. Because of this, Jack Crawford, the head FBI agent on the case, refers him to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, psychiatrist, to ensure Will doesn’t fall too deeply into the killer’s mind. What follows this fateful reference is a love/hate (more love than hate but still a good amount of hate) between Lecter and Will as each learns a great deal more about each other than they had intended.
Considering the subject matter of the show, you won’t expect my next statement. This show is one of the most beautifully done shows on television…well, formerly on television now. So much of this show is beautifully done, I have to try and list them all.
First, the writing. The writing obviously moves the story along, but many of the one-on-one conversations, and even conversations involving three characters, are philosophical and thought-provoking. The writing throughout the series was beautiful, the story it told was shocking, and all of it was wonderful.
Second, the cinematography. I love cinematography so much; if it’s done right it can be beautiful. So many films have great cinematography, and of course there are some that don’t. But I have never seen cinematography like what is shown on Hannibal. Each scene, every shot, every effect is given exquisite attention, ensuring it is the best it can be. No detail is overlooked or ignored. Every shot, from the beginning of the show until the last moment, was given pristine attention before being given to the viewers. This is a clear sign of how much those behind the scenes cared for this show and its viewers, to ensure that they were given the best possible moments. The love these people had for this show was always apparent in every scene and every word the writers gave.
Third, the acting. Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy play Hannibal and Will, respectively, and it’s clear from what we see in the show and the behind the scenes we’re given that these two became friends easily. They worked so well together through everything these characters went through. Their skills, along with all of the other actors throughout the series, were so apparent and it was incredible to witness. These actors cared about their characters and it showed.
This article isn’t doing the beauty of Hannibal justice. It’s trying, but my words are not enough to express it’s beauty. I’m disappointed that it was cancelled so quickly; there was so much more story the creators wanted to tell but weren’t able to. So much to explore with these characters that will never go explored. This show deserved so much more than it got from its network. The fans fought to keep it alive, to no avail. But we got three beautiful seasons and a satisfying ending to it all.
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