NBC’s Hannibal – A Review

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I’m so bored.

Last night was the premiere of NBC’s Hannibal, based on the characters created by Thomas Harris, the show created by Bryan Fuller. I wrote about it in yesterday’s post, debating whether or not it will survive to see a second season based on Fuller’s track record. And based on the first show, I’m going to say it’s headed for the cutting board.

While I enjoyed the show somewhat and will continue to watch, I think Fuller has taken too many liberties already with the characters. There’s no reason to reinvent the genius cast that Harris created long ago. Sure, we’re seeing Will Graham early on when he first became an FBI profiler, and he lacks a lot of confidence and is distraught with his ability to empathize with serial killers – but he seemed almost too odd though he later sure knew how to use a gun spot on!

Am I the only one who found it hard to understand what Dr. Lecter was saying?  Lecter has German roots, but he just seemed too stiff at times and hard to comprehend. He even seemed bored. Prior to getting caught, Lecter only killed nine known victims and most of them were his patients. Making him into a copy cat killer, as they alluded, just seemed strange.

And the serial murder that Crawford reached out to Graham and Lecter on neatly got wrapped up in the end, so while we are trying to understand Graham and get to know Lecter, a serial murderer is caught and the crimes are wrapped up nice and neat within an hour’s time. Sure, that’s the joy of television but it left us nothing to cling to in anticipation of next week’s episode.  Meanwhile, there’s all this business involving the elk which was also seen in the preview of episodes to come. One of Lecter’s victims in the books was a bow hunter, so perhaps they are going to go in that direction? Who knows?!  I think this is just Fuller’s signature in trying to make things dark and dream-like.

What I am looking forward to is the characters to come (hopefully) who are also in the books. Freddie Lounds is listed on the IMBd page, but is a woman instead. Remember the fate Lounds suffered in Red Dragon? If you saw the movie, this character was played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.  There’s also Clarice to think about which probably would be a minor role at the FBI Academy, but have no interaction with Lecter.  So, chances are we won’t see her. But there are some well known Lecter victims who could pop up as patients he is seeing – Mason Verger and Benjamin Raspail are the main two named in the books.  Let’s not forget an unnamed census taker – we all know what happened to him.  There’s all kinds of good plot lines from the book that could definitely give this series some much needed depth.

Hopefully the kinks we saw last night will work themselves out, and I’m sure they will, but probably too late. Like Fuller’s other work, just as it gets really good TV execs will probably pull the plug.

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