NBC's Hannibal

So NBC’s Hannibal series premieres tonight. I’d normally be bleh, but the showrunner is the excellent Bryan Fuller (Wonderfalls, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me, DS9), it’s got Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal the Cannibal, Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, Larry Fisbhurne as Larry Fisbhurne, Caroline Dhavernas (also of Wonderfalls), and Gillian Anderson. So, an amazing cast for a network drama. I hear Eddie Izzard also shows up as a guest star later on; he was in Fuller’s Addams Family reboot (Mockingbird Lane) that didn’t get picked up last year.

However, the downside of Bryan Fuller as the showrunner is the Bryan Fuller curse (critically acclaimed shows that no one watches; eg, Wonderfalls), though Hannibal does have the luxury of many books and movies in the general awareness.

Reviews are generally positive and it’s sitting at a 68 metacritic. Herc over at AICN says it’s the goriest network drama ever, too.

Sold! I’ll be taping that tonight.

The Hannibal they got for the show, doesn’t look at least similar to Anthony Hopkins. Isn’t he the bad guy in Casino Royale?

Thanks for letting me know about this show. Great show!

He is. He’s a great danish actor - I really don’t see the need for him to look anything like Hopkins so long as he can be creepy-as-fuck, and Mads Mikkelsen is great at that.

Who played Lector in Rattners master-smash re-imaginationing of Manns Manhunter.

I liked it-- it had Bryan Fuller’s brilliant eye for storytelling and a great cast, but the thing that jarred me out of it was

(Sorry… BBCode’s Spoiler tags aren’t cooperating with me… So, Spoiler)

Why doesn’t the super observant OCD FBI guy notice that Hannibal, supposedly just a psychiatrist, is COMPLETELY unflapped by the events around when they encounter the Killer of The Week? Sure, you can say Hannibal is a trained medical professional and is therefore callused to human suffering if you’d like, but if that’s the case and he’s somehow THAT together, how come he never even suggests calling for an ambulance?

As a medical doctor (even though he is a psychiatrist) I believe he is capable enough to maintain his cool when someone is bleeding out so I wouldn’t have thought otherwise.

I think a purpose of that scene was to demonstrate that the Asperger’s character has emotion and Lector does not. They are both sociopaths as stated in the episode. Asperger Boy is afraid that he will end up doing something illegal by getting involved with these FBI cases (I am not one of them", “I don’t want to be like them”) since he is a sociopath-at-risk. During that scene it reaffirmed to the audience that we have two sociopaths in a kitchen with a young girl bleeding out – one has empathy for the girl, the other does not. It gives us hope that Asperger Boy may not turn.

So did anyone notice the numerous references to The Shining?

Also, the director was David Slade, who did Hard Candy, which got him a Twilight movie, but don’t hold that against him.

The best moment for me was Hannibal serving breakfast to Graham. You know everyone went “Ewwwwwww” when Graham ate the “sausage” and said delicious.

The Hannibal on TV creeps me out not because of his behavior or acting but because of the way he looks. Its like his face had too much plastic surgery, could be the make-up though.

I think that’s just his face.

The first episode was pretty good. According to my wife, who read the books, this is basically what the books said he did prior to being arrested: he made existing or borderline killers worse. It looks like the arc for the first season (or longer) is him turning Graham into a killer, which should pretty neat.

It referenced the films a couple times, but it wasn’t so slavishly devoted to them as I had feared they would be. That’s a good thing. They’re also using the dramatic irony that the audience knows who Hannibal is pretty wel. Not too over the top, but still nodding to the audience. My wife also mentioned that Hannibal doesn’t like killing women, something about his childhood backstory and a sister or something, so it was surprising that he killed the girl in the field. Maybe he makes exceptions in certain cases.

The spoiler tags above work for me in tapatalk, but not in browser.

re: Hannibal calling an ambulance, I think you’re assuming a lot. All we really saw is that Hannibal triaged her. We don’t know who did what, who called backup or an ambulance or what. Also, Hannibal is clearly a weirdo, so it’s probably not that surprising that he acted weirdly. It would take a number of more instances for them to start thinking something is wrong with him.

Hannibal didn’t kill the girl in the field. Or are one of us missing something?

Two things off the top of my head (as I deleted this from my DVR after watching and can’t re-verify):

It took the copycat kill in the field, in how wrong/incorrect it is, for Will to make a needed conclusion to focus on finding the real killer. Something about how the incorrect details essentially bolster the correct info in the other kills and provided Will the “aha” spark. So it would require someone intimately knowledgeable of the other murders to get the field one “wrong.” Plus, Hannibal was earlier shown to have profiled Will correctly, and would infer how to push Will in the right direction to solve the case.

Plus, uh, there was a pretty big implication being made when they go from, “she’s missing her lungs” to seeing Hannibal butcher and cook a pair of lungs in the very next scene.

Woah. I totally missed that.

Hannibal did kill the girl in the field… yikes! My bad.

So the father who got fingered with the blame was actually innocent. Doh!

Well, the dude killed and ate those other girls. But the clear assumption is that Hannibal, after seeing all the evidence on the walls of the FBI’s profile room, then copycatted the serial killer and also staged the scene.

I’m wondering if the FBI pulls the house’s phone records (especially if the daughter survives and tells what happened). There will be a phone call from the construction office to the home right before daddy snaps, and the daughter can recollect that it was an accented man who asked for her father. But would that be too obvious?

I found this pretty great, honestly. Love the guy playing Hannibal. he was amazing in Casino Royale and great here, too. Not entirely sold on their Graham yet, but it might work. An Izzard cameo seems weird, but he was great in the Riches, so I’ll roll with it.

There were a couple weird comedian cameos - the patient Hannibal is seeing when we first meet him is Dan Fogler who was the lead in Balls of Fury and the Broadway show Putnam County Spelling Bee and Scott Thompson (Kids in the Hall) had a line about a bird or something.

The Scott Thompson cameo threw me. I really wanted him to drop into character as Buddy Cole.

So I thought that he’s not an actual FBI agent because of his emotional/psychological issues based on the talk in the girls room with the female agent. Then later on he’s carrying around a gun and then of course uses it. What am I missing?

Tonight’s mushroom garden may have been the most disturbing thing I’ve ever seen on network TV.

And, goddamn, Bryan Fuller just snuck in the most awesome Wonderfalls character cameo.