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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Brian Fuller's Hannibal: The Best Thing Since Sliced Sweatbreads.

I'm gonna say it. The first three episodes of this new series is better than all the previous Lector films combined. I'm gonna skip the song and dance to jump right to my gut feeling, which is that this is one of the greatest police procedural shows ever made.

Its scary, its atmospheric, its inventive, its trippy, and every role is perfectly cast as well as expertly acted. This isn't just a breath of fresh air, its a damn hurricane. The problem is, I find it very hard to describe to those who have already made up their minds. To some this looks like a desperate network going back to well that dried up years ago and that’s true. But Brian Fuller has tapped that old well and hit a oil geyser filled with new ideas and possibility. The first two serial killers alone are more interesting than either Buffalo Bill and the Tooth Fairy, and on a related note, don't eat mushrooms while watching this show. Its a bad plan and I promise you'll thank me later.

Fuller retained the essence of everyone's favorite cannibal while also ingeniously rebooting Will Graham into a basket case with a condition called “perfect empathy.” A hokey tacked on super power if written by the likes of other lesser shows, but the flashback scenes it allows to take place coupled with Hugh Dancy's devastating performance makes the implied ridiculousness hypnotic. That's actually a good way to describe the whole show: hypnotic. 

Each scene in Lector's massive office will arrest every bit of your attention as you search Mads Mikklesen's face for any shred of blood lust or unspoken malice. Some may call his performance too understated, or worse, boring. You won't see him sucking the air like a wood chuck on Hannibal, but you will see him go to town on a pair of lungs with a cleaver and come on people, with someone like Lector less is always more.

This is one of the very few shows I have ever had to watch through my fingers and I've sat through a couple Saws and the majority of Dexter's run. Hannibal still managed to shock my dulled senses and no one is more surprised that happened than me. Mutilation and desecration is the rule of law on this set and it is definitely not for everyone. But if you are starved for violent, though provoking, and beautifully shot drama? It's all on right now. What in god's name are you waiting for?!

Recommended Viewing:

Mads Mikklesen:
After The Wedding
Flame and Citron

Hugh Dancy:
Black Hawk Down

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