Friday, April 5, 2013

Tune In or Tune Out: Hannibal

Hannibal (NBC)
Created by: Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Heroes, Wonderfalls)
Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne  

Last night Hannibal Lector eerily creeped back into the world, but this time in a network television series on NBC.  My only hang ups going into this show was, first network television doesn't handle the gritty as well as cable, and 2 Mikkelsen's portrayal of Dr. Lector.

Before I get into those two points, lets look at the actual premise of the show.  Hannibal actually centers around Special Agent Will Graham played with electricity by the talented Hugh Dancy.  Will is a a criminal profiler who empathizes and peers into the lives of the serial killers he hunts.  During one investigation Agent Jack Crawford brings in Dr. Lector to help Will get to psychology of the killer.

My first hang up was quickly assuaged in the first few minutes of the show, this is one dark hour of television, and left me haunted with the moments the same way many of the films did.  Part of this haunting melancholia is a credit to series creator Bryan Fuller.  Fuller has a penchant for a darker tone, and he is always grasping at giving his shows the feel they deserve.  Watching the killer and Will switch back and forth was brilliant editing, and putting the viewer and Will in the POV of the killer was brilliantly tackled.

One area which could drag or bof this show down is with the the fact that Fuller values style, and I am worried that this show could be about style over substance.  Yet with his past shows like Pushing Daisies the show never lacked quality over the style factor.  Fuller is a genius and I like the way his mind works, and he transports into this dark world with haunting ease.

Mikkelsen was creepy, and that's important.  I just hope producers realize less is more with Lector.  The show focusing on Will and his hang ups made me like it more.  Dancy is also the major standout performance wise; he is one of the most under rated actors working today.  Lector did not show up until about the 9:30 mark and even then there were large pieces in which he was missing.  The Silences of the Lambs worked as a film, because of Demme's calculated use of Lector, only in the film about 25 minutes.  I think if the show keeps this pace focusing on Will and using Dr. Lector as the cat to his mouse in small doses this show will continue to be a hit.

There have been a lot of darker shows premiering lately Bate's Motel, The Americans, but this is the first show in which the pilot hooked me.  I will be back to dine with Dr. Lector and Will next week at my own risk.  I will bring the Chianti.

Tune In 

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