When I first heard about NBC putting together a television version of the Hannibal series, I will admit that I was skeptical. While the appeal of the brilliant psychiatrist by day and mad cannibalistic serial killer by night has fascinated many since author Thomas Harris first dreamed up the character in 1981 and Anthony Hopkins put a face to the name in the Red Dragon, The Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal movies, the allure was always lost on me.
Perhaps it’s because I felt like the story is one that we have already read and a movie that we have already seen. As a result, I assumed that the television version would be more of the same.
After screening the first two episodes, I can tell you that it certainly isn’t.
Starring Hugh Dancy as FBI profiler Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal, the show offers a fresh take on Hannibal’s tale and it is seen through Bryan Fuller’s vision. The story focuses on the unique relationship between Graham’s ability to pick out killers while not being able to see the one right in front of him who is the most gruesome of all… his shrink.
What stands out the most about the show to me, is the beautiful picture quality. While it is a television show, it offers a strong cinematic feel. While I will never tell you that Hannibal’s dinner delicacies look appetizing, I certainly have no problem admitting that the director of photography has done an amazing job at making every dish look stunning. In addition, the action is fast-paced and the plotlines are smart… drawing intelligent viewers in, oddly congruent to the way that Hannibal lures in his unsuspecting victims.
I recently had the chance to catch up with Canadian Lara Jean Chorostecki who plays tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds on the show. The character was made famous by Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie and one of the most refreshing aspects of the show is how Fuller isn’t afraid to make it his own… starting with Chorostecki. While we know her as Charlie from Dan For Mayor and Bridget from Camelot, this is the role that truly shows the versatility of Chorostecki’s work as an actress. The vivacious redhead breathes new life into the role, offering the cheekiness that is a prerequisite for any journalist while also making Lounds seem believable. She is truly one of the reasons why Hannibal is one of the mid-seasons biggest surprises.
Check it out!
Hannibal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on City and NBC
Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, TOROMagazine.com and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at Weekendtrips.com.