In June, NBC cancelled what some would call the most stunning and brilliantly shot show on television. Despite its enriched dialogue and beautiful cinematography, “Hannibal” only lasted three short seasons on network television.
The reason NBC gave for canceling “Hannibal” was due to its low ratings in the Saturday at 10 p.m. time slot. However, looking back at this past season, “Hannibal” trended high every week on Twitter when the episodes aired, and went out with a bang with its season finale being number one in the Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings, trending until the next day.
The show’s fans, called “fannibals,” were outraged that their beloved series was getting the axe. Even with the discouraging news, their passion for “Hannibal” has not dwindled and they continue to battle for new content.
The psychological thriller-horror was developed by Bryan Fuller and its first episode aired on April 4, 2013. “Hannibal” was inspired by the characters and the plot of the novel “Red Dragon” by Thomas Harris. The show takes place before the events of “Red Dragon” up until season three, where it takes a new twist on the old novel.
The series follows Will Graham, played by Hugh Dancy, a special FBI investigator who is recruited by the head of the Behavioral Sciences unit, Jack Crawford, played by Laurence Fishburne, to help investigate gruesome murders.
The stress of getting inside the heads of psychopaths day in and day out takes a toll on Graham, so Crawford seeks the help of the renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by Mads Mikkelsen.
Lecter, who is secretly a cannibalistic serial killer, marvels at Graham’s ability to empathize with killers and decides to see how far he can push Graham until he falls into a consuming darkness that eats away at his mind.
In seasons two and three it becomes a dangerous, cat and mouse game that seems like it can only lead to their deaths.
The show’s cinematography was brilliant and could turn a disturbing murder tableau into a beautifully tragic story.
The music, mostly composed by Brian Reitzell, could immerse the viewers into the world of “Hannibal,” making them feel like they were actually there. Even scenes with little to no dialogue could make one feel the emotion swell up because of Reitzell’s scores.
Another aspect of the show that is wonderful are the actors. Dancy is such an expressive and dedicated actor who performs amazingly in the tough role of Will Graham. Alongside Dancy is Mikkelsen, who can truly make one shiver with just a glance.
It is not just the main actors that shine either. The supporting cast, composed of actors like Richard Armitage, Rutina Wesley, Hettienne Park, Scott Thompson, Aaron Abrams, Caroline Dhavernas, Cynthia Nixon and many more, bring just as much to the table. Some names may be more recognizable than others, but it is obvious that all actors involved really put their hearts into this show.
“Hannibal” is a true masterpiece that was cut down before it had a chance to fully explore all the aspects of its characters and plot points. In the end, “Hannibal” had a great three years on television. It pushed the boundaries of NBC’s guidelines and standards, showing things that made you question, “They were really allowed to show this?”
The dedicated people who worked on the series deserved every award they received and more.
It is possible that the series will not end with only three seasons, but will be picked up by a streaming service. There is also talk of a feature film funded by producer Martha De Laurentiis. The first two seasons of “Hannibal” are available on Amazon Prime and season three is available on Hulu, the NBC website and On Demand.
I would highly recommend watching “Hannibal” if you are looking for a thrilling show with dark twists and a bit of humor. It is a show that feeds one’s mind and senses with thrills and suspense.