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Hannibal


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I was not sold on HANNIBAL after watching the pilot, which never quite transcended cop show cliche. But this second episode has me nodding along with this line from VanDerWerff's review: "What’s amazing is the way that Fuller and his colleagues have restored to the genre the sense of terror, the sense of sorrow, and the sense of weight that it had lost along the way."

HANNIBAL is potent stuff.

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Bryan Fuller discusses the long-term vision for the show over at IGN:

IGN: You mentioned the fourth season being the
Red Dragon
story. Do you think it’ll be 13 episodes a year? How do you see the whole thing going?

Fuller: Well, it’s absolutely 13 episodes a season. For me,
Red Dragon
is Season 4, and splitting the time over Season 5 and Season 6 would be the era of
Silence of the Lambs
-- we don’t have the rights to any of the characters that originate in
Silence of the Lambs
, but that’s not to say that Clarice Starling was the only trainee that Jack Crawford ever sent to interview a serial killer. You’ve seen the fifth episode, so you know that he’s done it before. So my dream is that -- because MGM has the rights to any character that originated in
Silence of the Lambs
, and we have the rights to any character that originated in
Red Dragon
or
Hannibal
or
Hannibal Rising
. We actually approached MGM because I desperately wanted to tell the story of how that head ended up in a jar in
Silence of the Lambs
. So we approached MGM -- who can’t use Hannibal Lecter in their Clarice Starling show -- and said, “If we let you have letters from Hannibal Lecter and have a relationship… You don’t necessarily see him on screen, but you can actually acknowledge the history of Clarice Starling. What if we got the rights to Benjamin Raspail and Jame Gumb/Buffalo Bill. That way, we could be telling the definitive Hannibal Lecter stories and acknowledge his existence in both shows.” They were like, “No, what’s ours is ours, and what’s yours is yours.” Then we said, “Pretty please?” And they said, “No, what’s ours is ours, and what’s yours is yours.” So we said, “Can we sit down face-to-face and talk about this?” We did, and they said, “What’s ours is ours, and what’s yours is yours.” [Laughs] So they were very definitive about where they stood. So what we did in the arc that we had for Benjamin Raspail and Jame Gumb in the first season, we did a different story about a patient of Hannibal Lecter’s who had ties to a serial killer in a unique way. Instead of Benjamin Raspail, we did Franklin Froideveaux -- Benjamin Franklin and then Froideveaux is a street that runs parallel to Raspail in Paris. So we were acknowledging in some way that’s the role that we were filling in this season, with those characters and that story you’re going to see.

IGN: Knock on wood, this show continues into future seasons. Are you hoping that maybe they’ll change their mind and something can be worked out?

Fuller: Absolutely. I hope they look at the show and say, “Oh, this is really cool, and it’s a classy approach to the material, and we want to be associated with it,” and that maybe they will change their minds. But they sold the rights to a Clarice Starling story to Lifetime, and it’s been in development for a few years. It’s turned around and then redeveloped and turned around and redeveloped. I’m sticking pins in a voodoo doll of that show and hoping that it just goes away so they can see that, really, this is the best thing for the audience… Which is always my approach to these things, because I do feel my place in the audience, and as somebody who’s been given a the opportunity to have a voice in how things can proceed, I do have a responsibility, very heavily. So I, as an audience member, want Clarice Starling to be tied into Hannibal Lecter and see one definitive source for the Hannibal Lecter story, which would be this show. But time will tell. Maybe we’ll launch a letter-writing campaign to MGM!
Edited by Ryan H.
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BUT I greatly respect films and television that are interested in the sorrow and stupid waste of violence. It's one reason I'm such a fan of David Lynch. That review for Hannibal and the presence of Mads Mikkelsen makes me want to give it a shot.

I gave it a shot and don't think I will watch it. I may check in every now and then if an episode gets a good buzz. But it is marked by the following moral axiom of the golden era of TV: The most gruesome image possible is justifiable when it is crafted through the highest production value possible.

I am weary of this proposition.

We actually approached MGM because I desperately wanted to tell the story of how that head ended up in a jar in Silence of the Lambs.

If they were that interested in Thomas Harris arcana, they wouldn't have made Freddy Lounds an attractive female (given that nature of Lounds' demise in Red Dragon is a really important plot point). .

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

Filmwell | Twitter

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But it is marked by the following moral axiom of the golden era of TV: The most gruesome image possible is justifiable when it is crafted through the highest production value possible.

I am weary of this proposition.

I don't blame you.

FWIW, episode two of this series gave me nightmares (and as far back as I can remember, prior to HANNIBAL, a movie or television show hasn't ever given me nightmares).

Edited by Ryan H.
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I've thought the mechanism of the season--Hannibal copycats other killers' methods to avoid detection--has been obvious since the first episode. Is it supposed to still be a mystery or surprise?

Edited by Tyler

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Matt Zoller Seitz gushes about Hannibal:

 

You could say it’s as close as a broadcast network has gotten to the personal artistry of the best premium-cable shows, if it weren’t bolder and more elegant than anything on pay cable right now, including HBO’s own serial-killer drama, True Detective.

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  • 3 weeks later...

"I'm not the intelligent psychopath you're looking for."

 

And with that, Hannibal wins best Star Wars allusion ever.

 

If they had just jettisoned the "12 weeks earlier" cold open, the episode would have been just about perfect.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
Twitter Blog

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My take on the cold-open.

 

I would guess that a number of viewers are in my situation: the only Hannibal they know is the one from Demme's movie, which is not really the Hannibal we met in the first season. I mean, yes, he's the same, but his name isn't infamous yet. I assumed that season one would be all about getting us to that point, but clearly Fuller has a different plan. I'm okay with that plan, but maybe he wants to assure people who aren't as okay with it that, yes, we will get closer to the Hannibal most people are familiar with this time around.

 

Also, I'd completely forgotten about the ear thing.

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I quite liked the cold open: It puts a ticking clock on the season without really giving much of anything away. As Alan Sepinwall noted in his review, we still don't know what Jack finds out-- that Hannibal framed Will? That he is the Chesapeake Ripper? That he has been feeding Jack human flesh?

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