Amazon Prime Review: Hannibal (Seasons 1-3)

Hannibal_CastAnd just like that, the score is tied! This post evens the score between Amazon Prime and Netflix, with each streaming service thus far having 3 reviewed shows. Not that anyone’s keeping track, ‘cept for me. Hulu is still absent, even though my wife and I currently use Hulu to follow two weekly shows: Superstore and This Is Us. However, their seasons aren’t finished yet. We did finish Season 23 of The Bachelor, but as I didn’t actually watch every minute of every episode (because I didn’t really care), I’m claiming to have found a “discretionary loophole” on having to review it 🙂 So yep, we watch stuff. But you already knew that.

Speaking of time, I did want to mention something that has been bothering me (and maybe you too?), and that is the fact that the shows I’m reviewing are not as newly released as the movies I review. So here’s the thing: I started this additional blog segment back in February by telling you I was way behind in streaming show reviews. And since February, I’ve either stayed just as far behind or fallen even slightly further behind (By the way, the Hannibal review is coming, just be patient). That being said, after this review I’m going to try to knock out some of my recently watched shows THAT ARE STILL RELEVANT, hoping that maybe they interest you more as readers. And then I will hopefully, eventually get back to finishing off the other shows too, because I watched some good’uns! Also know that if I am reviewing a season or series of a tv show, I at least mostly enjoyed it. Because you don’t just invest in 10 or 20 episodes per season of a show if it’s not something you want to continue watching. Or maybe you do? I don’t, but no judgment here…weirdo.

<<Deep breath>> Okay, let’s talk Hannibal. And I’m cramming everything into just two paragraphs, so be prepared. Even though I’m once again late to the “dinner party,” this was definitely one worth attending. And unlike Dr. Lecter’s dinner guests, I didn’t have to unknowingly digest other people. Because yes, that happened in the show. A lot. This series was exquisite in a manner similar to Hannibal’s cooking, but from what I’ve read post-viewing also stayed pretty true to the source material where there was overlap. It picks up much before Thomas Harris’ first novel, Red Dragon, and flushes out a new storyline for several supporting characters which helps the show to stand on it’s own merit. But where it does follow the books, it often dives into little details or whispers of past events with vigor, pulling strands and weaving them into comfy sweaters for Will to wear in the winter time, presumably. Oh yeah, let me shine a light on some character details so you know what I’m talking about!

The series focuses on several main characters as they work together solving violent murders for the FBI. Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) wears many nice sweaters when it’s cold outside. Also, and more importantly, he is a criminal profiler teaching at Quantico who is repeatedly, sometimes against his well-being, asked to consult with the FBI to get inside the minds of serial killers and psychopaths because of his ability to empathize with them and see crime scenes unfold (probably the best cinematography I’ve ever watched, by the way). Alongside his FBI boss, Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), and colleague in both teaching and profiling, Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas), the three of them begin to piece together crimes befitting a killer sporting a new level of madness. Dr. Hannibal Lecter. With arguably one of the best character pairings in tv history, Mads Mikkelson portrays the cannibal brilliantly. He is poetic, intuitive, relentless, terrifying, and most of all…charming. In the first season, as Will’s psyche begins to unravel (understandably so), Hannibal goes further than the recommendation to become his psychiatrist as he honestly befriends Will and the group and works with them to “solve” cases, while also working to divert or cover up the multiple roads leading back to himself. And as the bad guys come and go, Hannibal lurks right under their noses. Although the show is titled Hannibal, it’s as much a show about his impact on the other characters’ personal and professional lives. But the friendship and mentorship between Hannibal and Will is what takes center stage, as even some of the most thrilling sequences of Hannibal’s true nature pale in comparison. The character study of these two is mesmerizing, as both take twists and turns from their literary roles of protagonist and antagonist. Sadly, the show ended before creator Bryan Fuller could tackle the events in the Silence of the Lambs storyline, but even the ending, as bitter as I felt, was satisfying to watch.

I hope that entices you enough to check this show out! If not, it’s also probably like a solid 5% Food Network as we watch Hannibal flash his knife skills in the kitchen…preparing people. For all you aspiring home chefs, please don’t take notes 🙂 There’s a lot more to this show that I haven’t covered for the sake of time, but sincerely, this show easily makes my top 10 of all time. Let me know your thoughts if you’ve seen it too, otherwise if time allows I should have a couple movie reviews coming this weekend with Shazam! and Hellboy, so stay tuned. Cheers!

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