As listeners to the Pundit Podcast know, I’m not a big fan of crime. Whenever I watch CSI or a similar show, I get bored pretty quickly. The main reason being that it’s always obvious who the killer is, and what’s going to happen. The majority of the time, the investigator doesn’t even get enough evidence to convict the killer, so the killer has to confess in the interview room or on the stand.
It’s the Perry Mason effect: that a bunch of “clues” lead the investigator or lawyer to “know in their gut” that someone is the killer. All of which is circumstantial and wouldn’t hold up without the confession.
Hannibal is not one of those kinds of crime shows. We know from the very start who the killer is. It’s a show about the psychology of the people involved, about the chess game they’re playing with one another. Mostly, though, it’s about the romance between Will and Hannibal.
With a CSI episode, I feel like I’m too smart for the show. With Hannibal, I feel like I’m not smart enough. I get glimpses into where the show is going and then realise I was wrong, over and over. While I’m trying my best to understand it all, the show is showing me horrors in a manner that’s visual poetry.
There are no simple answers in Hannibal. Occasionally, there isn’t even an understandable plot. Some things on screen are only in the characters’ minds. We’re getting a glimpse of what they see.
On other shows, I might get confused and berate the show-runner or writers for that confusion. However, on Hannibal they know when they’re confusing the audience and it’s usually for a reason.
The fatal magnetism Will and Hannibal have for one another is the driving force of the show. It keeps dragging them back to each other. While you wished they wouldn’t, you know they can’t help it.
This is also the goriest show I’ve ever watched. I’ve cringed more times during Hannibal than perhaps everything else combined for the last few years. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you can stomach a lot of gore, and you haven’t watched this show yet, you’re missing out.
Overall, I give Hannibal 5/5 stars. It’s probably the most visually stunning show of the last few years and you should really check it out.
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