Top 35 Shows of 2013: No 9 Hannibal

I am who I have always been; the scales have fallen away from my eyes. I can see you now

Whilst I always hoped Hannibal would continue Bryan Fuller’s run of glorious TV shows I have to admit to being a little be wary when I first heard he was bringing such an iconic character to the small screen. Would the absolutely horrifying murders which were such a huge part of the character, the books and the movies really work on network TV? Would Mads Mikkelsen be able to make Hannibal Lecter his own? And damn would it even last the season.

Turns out any doubts I had were firmly discarded early on. This adaptation might actually be my favourite. Not only was the show beautifully filmed in true Fuller style but the performances were outstanding. Hugh Dancy’s twitchy and increasingly unstable Will Graham gave the show heart and a character to root for. Mikkelson completely owned the psychopathic serial killer. The supporting cast all done incredible work and as for the gore well Hannibal pushes the boundaries all the time.

I’m not usually one for violence, especially when so much of it is against women on TV but unlike fellow serial killer show The Following in Hannibal violence really has a price, it has consequences – like the mental stability of characters like Will and Jack Crawford. Sure it’s bloody and horrible but it feels essential to the show rather than gratuitous.

Another thing Hannibal does so well is making the most terrifying thing on the show not the mutilated bodies but the manipulation of Will Graham by Lecter. A great fear of mine is losing my mind and being set up for something I didn’t do. Seeing both things happen to Will by someone he trusted is horrible, compulsive viewing. Will knows he isn’t completely sane but he knows his own kind of madness, watching his sanity stripped away by a friend scared me more than any of the gruesome murder scenes.

Hannibal had an exceptional first season and let’s hope it has many more.

Favourite episodes: Relevés/Savoureux

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