‘Hannibal’ Season 1 DVD Review: A Deliciously Good Prequel

Hannibal was of the most talked about series that premiered last season. Before its premiere however, critics were not so sure that the series was going to work. Showrunner Bryan Fuller pleasantly surprised millions of TV fans with a series that not only successfully relaunched Hannibal Lecter, but also created an enthralling prequel of sorts to Thomas Harris’ brilliant novel Red Dragon.

The characters of Hannibal are effortlessly pulled from Red Dragon – exploring the relationship between Hannibal Lecture (Mads Mikkelsen) and FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) before Red Dragon brings us into their world. Graham has the gift of being able to enter the mind of a killer and recreate brutal and vivid killings in his head in order to pinpoint the identity of the murder. Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist, aids in the investigations, but he takes a particular interest in the darkness that lies within Graham. As the first season unfold and the relationship between Lecter and Graham evolves, it becomes clear these two men have far more in common than they’d like to admit.

Viewers don’t get very far into the pilot before it becomes apparent that this a Bryan Fuller series, and I applaud that aspect of the series. The intensity from the deconstruction of the crime scenes to the overall color and audio – every small detail seems thoroughly planned out and expertly executed to create piercingly vivid scenes which are haunting for viewers.

The acting is also something to commended with Hannibal. Saying that Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen are masters of their roles… well that’s an understatement. These two play off of one another remarkably well. It’s the role of a lifetime for Dancy, and knowing that Mikkelsen beat out David Tennant for Hannibal… even if you haven’t the seen the series you know how damn good Mikkelsen had to be in order to beat out Tennant.

For the most part, each episode of Hannibal plays out as a self contained horror movie. However, there are a number of season-arching plot lines that will keep the more die-hard TV viewer intrigued. 13 episodes are all fans will get in this first season, and that’s all that is scheduled for the second season as well – but you can rest assured that the quality trumps quality here.

Between Hannibal and Bates Motel – last season successful for creepy good prequel stories about the mentally deranged. This may not be shocking for AE, but for broadcast TV – NBC did damn good. Hannibal seems like it’d be the perfect fit for AMC as it’s not a typical of the crime procedural genre. It’s far more intelligently executed than the CSI-like shows which aren’t nearly as dark or in depth. It’s also hard not to compare it to shows like Fox’s The Following which is also a psychological thriller. However, when it comes to this genre for broadcast television – Hannibal takes the cake… and eats it too.

Hannibal Season 2 is back on NBC with 13 brand new episodes in 2014.

Special Features include:

  • Audio Commentary With The Cast And Crew
  • Hannibal Reborn – Featurette
  • A Taste For Killing – Featurette
  • The FX Of Murder – Featurette
  • A Symphony For The Slaughter – Featurette
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Pilot Episode Storyboards
  • Includes Unrated Episodes

Grade: B+
Review By: Emma Loggins


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