It’s that time of year again where I pretend that Hannibal doesn’t freak me out, only to watch one episode (in broad daylight, by the way) and be left disturbed, grossed out, and watching sitcoms to cleanse my head from any of the horrific images I’d just witnessed.
But yes, I’ll still be tuning in to next week’s episode.
Damn you, Bryan Fuller.
For fans of Hannibal, it won’t take much persuasion on my part to convince anyone to tune in to tonight’s season three premiere. However, here a few reasons to be excited, which only really touch the surface of how crazy and nightmarish this season could be.
Change of Scenery
Unless you’ve avoided all promos and/or reviews for the upcoming season, it should be little surprise that there’s going to be a scenery change for Hannibal. Backpacking across Europe is just the sort of storytelling switch-up that the show needs to throw off its viewers while keeping them enthralled as ever.
New Character/New Threats
I can’t say that I’m very up to date with the literary knowledge of the Hannibal series, but even I know that the inclusion of the Red Dragon storyline is a biggie. Richard Armitage (from The Hobbit series) also promises a new baddie that I’m sure will provide just as much horror as Hannibal.
Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter
There isn’t much heart to this show, but that doesn’t mean that the main relationship isn’t any less interesting, and in the case of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter’s psychologically twisted relationship, it’s one of the key factors to the success of the show. Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy share a wonderful presence, with Mikkelsen playing into Hannibal’s quiet superiority and Dancy into Will’s damaged psyche. The two together is when the show comes most alive, with Will being one of the few people Hannibal respects or sees use in.
That Season Two Cliffhanger! How Did Our Poor Characters Hold Up?
I had difficulty toward the end of season two of Hannibal because of how stressful everything became. Sure, it hadn’t exactly been a walk in the park in season one, but it seemed like just about everyone involved was in more perilous situations each week, and the finale was the horrifically beautiful culmination of a season full of buildup and anxiety. Just about decimating everyone who trusted and loved him, Hannibal leaves behind a blood-soaked kitchen and his friends gasping for air like caught fish. How the hell does the show recover from this? Which characters are alive and which ones are permanently scarred?
Gillian Anderson Is a Series Regular
As someone who was mildly distraught over the fates of much of the female cast last year, it’s nice to see one of them not only survive, but get a bigger and better role in the upcoming season. The intrigue in her character is often derivative of the question of just how much she knows of Hannibal’s true nature. Is she sticking by him out of loyalty, fear, or philosophical curiosity? Anderson and Mikkelsen have a great onscreen chemistry, both playing hyper-intelligent characters who, despite being on our screens for three seasons, still seemingly have so many secrets to uncover.
The Beautiful Way It’s Shot–Even When Stomach-Churning
It goes without saying that there are no shows on television right now like Hannibal. Hell, it’s still surprising that Hannibal is even on air, on NBC no less. It continues to defy expectations, but one of the show’s more thrilling aspects is in how artfully shot everything is. From the horrifically macabre, to the fantastical fever dream cinematography, and to everything in between, Hannibal has an artist’s eye behind it, one that would rather shoot horror through a cinematic lens than use simple shock and gross out shots. Part of what makes the show so disturbing is the juxtaposition of the content which is human nature at it’s bleakest and the overwhelming beauty of how the world is shot.
Hannibal Season 3 premieres tonight on NBC.