Hannibal

Discuss TV shows old and new.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
malpractice
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 2:35 am
Location: long island, ny
Contact:

Re: Hannibal

#176 Post by malpractice » Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:42 pm

I really enjoyed the first 2 seasons of Hannibal but this season totally lost me, if you don't get the character of Will Graham then you don't get this world in my opinion. They also really played to their fanbase in that finale to almost laughable effect. For me, Manhunter remains the best adaptation of the Harris books and i don't see that ever changing.

User avatar
Finch
Posts: 2774
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:09 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK

Re: Hannibal

#177 Post by Finch » Sun Aug 30, 2015 3:43 pm

The finale was good but not excellent like episodes 4, 10 & 12 of this season have been. It felt rushed and I think I'd have preferred an additional Red Dragon episode to, say, Episode 3 (the weakest of this season), and I say this as someone who is a huge fan of the Italy arc.

That said, the cliff scene was pitched just perfectly, and the stinger with Bedelia left me wanting more. Need to re-watch all three seasons when S3 debuts on Blu-Ray hopefully soon enough but I reckon season three will be my favourite.

Thank you, Bryan Fuller, Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Gillian Anderson, Richard Armitage, and Raul Esparza for three memorable years. I take heart from Fuller saying on hitfix that Martha DeLaurentiis is seeking finance for a feature film, presumably for when Mikkelsen is done filming Rogue One.

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8507
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Hannibal

#178 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:41 am

I'm about halfway through the third season at the moment (have just got to the end of the Verger arc at the end of episode 7, which seemed like a good stopping point for now!) and have really loved all of the episodes so far. If I had not known from this thread that the series was facing renewal difficulties I could perhaps have guessed from the way that the show is throwing almost every kind of plotline from the Hannibal Lecter mythology into the imagery pile with abandon! I really liked the sense in the first half of the series at least that the brakes are off of the show to some extent in terms of what events it might be saving up for the future. (You don't get many series that go from their hero having his skull cut open with a circular saw in one episode to having his face partially surgically cut off in the very next one! At least Hannibal had the courtesy to give Will anaesthesia first!) Most of that has been used up now, and we are inevitably left with Hannibal's time behind bars as the last unexplored area for the second half of the show.
Finch wrote:Ep 5 was a decent episode (better than Ep 3 for sure) but the previous fourth with the flashback to the US was a total stunner. The cross-cutting between the wedding and Bella in the coffin was very poignant.
I liked this moment a lot too, and thought it worked extremely well seen together with the Alien 3-style scene from episode 2 where Abigail's autopsy and Will's medical team working on him were equated together. The continuance and end of life simultaneously. (The series does seem to be doing the interesting stylistic thing of showing one eventuality play out and then going back to the 'actual' ending, starting with Abigail. I should admit to letting out an annoyed groan and roll of the eyes when that character was introduced as having miraculously survived initally, but I loved the send off they finally gave that, otherwise extremely aggravating, character!)

I really liked episode 3 however - the digressive journey to Hannibal's family mansion in Lithuania and introduction of the character of Chiyo, left in limbo by Hannibal and then uncaged by Will (and wonderfully used in the next few episodes as a kind of now unleashed ghostly presence hovering around the rest of the cast). Following on from the similarly powerful scene at the end of the second episode in the catacombs of the Uffizi Cathedral, this location lets the series go into full on gothic territory for a while, with its overgrown grounds and candle-lit wine cellars holding dark family secrets. We're fully in the European 'old world' for this section of the show, full of faded opulence and a fascination with decayed decadence, as already morbid spaces become celebrations of inevitable mortality. In this world keeping people alive in a prolonged fashion (whether Eddie Izzard's character flashbacked to in the first episode; or Verger's plans for Hannibal later on; or most touchingly Bella herself, in particular Hannibal 'saving' her from taking her own life in the previous series) is perhaps the crueller thing to do.

Episode 3 (and the catacombs scene of episode 2) are the climax of that stunning run of three episodes directed by Vincenzo Natali, and he is really going into fascinating, almost entirely abstract, territory here, and seemingly is using the leeway of the early episodes to push non-narrative, pure sensory experience of events to its absolute limit. The imagery runs together and the narrative itself feels dreamlike, almost as if it is piecing itself together again after the climactic events of the previous season, and these early episodes focusing just on Hannibal or Will Graham allow that space for extended scenes of wandering through corridors and fantasising about Hannibal as much as chasing him. This even bleeds into the fourth episode and its excellent scenes of Will and Chiyo travelling back to Florence by sleeper train and reminiscing about their pasts whilst standing at the back of it, at least until something happens to jolt the characters back into some form of present-day action!

Tangentially I also like the way that the series plays with time and slowly introducing all of the cast of characters again across those first four episodes (going back to just after the climax of the previous series, and then back again, and again for each character involved in that confrontation) before the Verger arc kicks off with the focus on Alana Bloom. Plus I found that I liked Alana much more as a character when she was moved away from making doe-eyes at the male leads and instead towards 'the dark side' as a cane-wielding psychiatrist in league with the Vergers! And found her much more self-assured and sexier for that shift, even before the tryst with Margot began!

And I have to praise Gillian Anderson for her performance in these early episodes. The role of an infatuated accomplice ("technically you killed him")/confused and blackmailed psychiatrist/willingly passive victim being slowly marinaded for Hannibal's pleasure (another person being kept alive rather than put out of their misery) involves an incredibly difficult balancing act and Anderson pulls it off amazingly. I particularly love that moment in the third episode in which she needles Hannibal about having eaten his sister whilst he is massaging her in the bath, and then she slips away beneath the surface! It's a sensual and addled performance, and I also love that the end of the Florence arc involves a great scene of Chiyo walking in on Bedelia taking herself out of the picture, almost as if one of Hannibal's women is passing the relay baton to the next one to watch over him!

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8507
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Hannibal

#179 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:40 am

Major spoilers:

Now that I've watched through the final six episodes of the third season of Hannibal, I'll add to the chorus of praise to the show as a whole, and this season in particular. I've found the previous seasons of the show to be equal parts magnificent and frustrating but it really seemed to find its feet (pun not intended!) in this season and revelled in stretching and distorting the pacing like a Wong Kar-Wai film, as well as indulging in bizarre and fantastical imagery to match the character's disoriented mental states.

I think part of what I find so interesting too is the way that the series has used the Red Dragon material, which to all intents and purposes introduced the character of Hannibal Lecter to the world, for its series climax. This isn't Manhunter, despite a smashing plate glass window homage in the climax (or thankfully Brett Ratner's Red Dragon which felt as if when it wasn't fawning over Anthony Hopkins's iconic Hannibal portrayal it was paradoxically emphasising a nuclear family asserting itself over a twisted and inhumane murderer), but that is more because the same basic material is being used to different ends. Just the placement of it here causes the Red Dragon material to mean something quite different from being a standalone police procedural or prequel-style introductory piece as the previous adaptations were. After all of the ‘murderers of the week’ of the previous two seasons, it sort of elevates Francis Dolarhyde into be the fulcrum of the second half of the action as much as Hannibal on the run was for the first half. He isn’t just a cameo role but an important counterpoint to Will and Lecter’s own relationship in this one ("It is black in the moonlight"), and the Red Dragon material itself is being elevated into equal significance in the same way that Dolarhyde feels as if he is wrestling with his own demons to become something different,
SpoilerShow
even if ironically in the end his significance is to be his own sacrifice for another couple of killer's 'becomings'! And I love that final three-way bloody standoff is framed in the manner almost of a Leone western as the music swells over silent images!
I think almost all of the episodes were excellent in this season, with perhaps the only slightly disappointing one being episode 8, which has the unenviable task of re-starting the season at the mid-point and after a three and a half year gap in the narrative (long enough for the novelty of Hannibal's capture to have worn off and for him to have almost been forgotten, and for Will to have built up the family he has at the beginning of Red Dragon), as well as having to introduce the Dolarhyde and Red Dragon material. That, perhaps necessarily, plays more conventionally like a police procedural or serial killer series than any other episode of the show (and it is a shame to say this as the episode is directed by Neil Marshall, and I'm perhaps one of the few defenders of his magnificent mash up of Escape From New York and Mad Max, Doomsday!), but more than episode 3 I think this is the only real bumpy patch of the third season, compared to the quite wild (though exhilarating!) ups and downs in quality of the previous two seasons, even within individual episodes!

I particularly loved the parallels being drawn not just with earlier episodes in this season but, as things come to a head, with the entire series itself. The Red Dragon material is almost cut up into significant chunks and parcelled out over the six episodes, but that allows the time for say Hannibal to flashback again to Abigail and in his own way say goodbye to her (much as Will did in the second episode of this season. I will say that for all of my earlier issues with Abigail, the show did beautifully use that character in this season, turning a passive character literally into a figure of the imagination of the more dominant characters now that she was physically gone). We also get the moment of Dolarhyde poisoning Will's family's dogs in preparation for attacking his home, which ties nicely into his M.O. for attacking families in Red Dragon, but in this context goes further and reminds of all of the uses of the dogs in the previous series, notably Verger feeding his face to them!

I think it was Keith Uhlich during his films of the year discussion on the Cinephiliacs podcast who talked a little about the Hannibal series and especially how the second half of this third season in particular felt that it was about 'queering' the relationship between Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. It is really apparent that once someone has gone that deeply into someone else’s head, there is a bond there that is difficult to break (this is also the central theme of a film like Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing too, especially in the interrogation scenes between Harvey Keitel and Art Garfunkle), and that mutual fascination/love gets fully played on in this series with an almost Coriolanus-like ending! But while Will and Hannibal are at the core of that, this similar process is also affecting all of the other characters in strange and surprising ways. In this second half we see the introduction of the interracial love affair in the Red Dragon material, or the wonderfully surprising way that after the conclusion of the Verger arc that Alana Bloom is kind of moving into taking over the old Dr Chiltern role of tormenting the captive Hannibal (and we all know how that ended, with our background awareness that he will likely end up “having an old friend for dinner”!) which in itself frees up Chiltern to take on the echoing role of other significant characters, as motivations and consequences from the other adaptations of the material get shifted around. The same significant event occurs to different characters for different reasons, or have different motivations for being performed.

There are also a couple more characters being added to the list of people being cruelly kept alive rather than put out of their misery for the sake of themselves and others, including daringly Will's new wife and (implied) Hannibal himself.

This third series almost goes full circle in that Will and Hannibal are back in each other's arms (it is interesting that this climax of the series feels as if it is staying truer to the spirit, if not the letter, of Thomas Harris's Hannibal novel than Ridley Scott's film did!), and their irresistible attraction has also thrown all of the other characters into disarray too (in a beautiful series of vignettes), as they suddenly have to deal with the idea that Hannibal is back on the loose again, and that Hannibal has only been 'gifting' them those years of time in order to rebuild lives that he can take from them all over again. This is usually a common criticism of any TV series - that it hasn't actually gone anywhere in a season and instead just led its characters back to an inevitable status quo - but this third season stands as a magnificent example of where that general issue with television series can actually produce something fascinating, as the extra space afforded by episodic content allows the show to fully indulge in its longeurs and outright digressions to a gorgeous degree. That divisive third episode stands for me as the key to this entire season, and perhaps the whole show itself, in that sense. Something to lose yourself in the tone and texture of on a vague whim rather than following just to find out what is going to happen next.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8744
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Hannibal

#180 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 7:32 am


User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29049
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Hannibal

#181 Post by domino harvey » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:39 am

I mean, he's still talking about Pushing Daisies like it might come back too, so don't get your hopes up

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Posts: 8744
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Hannibal

#182 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:10 am

Actually, my hopes are that it's all talk. The show ended brilliantly.

Between American Gods and especially Star Trek, his plate will be full enough anyway.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10359
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Hannibal

#183 Post by zedz » Wed May 03, 2017 5:39 pm

We burned through this series over the past few weeks and found it pulpily entertaining. It's unusual in that it's a television series driven primarily by mood and style (rather than plot, character or theme). It trafficked in a baroque ridiculousness that swamped all other considerations but proved generally heady and compelling. I certainly wouldn't have wanted to have been watching it for the plot, which was also swamped in baroque ridiculousness, to a far less satisfying degree.

The show did a reasonably good job of continually distracting us with hallucinations, but once you sifted out the actual real plot, it was a dog's breakfast. At one point, it was literally a dog's breakfast. It wasn't so much a case of suspending your disbelief, as impaling it on antlers, disembowelling it, slicing it vertically, then setting fire to it and rolling it down a hill in a wheelchair. And even then, there was a good chance that your disbelief would be found to be happily walking around (perhaps with a slight limp) five episodes later. By the fourth episode of the final season I was fully prepared for the reveal that every season one victim of the Chesapeake Ripper had miraculously survived with minor grazes.

SPOILERS FOLLOW: My second favourite bit of silliness (number one has to be Will Graham's miraculous designer stubble, which never changed length from morning to night, over sleepless days and nights, incarcerated, free, in a coma, whatever) was the dogged blindness of everybody to the obvious guilt of Hannibal. In the second season, when the Chesapeake Ripper Kills Again and exonerates Will, the FBI act completely flummoxed, as if they're back at square one in the investigation. Even in the first season it beggared belief that nobody in the FBI could make the two big clues they had (has inside knowledge of FBI investigations, has mad surgical skills) point in the direction of the person in the show who met those criteria, but once Will is cleared they have the additional juicy tidbit that the real killer knew Will so well that he could meticulously frame him, in his own house, surrounded by a pack of dogs. Will's practically a recluse, so the number of people who fit this bill is three, two of whom are investigating the crime and presumably know that they're not the Ripper (and neither of whom have the requisite surgical skills - though that never stopped them prosecuting any of the other patsies!) Who could it be? Maybe we can find out if we share all the information we have with Will's good friend, occasional dog-sitter, former surgeon, FBI investigation helpmeet, offal connoisseur and serial killer expert Hannibal Lecter, who, by the way, our best friend and loyal colleague Will Graham has positively identified as the real killer and the man who framed him. I'm sure he can offer us some valuable insights.

(Icing on the cake: when Hetienne Park's character is killed after going off on her own to find the Chesapeake Ripper, literally the last words she says to her colleagues are concerned with ascertaining Lecter's whereabouts, a detail that none of these crack FBI investigators ever even recalls. Even the most perfunctory TV detective investigation - "When did you last see the victim? Did she say anything unusual or suspicious? Did she give any clue where she might be going?" - would have directed them right to the culprit.)

Hannibal's incredible reverse-stupidity forcefield eventually drained much of the interest from the character for me (by the third season, they're really running on fumes of plot to keep him free until it's convenient for him to be caught, to the point of introducing a character whose sole purpose is to stop other people from knocking him off too early), though Mikkelsen always did his best to keep him interesting on a scene-by-scene basis.

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8507
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Hannibal

#184 Post by colinr0380 » Sat May 06, 2017 7:02 am

I think it just comes down to something as simple as it being incredibly hard to find a good chef, so people turn a blind eye! That's probably why Gordon Ramsey gets away with most of his antics too! At least we know that Lecter's food is all organic and locally sourced!
Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon May 08, 2017 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10359
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Hannibal

#185 Post by zedz » Sat May 06, 2017 4:28 pm

I would definitely watch a competitive cooking show with Mikkelsen as the host. Demonstrating what the losing contestant did wrong ON the losing contestant.

User avatar
R0lf
Posts: 356
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 7:25 am

Re: Hannibal

#186 Post by R0lf » Mon May 15, 2017 9:46 pm

zedz wrote:to the point of introducing a character whose sole purpose is to stop other people from knocking him off too early
Along with Anderson's doctor character I thought Okamoto's verbal gymnastics in delivering some of the most patently silly and overwrought dialogue was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the season.

User avatar
Andre Jurieu
Posts: 2077
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 3:38 pm
Location: Back in Milan (Ind.)

Re: Hannibal

#187 Post by Andre Jurieu » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:10 pm

A bit surprised no one on the forum has reported this, but Fuller mentioned last week that after the required two-year waiting period, Martha De Laurentiis has started conversations to revive the series.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10359
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Hannibal

#188 Post by zedz » Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:41 pm

I know it's a pulpy show, but I don't see how they could walk back that ending with any credibility.

User avatar
colinr0380
Posts: 8507
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Hannibal

#189 Post by colinr0380 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:19 pm

Easy: a trampoline at the bottom of the cliff that bounces them back up. And Gillian Anderson becomes part-cyborg.

User avatar
Big Ben
Posts: 1110
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Hannibal

#190 Post by Big Ben » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:22 pm

zedz wrote:I know it's a pulpy show, but I don't see how they could walk back that ending with any credibility.
Have you read Thomas Harris' books by any chance? I consider them far more ridiculous than any of the films and show. The idea of Hannibal never really struck me as realistic in the slightest which is why I personally give the show so much leeway. It was never trying to be realistic. Or at least it felt that way to me.

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10359
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Hannibal

#191 Post by zedz » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:17 pm

Big Ben wrote:
zedz wrote:I know it's a pulpy show, but I don't see how they could walk back that ending with any credibility.
Have you read Thomas Harris' books by any chance? I consider them far more ridiculous than any of the films and show. The idea of Hannibal never really struck me as realistic in the slightest which is why I personally give the show so much leeway. It was never trying to be realistic. Or at least it felt that way to me.
I liked the ridiculousness of the show (see above), but there's ridiculousness and ridiculousness, and I don't hear many people defending what Harris ended up doing in the later novels. You really want the show to double down on that stuff?

I'm not so worried about plot mechanisms required to restore the characters miraculously - though the show went to that well so many times already that it became drearily predictable - but about the kind of reset of the Will / Hannibal character arcs that would be entailed. That's another element that was already getting kind of threadbare until they found a way to make it finally pay off in a satisfying way in the finale.

Post Reply