*This review is about as spoiler free as it gets. However, if you spot anything spoilery, let me know, so I can try to find a way to make it non-spoiler, okay? Okay.
Hannibal, the new TV series based on the books by Thomas Harris, is dark, gruesome, terrifying, and sometimes downright gross. It is also absolutely amazing and I`d recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach. Because trust me, you need a stomach made of iron.
It`s obvious to point out what`s so gruesome about this show. It`s easy to point at the creativity they show with corpses. It`s easy to talk about how gruesome it is that Hannibal feeds just about everyone people. And true, that last one did make me wince (and almost throw up) when I realised the full extent of this. Hannibal feeds people to people. Oh god.
There is so much more to this show though.
In the end, this show isn`t about a cannibal and oh-but-when-does-he-get-caught. Sure, on the surface it is, yes. And it`s a very exciting cat and mouse game indeed, one that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
But there are a couple of other things I like about this show:
For starters, I like the way the characters are portrayed. They`re not just evil or good, they`re not the perfect mix. They have layers, they`re complicated. There are a lot of psychopaths (essentially this is a show about psychopaths either helping each other or hunting each other down), who are all still yearning for that human contact, for friendship. All of them want to care about people and want people to care about them. They`re all human, they make mistakes, they mess up. No one is a straightforward character. If you watch the show and think Jack is a good person, I suggest you think again. I like this humanity. TV in particular has a tendency to keep characters pretty flat for the sake of, I don`t know, easy understanding by the audience? Hannibal goes deeper than that.
Partially thanks to the focus on several characters being either psychiatrists or psychiatric patients, there`s also a lot of focus on mental illness. It makes you wonder if some people are really mentally ill or if a lot more people are actually normal. But I like this focus on mental illnesses. They need more attention in the media.
I also like how this show is really very philosophical. It raises questions about a lot of dark themes that people usually prefer to not think about. It questions generally accepted morale, it questions religion. It makes you think, and quite often you`ll find yourself going “huh, he`s got a point.” Take for example the following quote:
“God must enjoy killing too. He does it all the time.” BAM.
I still have to admit though, I somehow always ended up eating while watching this show: I do not recommend this to anyone. If you decide to watch this show, try to eat way before watching it. After all, it has succeeded in making me nauseous, and I can watch Battle Royale without any trouble whatsoever.
One other thing I have to admit to, is that I sometimes don`t understand Hannibal. This might be just me, as most people seem to understand him just fine, but sometimes the Danish accent from actor Mads Mikkelsen just gets a bit too heavy and I can`t understand him. It`s only sometimes though. But his accent in general tends to distract me, which is a shame.
But still, if you have a VERY strong stomach, I`d recommend this show to everyone. It`s dark, it`s fascinating, and delicious in all kinds of ways.
In fact, go watch even if just so it`ll stay on air. NBC has, at this moment, still not decided if the show is going to be renewed for a second season or not, so we need all the ratings we can get.
So what do you guys think of this show? Horrible? Gross? Awesome? Let me know!