Let’s start this Hannibal review on a humorous observation - because my lord we need it with this kind of series. Between cannibal puns where, if people were paying attention, saw Hannibal Lecter flat out admit that he is a murdering chef to the gag reel, the show is despairing people and gory bits so it’s natural to want a little bit of comedy into our show. Like some rigid comedy routine, have any of you noticed that Jack never pays for his own drinks? What’s that all about? He always seems to be chewing on some delicious chow made by someone else. Does the man not know how to cook?
Well - maybe not. But whilst he isn’t able to cook-ass. He is able to kick-ass.
Before we get on to the good stuff, there is still a lot of dullness and a lot of that has to do with dialogue (and Will Graham but I don’t think I should kick him whilst he is down and out on the tracks like Chiyoh did). Fuller is very incessant on all his character eloquently spitting out trilobites and fails to give at least some sort of normal conversation. This is partly because they are sorely missing the comedic elements of Zeller and Price (and Beverley Katz). See they didn’t talk as though they swallowed Proust with lavish amounts of Chianti and pretension. Whilst is fine to talk in metaphors, having all your characters hazily speak of Hannibal as though he gutted them with William Blake, it gets boring. Imagine you are at a dinner table and all the time, you are trying to outdo each other with classic renaissance poetry but you just want to talk about the latest episode of Orange is the New Black. The dialogue seems hammy and stuffy. Heck, even Thomas Harris managed to talk about beer and sports in his books!
Hannibal may be struggling to tread water against a wave of tedium and perhaps, thinking out loud, it was a good idea that it was cancelled before it over-saturated popular culture with its gory, slow drama. But there is a stellar cast here and with the terrific ending of Contorto (where Jack implements his badassary to the max), there’s a new excitement to Hannibal that was placated under the surface for a few dull episodes.