Hannibal – Pilot
Hannibal may be the oddest show to ever air on network television, at least this side of Twin Peaks or Pushing Daisies. Created by Bryan Fuller (Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) and based on Thomas Harris’s famous Hannibal Lecter novels, the show began as an artistic, grisly, psychological crime series with procedural elements and by its third season evolved into artistic, grisly, suspenseful, surreal quasi–love story between Dr. Lecter and his FBI nemesis Will Graham.
In short, the show felt like a cable series that somehow stumbled onto NBC, and although three seasons was way too short (Fuller only managed to tackle three of his planned six seasons), NBC should be praised for allowing this to air as long as it did. The show never lit up the ratings (Hannibal tallied respectable numbers for a premium series, but not so much for a network show), and the violence at times rivaled Dexter in its levels of gruesomeness. In lesser hands, the show could have devolved into an exercise of sadism and grotesquery, but Fuller deftly tempered whatever luridness may be inherit in the premise with stellar writing, nail-biting suspense, and a focus on the characters and their oft-dysfunctional (and psychologically unhealthy) relationships.
Read the Hannibal Pilot