Clarice friends. I am still recovering from what may, tragically, be the last episode of NBC's Hannibal, the thriller-horror television adaptation of Thomas Harris's 1981 novel, Red Dragon. But be not afraid: I won't spoil the series season finale (the airing of which just happened to coincide with the year's first supermoon). Just know that I was screaming through the whole thing. I am screaming as I type this. I may just keep screaming forever.
For the uninitiated: Hannibal follows Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), a socially awkward FBI Academy lecturer and chronic dog collector, as he is recruited to profile and pursue a series of serial killers, to the increasing detriment of his own soundness of mind. Graham is singularly adept at empathizing with anyone, a talent that allows him to predict the deadly machinations of the criminally insane – and which draws the keen interest of forensic psychiatrist and amateur gourmet chef, Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).
Hannibal Lecter... How do I begin to explain Hannibal Lecter? Hannibal Lecter is flawless. I hear his perfectly coordinated three-piece suits are insured for $10,000. I hear he does kitchen appliance commercials... in Japan. His favorite musical instrument is the theremin. One time, he met a little kid on a plane and he fed him pieces of a human brain. One time, he ate my face, and it was awesome.
Because, as I daresay you're already aware, Hannibal eats people, and he looks good doing it. But life can get monotonous when you're always the smartest serial killer in the room, and Hannibal sees in Will what we all want, regardless of how ethically we source our food: someone who can truly understand him.
At the show's blood-soaked core is the most convoluted, traumatizing development of a darkly beautiful friendship between the loneliest, most elegantly dressed sociopath in the world and a salt-of-the-earth hyper-empath whose underwear collection consists entirely of duplicates of white boxer briefs: the attraction of opposites, and all that.
Does the dialog have a tendency to get a tad purplish in its prose? Does the soundtrack veer, at times, dangerously close to overwhelming? Has it taken two and a half seasons to dig into the storyline we've been waiting for? Well. Yes. But what a glorious!gruesome journey it's been! Hannibal is a beautifully designed, devilishly clever piece of television that boasts an all-star cast and offers a freshly frightening, updated take on a familiar franchise that manages to delight longtime fans and newcomers alike.
The first two seasons are available on DVD, so give it a try! If nothing else, the experience will add exciting new texture to your nightmares.
P.S. I watched almost every single episode while eating dinner and I may have to reassess my life choices.