The best television speaks to you, not as a member of a mass audience, not as a consumer devouring product. It speaks to the deepest, truest parts of you. It helps you know yourself. It helps to teach you about the world and your place in it.
One of the most brilliant touches of Hannibal, which remains one of the smartest shows on television, is the way it embraces complexity in even its darkest elements. Evil is not straight-forward mustache-twirling, but something more complicated, an attempt to communicate beauty, pain, and personal experience to a world that cannot understand.
One of the neatest tricks in Hannibal’s visual lexicon is the way it actualizes psychological states visually. This show is one of the best in the history of the medium at showing rather than telling, at creating in us empathy for the characters by visually signaling us to their thoughts and feelings.
Depending upon your approach to Hannibal and your feelings about the work of Thomas Harris, “The Great Red Dragon” may feel like either the cherry on top of the sundae this show has been, or like the main course is finally arriving just before the restaurant closes for good.
There are endings in this life we will never be fully prepared for. Some of them are as permanent as they come, others are choices we make or have made for us. To a certain extent, we are never full prepared for any ending.
Season three of Hannibal has, to date, operated more as a waking nightmare than anything directly literal, an exploration of ongoing trauma that dances back and forth, lightly interfacing with reality amid long stretches where it steeps us in the internal lives of our central characters.
Bryan Fuller is taking his time setting the table of Hannibal’s third season, with its first four episodes playing out like tiny movements in a burgeoning symphony, each its own theme that is slowly combining with the others to create something larger than the sum of its parts.
I have a complicated relationship with The Killing Joke. On the one hand, it is a phenomenally good Batman story, that gets absolutely right the conflicts and convictions that drive Bruce Wayne, Jim Gordon, and The Joker, three of the most important characters in one of the most enduring mythologies of the modern age.
More than anything, perhaps, in the history of television, Hannibal is a poem. The show is often uninterested in linear narrative. It’s more purely expressive than anything else on television, less afraid of unadulterated contemplation and blatant philosophizing than pretty much anything else around.
“I make my own home be my gallows.” Throughout “Antipasto,” a beautiful and beautifully abstract nightmare of an episode, the camera returns again and again to images of liquid flowing.