Did NBC's Hannibal Whet Your Appetite?

Hannibal - Season 1Is Hannibal to your taste?

NBC’s Silence of the Lambs prequel made its bloody debut Thursday at 10/9c. Just like in the Thomas Harris novels, the titular character is a genius psychologist who also happens to be a cannibalistic serial killer – except no one knows that yet.

Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) plays Hannibal as an aesthete, an educated man who takes great pride in his colorful attire, office furnishings and, uh, refined palate. He’s brought into the action when the FBI recruits the services of Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, The Big C), a brilliant, odd FBI profiler who “can empathize with anybody” but has trouble turning that gift off.

The bureau – represented by Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) — needs Will’s “very specific way of thinking” to catch a serial killer targeting college girls. Jack also needs someone to make sure Will doesn’t succumb to the horrors he faces, and so he enlists Lecter to act as emotional ballast for the young special agent.

As the two men discuss and eventually investigate the gruesome deaths, they form a working relationship that hints at a budding friendship – well, as much of a friendship as a socially anxious loner on the autism spectrum and a smug psychopath can forge. (A typical conversation – over a breakfast that may or may not include sausage made from people (!) — has Will telling Lecter, “I don’t find you that interesting” and getting the reply, “You will.”)

Mikkelsen’s Hannibal seems helpful. But when he tips off the killer moments before the FBI closes in – leading to a gory shootout that leaves Will shaking and splattered with blood — we’re reminded that he’s decidedly not one of the good guys.

Caroline Dhavernas (Wonderfalls) co-stars as Dr. Alana Bloom, an FBI psychologist who recommends Lecter for the job. Future episodes will include several appearances by other folk from Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me which, like Wonderfalls, were created by Hannibal executive producer Bryan Fuller.

In the end, Hannibal is definitely not for the squeamish — later episodes make The Following seem like Sesame Street – but Will’s nightmare dreamscapes and detached profiling technique are just as scary as (and far more eerie than) the murders themselves.

That’s what we think, but what’s your take? Grade Hannibal via the poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice!


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Teag says:

    Ohhh baby it was great.

  2. Andy says:

    I really wanted to like it, but I was boooored.

    And before you say I just don’t have high taste, I thought Melancholia was riveting.

  3. Wrstlgirl says:

    Loved it!

  4. tahina says:

    Missed Elementary for this? Ugh.

  5. iMember says:

    I couldn’t turn my eyes away. It sucked me in and ate me up.
    …Okay, that was a really lame thing to say. Loved it though!

  6. Brian says:

    Salivating over the dynamic between these two characters. Great chemistry already. Looking forward to more.

  7. Angie jones says:

    Loved #Hannibal. Screamed when they showed Gillian Anderson in the previews! Another reason to love the show

  8. Khorrie says:

    Very good pilot. Let’s hope the rest of the series lives up to this!

  9. Sherry says:

    Had my attention from start to finish, Definitely a keeper!

  10. Esaul says:

    I’m actually gonna wait until I see the ratings for this show. I’m a bit skeptical from what I’ve read about this show. If it shows decent numbers, I’ll give it a shot. But I watch a lot as is too. And my list is ever growing. Grumble.

  11. N says:

    Love Dr Lechter

  12. rikes says:

    Way better than the following pilot

    • Olive says:

      Hannibal’s pilot surpassed anything The Following has done. That show is a trainwreck.

      • THANK YOU!!!!! I’ve been trying to get that point across since the second episode. The Following lives up to none of the hype. I wish it didnt get renewed and Natalie Zea could go back to being Winona on Justified (where she was TOTALLY awesome this past week.)

        Hannibal was good. I enjoyed it but this IS NBC we’re talking about, as soon as the rating slips JUSSSST a bit they will cancel it. I hope the rest of series just gets better and they stick with the gory bloodiness of it all (the exact thing The Following has failed to do).

  13. frances says:

    not really great. It was ok.

  14. Was definitely intrigued, even if I found the pacing a bit slow. The visuals were something else – and, at times, a little confusing, but I guess that’s necessary for a show that promises to delve deep into the psyche of not one but TWO of its lead characters.

    I think the dynamic between Graham and Lechter has a lot of potential, and I like the casting choice for Hannibal Lechter. The very first time you see him, you’re afraid… but you don’t know why you’re afraid.

    Let’s hope the show is able to build off this. That’s what pilots are for, after all.

  15. Kara says:

    Seriously one of the best pilots I’ve seen in a good long while. It’s what The Following could have been with a little more subtlety. The setup – introduction to characters and relationships – flowed really well, which I don’t usually find to be the case in most pilots. All in all, great direction, writing, and acting…can’t wait to see more!

  16. jwrich says:

    learn how to spell whet, wet

  17. Mikaela says:

    And people it’s Lecter. No H. I thought it was awesome. Hugh Dancy was brilliant. The guy playing Dr. Lecter has the right mannerisms that Sir Anthony Hopkins created 20 something years ago.

  18. Sam says:

    A brilliant and intriguing pilot. Sent a chill down the bone. Expected something abit different but i liked what i saw.

  19. Elyse says:

    it’s on my DVR. I can’t wait to watch after seeing the poll results!

  20. Patrick Maloney says:


  21. Eric Whitman says:

    this is my first comment ever on this site but i am a daily reader. as a big fan of the books i was excited and interested to see this show. i absolutely loved it. i can not wait for more.

    • Jake says:

      seeing this pilot actually made me go buy the novel of Red Dragon as soon as it was over. I’ve been a fan of Silence of the Lambs for years, but until now I haven’t actually read any of the books.

      And while I like The Following, this show definitely outshines it as far as the creepy factor any more, but by this point I want to see where The Following ends up.
      I’ll definitely keep watching Hannibal though, and I hope the ratings improve.

  22. Walkie says:

    Not a fan of the guy playing Lecter. His accent is so thick and there isn’t any real charisma. I don’t see the show making it long.

  23. mike says:

    Could not keep me awake,Hugh Dancy was good the rest of the show not so much.

  24. SAM says:

    I’ve recorded it and I will check it out but at this point, I’m not looking for intense or violent programming.

  25. Olive says:

    Well, that was amazing. I was skeptical because the show was on NBC and not cable but the pilot exceeded all my expectations. I very much hope the show sticks around.

  26. Dj says:

    I’m not squeamish, but I had a hard time stomaching this show.

  27. Mikael says:

    Le Chiffre! That’s what I kept thinking with Mads on the screen.

  28. CountryQueen says:

    I thought it was good. Lecter is creepy! Love the subtle and not so subtle nods to what we know about him. It’s very graphic though. My honey hates these shows – his mantra is “murder is not entertainment,” so I am going to have to watch when he is not around. But man, when all that blood was flying around in super slow mo, I just thought, “this is OK, but a tiny peek at Janet’s nip and the world freaks out?” I’ll be watching those scenes through my fingers. lol

  29. kirads09 says:

    Who’s really profiling who? Hard to tell! I don’t remember Will being quite this “messed up” in the book Red Dragon. In the book he is also married (somewhat estranged) with a child (but the book events take place later in time I think?) I don ‘t know if I am going to be able to take the “cannibal” (cooking and eating) scenes. Thus probably DVRing this to be able to FF when necessary. Extremely well done and great casting.

  30. Scott Wilson says:

    Totally boring.

  31. DJ says:

    Why oh why couldn’t A&E have had Hannibal on their network? A double billing of Hannibal and Bates Motel back to back would guarantee ratings and a renewal for season 2. Let’s hope NBC doesn’t screw this up.

    • Jake says:

      I actually agree with you on this…I think this would be an awesome companion to Bates Motel. I’m gonna be watching both shows that’s for sure.

  32. Polly says:

    absolutely amazing.
    if only all NBC dramas had this high standards of quality.
    both dancy and mikkelsen are amazing.

  33. Rebecca says:

    I dvr’d it so I haven’t watched it yet. How bad is the goryness? I’m a little worried now that I’ve read that it “makes The Following look like Sesame Street” cause there’s been some stuff on The Following that has been really gruesome. I loved the Harris novels and I’ve seen the movies but how is the show, gore-wise? It’s network tv not cable so it must be a little contained, no?

  34. izek says:

    For Mature minds!!! This was AWESOME!!!!

  35. scriwi says:

    I get it that Hannibal grew up in Europe. However, I sometimes had a hard time understanding his accent. I guess I need close captioning for hard to decipher accents.

  36. Mary says:

    I watched Elementary on TV, and viewed Hannibal on my PC a couple of days later. I’m glad I did not miss Elementary for the premiere of Hannibal. I enjoyed the books and the movies, but the show does not live up to either. It’s a clumsy attempt to be fascinating, but is instead, jarring and abrasive….kind of like the difference between a symphony and punk rock. There are those who prefer to be hit in the face and others who prefer more subtlety.

  37. I like this drama. Its good drama

  38. Dana says:

    Mads Mikkelsen is astounding. I cannot take my eyes off him and look at no one else when he is on-screen. He can convey volumes with just a look. He actually seems to become anyone he plays. I even watched Clash of the Titans, just to see him, as well as the new Three Muskateers. I LOVED Valhalla Rising and Flame and Citron. I will watch ANYTHING with him.

    He is fascinating. Hugh who?

  39. Arthur says:

    Love this show for the fact that it puts me to sleep.