Tasteful TV: Watch Hannibal

Julie Christie, Assistant Editor

“It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and a lot of people die,” says Jane Eklund ’14. She is one of the many people that can admit to loving Hannibal – as in Hannibal Lecter, cannibal and psychiatrist – a TV show created by NBC. Every Friday night, Eklund, with scores of other enthusiastic watchers tune in to watch the drama.

The story is not exactly Silence of the Lambs, but rather a closer interpretation of the novel, Red Dragon, written in 1990 by Thomas Harris. It was the 1991 film with Jodi Foster and Anthony Hopkins that got Eklund first interested in the stories of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

While Silence of the Lambs is much more a horror-like film, the books and the TV series focus more on the psychological aspect of the characters.

The protagonist of the story, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), is a tortured consultant for the FBI whose job it is to think like a killer so that the FBI can find the killer. Eklund explains that the psychology of the show is what really gets people hooked. Cannibalism is often associated with horror and other gory films, but it’s the psychology and manipulative abilities of Hannibal (Mads Mikkelson) and Will Graham that the show is centered around.

“Then there’s the fact that it’s such an aesthetically pleasing show,” adds Eklund in reference to the Season 2 episode, “Sakizuki”. “Some of the scenes are just so beautifully shot, and you kind of forget that you just saw a color palette made out of dead bodies.”

Each episode is named after a particular food, as the character Dr. Lecter delights in cooking gourmet food and feeding it to his many friends.

“Oh, and Hannibal makes cannibal jokes that nobody picks up on and it makes you die a little inside,” Eklund added.

Although the show may involve an acquired taste, it can be found on NBC every Friday night at 10/9 c.