Sunday, April 7, 2013

Hannibal: Episode 1x01 - Apéritif (2013)

Created by Bryan Fuller (1)

Network: NBC

Cast: Hugh Dancy (2), Mads Mikkelsen (3), Laurence Fishburne (4), Caroline Dhavernas (5), and Hettienne Park (6)

I have never watched any of the films or read the books about Dr Hannibal Lecter. I can hear some of you crying foul saying that I have no business commenting on films, or books, if I have never seen Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon, or Hannibal Rising. But the truth of the matter is, I dislike gore and horror and I barely tolerate thrillers. Which is really quite odd because I love crime shows. 

Television shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY, Dexter, The Mentalist, Flashpoint, Grimm, Elementary, NCIS: Los Angeles, Hawaii Five-0, Beauty And The Beast, Lie To Me, Murder, She Wrote, Bones, they all fascinate me. Even though sometimes the scenes get a little bloody or if they use those kind of creepy music and sudden, loud, and high pitched sound effects. I enjoy playing the 'whodunit guessing game' while watching the episode. 

Now I know all the series I mentioned above aren't really creepy. Hannibal probably goes more along the lines of series like American Horror Story, Alcatraz666 Park Avenue, and probably the new series Bates Motel, a series that I'm going to watch next. And honestly, when I first heard of the series Hannibal, it was on my 'avoid-at-all-costs' list. Just because I'm chicken and scare easily. What changed my mind? 2 words. Hugh Dancy. 

Since watching him in the film Adam, I have been a resolute fan. He piqued my interest when I first watched him in the film Ella Enchanted. And I've been following his work since then. But Adam was the film that really sealed the deal for me. It was his performance in that film as a man with Asperger Syndrome that really impressed me. And you know what, I would love to see Hugh Dancy and his wife (Claire Danes) both go home with an Emmy each for acting. It's his turn to shine because he deserves it for his performance as Will Graham. 

Episode 1Apéritif

An alcoholic beverage taken before a meal as an appetizer. That is the definition of apéritif. How apt it is that this first episode is titled apéritif because the pilot is most definitely a tasty introduction to the series. And it is delicious. It stimulates my brain and my appetite for more. In fact, I for one, am dying for more Hannibal.

The opening scene really did a good job of setting the tone of the series.
Without knowing much about Hannibal Lecter besides the fact that he is a serial killer, Hannibal the series has a very interesting style, if the opening scene of the first episode is anything to go by. The way director David Slade chose to feature the way Will Graham gets into the mind of the serial killer in the pilot is really cool. And I love the way you immediately get a sense of who Hugh Dancy's Will Graham is. The various levels of pain he manages to convey throughout the first episode really makes me look forward to how he performs in the 12 remaining episodes. 

Mads Mikkelsen's ascent makes it hard to discern some of the things he says. But he is makes a very creepy yet awesome Hannibal Lecter methinks - disturbing but not too eerie that you don't want to turn away from his performance. 

Knowing what it is he's putting in his mouth makes me feel sick.
I've done a food show for work called Meat & Greed. And the show
features a lot of nice food shots. This is a very nice food shot.
But seeing as it is suggested that its part of a human on that plate
brings it to a whole new level of gross!

Laurence Fishburne's performance as Jack Crawford is also wonderful. And I'm looking forward to the appearance of Gillian Anderson's Hannibal Lecter's psychotherapist Dr Bedelia Du Murier. 

It's good to see Laurence Fishburne on television again.
He has this unique quality that never fails to put me in awe of him.

I was also pleased to see Caroline Dhavernas back on television. I first noticed her in the Shonda Rhimes series Off The Map where she played Dr Lily Brenner. In Hannibal, she plays Dr Alana Bloom, a psychology professor and consultant profiler for the FBI.

Truth be told, I like her in her Off The Map outfits more. LOL
So far so good and I am eagerly waiting for the next episode to be aired. 

These scenes really creeped me out.
And of course the music didn't help me feel less uncomfortable.

Will: It's not about all of these girls. It's about one of them. It's like Willy Wonka. Every girl he takes is a candy bar. Hidden in amongst all of those candy bars is the one true intended victim which, if we follow through on our metaphor, is our golden ticket.
Jack: So is he warming up for his golden ticket or just reliving whatever it is he did to her?
Will: Well the golden ticket wouldn't be the first taken or the last. He would hide how special she was. I mean I would. Wouldn't you?
Jack: I want you to get closer to this. 
Will: No. You have Heimlich, and Harvard, and Bloom at Georgetown. They do the same thing I do.
Jack: That's not exactly true is it? You have a very specific way of thinking about things.
Will: There have been a lot of discussion about the specific way I think.
Jack: You make jumps you can't explain.
Will: No, no, no. The evidence explains.
Jack: Then help me find some evidence.
Will: That may require me to be sociable.

Laurence Fishburne is scary when he's loud. I wouldn't wanna cross him..

I really like this shot and location. 
Jack: What are you doing in here?
Will: I enjoy the smell of urinal kay.
Jack: Me too. We need to talk. 
(A guy walks in to pee) 
Jack: Use the ladies room! (The guy leaves them alone) 
Jack: Do you respect my judgement Will? Hmm?
Will: Yes.
Jack: Good. Because we will stand a better chance of catching this guy with you in the saddle.
Will: I'm in the saddle. Just, erm, confused which direction I'm pointing. I don't know this kind of psychopath. I never read about him. I don't even know if he's a psychopath. He's not insensitive, he's not shallow.
Jack: You know something about him. Otherwise you wouldn't have said this is an apology. What is he apologising for?
Will: He couldn't honour her. He feels bad.
Jack: Well feeling bad defeats the purpose of being a psychopath doesn't it?
Will: Yes it does.
Jack: Then what kind of crazy is he?!
Will: He couldn't show her he loved her. So he put her corpse back where he killed it. Whatever crazy that is.

Jack: You think he loves these girls?
Will: He loves one of them. And, and, yes, I think by association he has some form of love for the others.
Jack: There was no semen, there was no saliva, Elise Nichols died a virgin. She stayed that way.
Will: That's not how he's loving them, he wouldn't disrespect them that way! He doesn't want these girls to suffer. He kills them quickly, and to his thinking, with mercy. 
Jack: Sensitive psychopath. Risked getting caught so he could tuck Elise Nichols back into bed.
Will: He has to take the next girl soon. Cos he knows he's gonna get caught, one way or the other. 

Viewer Discretion Advised indeed! 

Jack: What about the copy cat?
Will: An intelligent psychopath, particularly a sadist, very hard to catch. No traceable motive. There'll be no patterns. He may never kill like way again. Have Dr Lecter draw up his psychological profile. You seem very impressed with his opinion. 

"Killing must feel good to God too. He does it all the time. And are we not created in his image?" This line is from next week's teaser. And I'm really excited to see what episode 2 has in store for us. I just need to be mentally prepared for scenes that gross me out like the lungs. Oh, and I think eating red meat will never be the same again for me. Not unless I ignore all that I've seen in this series. 

When he put the breakfast Hannibal Lecter prepared for him into his
mouth after he said eggs and sausage I was really grossed out.
Again with a gun. For 'real' this time.

He looks kinda creepy here with all that blood splattered on his face.
Hugh Dancy was sooo good in this scene!
This shot is really interesting. Hannibal is in the darken portion, holding
the victim's hand, while Will is sitting in the lighted part. Not sure if it was
on purpose or by accident. But a very nice closing shot nonetheless.

My favourite lines - "Everyone has thought of killing someone. One way or the other. Be it your own hand or the hand of God.", "My thoughts are often not tasty.", "Eyes are distracting. You see too much, you don't see enough. And it's hard to focus when you're thinking, are those whites really white, or he must have hepatitis, or is that a burst vein. So yup, I try to avoid eyes whenever possible.", & "I'm sorry Will. Observing is what we do. I can't shut mine off any more than you can shut yours off.".

(1) Bryan Fuller has written for television shows like Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Heroes. He has also created shows like Dead Like Me (2003-2004) and Pushing Daisies (2007-2009).

(2) Hugh Dancy has acted in films like like Black Hawk Down (2001), King Arthur (2004), Ella Enchanted (2004), The Jane Austen Book Club (2007), Evening (2007), Confessions Of A Shopaholic (2009), Adam (2009), and Hysteria (2011).

(3) Mads Mikkelsen has acted in films like King Arthur (2004), Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009), Clash Of The Titans (2010), The Three Musketeers (2011), and The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman (2013). 

(4) Laurence Fishburne has acted in films like Searching For Bobby Fischer (1993), Event Horizon (1997), The Matrix (1999), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Mystic River (2003), The Matrix Revolutions (2003), Assault On Precinct 13 (2005), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Akeelah And The Bee (2006), Mission: Impossible III (2006), Bobby (2006), 21 (2008), Predators (2010), Contagion (2011), and Man Of Steel (2013). He is known for playing the role of Dr Ray Langston in the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2008-2011). He also guest starred in television shows like M*A*S*H, Miami Vice, CSI: NY, and CSI: Miami. He also voiced the character of the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer (2007).

(5) Caroline Dhavernas has acted in films like Hollywoodland (2006), The Switch (2010), and Wrecked (2010). She is also known for playing the role of Dr Lily Brenner in the television series Off The Map (2011) and as Jaye Tyler in the series Wonderfalls (2004).

(6) Hettienne Park has acted in films like Bride Wars (2009) and Young Adult (2011). She has also guest starred in television shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order, Numb3rs, Damages, The Good Wife, and Mercy. 

The Eclectic Reviewer thinks... Hannibal is going to be a big hit! I know, I know. You think its too early to say Hannibal is a series that will be a success after watching just 1 episode. But I really think that NBC has a potential hit with Hannibal. It's well casted, the style is pretty awesome, and the plot moves along at the right pace. Bear in mind, this is coming from someone who isn't a fan of the Hannibal Lecter series or of thrillers or horrific scenes. So for me to actually be impressed by the series just from its pilot says A LOT!

* Poster from Wikipedia & screen grabs from the show

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  1. Having read this I believed it was rather informative.
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    put this article together. I once again find myself spending way too much time
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    1. Thank you for your kind words. I try to write as much as I can which hasn't been much at all. I will return with more reviews soon. I welcome more comments. Thanks again!