NBC Ends Hannibal’s Brief but Memorable Stint on Network TV

By Mike Espiritu

“Hannibal” was always the oddball in NBC’s lineup. The bloody TV adaptation of Thomas Harris’ popular Hannibal Lecter franchise was the lead-in show to “Parks and Recreation” in 2013; in an odd time slot position that would make the show appear alongside Thursday night sitcoms. After three seasons, Hannibal aired its final episode aired on Aug. 29 after years with only a small viewership.

Primarily focusing on criminal profiler Will Graham investigating Hannibal Lecter’s crimes, and the show developed a twisted love story of sorts between the two to drive the plot. The story was not based on romantic love, but based on the serial killer’s longing for someone to understand him.

Throughout each season, “Hannibal” created conflict by pitting Graham’s heightened sense of empathy against Lecter’s desire to pull him into the dark side.

Expertly directed, the most notable quality the show had was in its cinematography and sense of fun. Unlike other gritty detective shows, “Hannibal” played with more color and often took elegant shots of food that caused a sense of unease when the viewer realizes that they ingredients were taken from Lecter’s victims.

The final season features the plot from Thomas Harris’ “Red Dragon” as Graham enlists the help of an incarcerated Lecter to catch another killer. In an emotional finale, the show examines the effects of Lecter’s actions and how they influenced and chipped away at Graham over the course of three seasons.

4 out of 4 stars

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