Gifted criminal profiler Will Graham has a unique way of thinking that allows him to empathize with anyone, including psychopaths. But while helping the FBI pursue a particularly complicated serial killer, he decides he could use some help and enlists the brilliant psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. The two form a partnership and it seems that there is no villain they can't catch together, but Lecter harbors a dark secret. His own brilliant mind has gone to the dark side and he has more in common with the criminals they hunt than Will could possibly imagine
That summary sounds interesting, doesn't it?
This Summary pales in comparison to the actual series. If their is anything that makes this series spectacular is the the writing and the amazing cast that was assembled for this series. Lets talk about the creator/producer Bryan Fuller first. He created an amazing dark, gothic almost supernatural series that confused you shocked you and made viewers hunger for more. The darkness and sophisticated language of the series was so intriguing that even the multiple villains appearing on the show, you cheered for. Fuller created such a different spectacle for Television, that it didn't allow the average viewer to digest it properly (pun intended). From the visual illusions of the CIA consultant to Hannibals dreams and killings. This was artistic and frighten. Fuller had such an unorthodox vision, that network TV could not stomach for long. This was a HBO/Netflix type of dark suspense that could not be appreciated fully without giving the creator free rein. I align the concept of this show to the first season of "True Detective" but darker and more graphic. Fuller has had great writing experiences that were way off from this but creative (Pushing daises, Dead like me). Fuller should get all the credit for this amazing series.
There are so many great performances in this series but the 4 people that ushered everyone into greatness are these amazing actors and their characters.
Hugh Dancy... Dr. Will Graham
Mads Mikkelsen... Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Caroline Dhavernas... Dr. Alana Bloom
Laurence Fishbone...Jack Crawford
Hands down the best actor/character is Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal. He is so charismatic as the vicious serial killer that you root for him to change his psychotic ways to a empathetic doctor, or just (in a morbid kind of way) anticipate who he kills and dismember next. His aristocratic, sophisticated demeanor and education, charm, everyone from the mentally ill, insane serial killers to the FBI. His brilliance has placed him (in his mind in with his actions) so high over everyone else, he toys with The FBI's best while out thinking the best psychologist thrown at him. Or at the least he kills them once they find out who he possibly could be.
Hugh Dancy as Dr. Will Graham does an amazing job as a tormented soul with the burden of becoming a serial killer every time he investigates one. The first time I saw the amazing graphics of him going into a trance to relive the murder scene. I was hooked. The swinging light that mimics a swinging hypnotic watch piece, transforms you into his hypnotic world. His dysfunctional mind and brilliance fights with him all the time as he hallucinates constantly, sleep walks throughout the night and pictures animals haunting him and morphing into demons and past killers. O yeah and he has conversations with the dead. A very disturbed man that you hope stabilizes his mind enough to figure out who Hannibal Lector really is and if he does. Or when he does, what will he do?
The leader of the FBI investigative team Jack Crawford and the highly respected psychologist Dr. Alana Bloom tries to work with both Dr Graham and Dr. Lector but not fully recognizing the fragile mind of Dr. Graham that is consulting with Dr Lector is falling apart. The visuals and dark mood of this movie is amazing. The camera work, editing and director is in line with major motion pictures. The first season takes you on a very dark ride and works your brain on whats next. The guest stars and the characters created for the show, are crafted with care and intensity. They show up, they come back. They become a signature of the show then they are gone. Almost everyone is disposable. the writing just brings in the next great character. Not simple and not predictable. I felt this series had to end some how because the movie Manhunter then Silence of the lambs had to start some where. Since the most iconic image for Hannibal Lector is the Silence of the Lambs. This is where I hoped they would end the series. But sadly it was some weird ending that had no continuation. I won't spoil the ending.
This is well worth the multiple seasons it produced. It actually has more potential to grow but sadly a premature death to a great series.