Anyone else watching Hannibal?

The third season just premiered on Thursday, and so far it promises to rival or surpass the first two in terms of lavish visuals and sound design, and of course Hannibal himself (Mads Mikkelsen that glorious Danish pastry!)

If you're not, I'd really highly recommend it! Amazon streaming has the first two seasons, and they're also out on DVD. It's not nearly as gory as you've been led to believe, by the way---most of the time if there's excessive blood the shot is either in grayscale or there's a wide angle so it makes less of an impact. I just can't emphasize enough how rich it is, visually and auditorily, the use of symbolism and color, the superb acting---it's just amazing! For those not in the know, the show is based on the Thomas Harris novels about Hannibal Lecter, a cannibalistic psychiatrist and the FBI special investigator who hunts him, Will Graham. It begins before the titular flesh-eater has been exposed for the serial-killer he is and captured. Season one was the two playing cat-and-mouse whilst ostensibly on the same side--Hannibal was brought in to help Will, who has an overabundance of empathy causing him to be able to mentally reenact crimes from the viewpoint of the killer (and who suffers greatly because of this) deal with the lingering shadows of murderers he can't shake, even as Will keeps forcing himself to look into evil minds. All the while, some of the kills are Hannibal's---he's known as the Chesapeake Ripper, and his crime scenes are special because they're always a form of display: a Bible-thumping hypocrite, for instance, might wind up posed in a church pew with his tongue used as a place-marker for the Bible in his hands. A councilman who stamped a bill that endangered a wetland ecosystem ended up with his organs missing, replaced with wildflowers, and wild vines threaded into the veins in his legs to hold him upright---he was planted in a parking lot (after a nice all-night soaking in the marshes so the flowers were nice and fresh!), things like that. At first, Will has no idea who the Chesapeake Ripper is; he's just trying to shake off the fact that he killed a suspect and now hallucinates the dead man following him around. As the season goes on these hallucinations become more and more intense (for a good reason which I will not spoil here!) and also Will begins to realize Hannibal is the Ripper. The end of last season was a bloodbath; we're now waiting to find out who if anyone survived the slaughter and will continue to hunt Hannibal (who escaped to Europe with his own psychiatrist, the superb Gillian Anderson). Of course, while there he's enjoying the finer things in life---like attending balls and killing a museum curator to assume the man's identity, and murdering thr man who finds his secret out. Usual Hannibal stuff!

Anyhow, I highly encourage anyone on the fence to give it a try!

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