Barbara Miller Watches Hannibal

hannibalpicby Barbara Miller

If it’s a cop show I’ll watch it, at least once.

Having seen the original Manhunter with William Peterson as Will Graham, I was curious to see how they would tell the story of his earlier years.

After watching three episodes, I’m undecided about attempting to watch more.

On one hand, Hannibal is childish and repetitive and a disappointment. On the other, a psychological tug of war between rivals that takes your breath away.

Downside, Grahams “visionary” moments of how the various murders take place. Felt like I was watching the special effects of an 80’s sci-fi show, and the same thing over and over…boring! The sheer bloodiness and brutality of the killers is gagging (and this from a Criminal Minds fan…) it seems forced, their actions supra-real. Serial killers are horrifying because of the scraps of humanity that cling to them. These killers are too unreal, too “hollywood”.

On the upside, the mind games Hannibal plays with Graham are glorious. Hannibal seems delighted with his new toy; he is curious about Graham’s abilities and seeks to mold him into something else. His careful stalking of Graham, his control of information, manipulations and anticipation of Graham’s pain – priceless.

Graham’s struggle with the job and its effect on him feel real. He struggles with his abilities, that he “sees” the crimes from the perpetrator’s viewpoint. He doubts his own humanity and sanity.

If the show quits trying to be badder and messier than Criminal Minds or CSI and concentrates on this war between forces disguised as men, it will be golden. And I will be watching.