Hannibal: Season 1 (2013)

hannibal season 1 poster


What I liked:

  • Everything. I am not even kidding, this is sheer television perfection.
  • The dark sense of humour. That is really nasty to say, but it is true. It is messed up but perfectly executed, never tastelessly.
  • The cast. Really, they all did fantastic work with what they were given and they are engaging every step of the way.
  • How graphic the crime scenes are. I was totally not expecting it, but it could never be a story about Hannibal Lecter without bringing in all the nasty, and I must admit that Hannibal does not hold back any punches when it shows you a killer, a crime scene, a murder, nothing. Refreshing, as bad as that may sound.
  • Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. There could not be two more perfect people to play opposite one another as Will and Hannibal, truly. Mikkselsen nails the intellectual creepy dude who “befriends” Will, and Dancy was perfect in portraying Will, a character that is afraid but develops consistently throughout the show, and has a mind that is simply fascinating, and you can understand why Hannibal is drawn in the way that he is.
  • The “friendship” between Hannibal and Will. It is so disturbing, like you know it is all wrong and that Hannibal is observing Will for his own selfish needs, but on the other hand you wish they could have a genuine friendship, no murder in between. Alas, some things will never be.
  • Will Graham’s continuous character development. It never stops, and he is so layered.
  • The cases are so bizarre, yet each and every one of them reveals some extra plot to the show, it is so interesting to watch.
  • The show just looks gorgeous – it is shot well and the colour palette used is perfect for this.
  • The throwbacks to the movies and books. Truly, I love it!
  • The way Hannibal’s mind works. It is truly ingenious, and the way he uses it, too, it fascinating. It never gets old, though it is disturbing as hell.
  • The costume design. Wow, really. I am looking here especially at the suits, and how distinctly different Will and Hannibal are. I know we keep coming back to them, but let’s face it, this whole show is about them and their dangerous dance.

hannibal mushroooms crime scene

What I didn’t like:

  • If I really, truly need to put something in here it would probably be Freddie Lounds. Not because Lara Jean Chorostecki did a bad job, but because she is such a bitch and has absolutely no morals. Bad, bad, bad.

hannibal chesapeake ripper

GRADE 9This was such a perfect example of a brilliant first season. This show truly exceeded my expectations beyond any belief that I had. I was overly sceptical of a Hannibal series, seeing as in my eyes the movies were wonderful, and Sir Anthony Hopkins owns the role. Now, nothing has changed in my opinion of Hopkins being the best Hannibal Lecter of all time, but I have to give Mads Mikkelsen credit. He is a totally different kind of Hannibal, and brings exactly to the table what is required for this show. He is so dark and straightforward, creepy and incredibly smart and manipulative. He was truly wonderful to watch. The humour was so damn dark in here when it came to things such as his dinner parties (it was inappropriate, but I thought it was funny how he would pick a recipe out of a box and then a business card for the corresponding victim for the meal) as well as when he spoke to his guests about characteristics of the victims that have been served. Hugh Dancy was also quite the surprise as Will Graham, and he played the role very well. I was impressed with the cast in general, and the constant back and forth between Jimmy Price and Brian Zeller amused me. Freddie Lounds was a true pain in my toe at the very best of times, relentless and underhanded. Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford was also well done, and he really is such an inconsiderate man at the best of times, then on the others he is not so harsh and bad. A very contradictory character, but great to watch. The way the events unfold is also gripping, and will keep you hooked from beginning until end. Everything is subtle, but not overly so, but not too in your face, and you need to watch to know what is going on. Will’s spiral into some form of mental illness and a severe setup is simply gripping to experience. The crime scenes are incredibly graphic in this show, which was completely unexpected. I have watched a lot of television shows for serial killers and procedural crime shows, but they always hold back on the brutality of things. This show? No qualms. This show is truly a great way to execute something that was once film. There are things in common, and at other times it is vastly different, but each carrying their own merits. The cinematography and settings are breathtaking in this show, and everything about it works. The lighting, the sound, the portrayals, the score that constantly keeps you creeped out and on edge and random scenes just worked in, too… Hannibal is one of those shows that simply cannot be missed!

hannibal please don't lie to me

31 thoughts on “Hannibal: Season 1 (2013)

  1. Superb write up Zoe! It took me a little while to get into but I was hooked by the end. Mads is just insanely good here. Think my favourite episode was with the classical musician, that was crazy! I’ve not caught up with season 2 yet though, really need to do that!


    1. Thanks Chris! This show completely bowled me over. Ah, what a crazy episode! You have to see season two… I damn near ripped my fingers apart. It is brilliant!


  2. Great review, Zoë! I only watched the pilot because unlike you, I am fine with all the shows not being graphic — I can’t stand gore! Not even for dear Mads who is always so fiiiiiiiine. 😀


    1. Highly Esteemed PSC,

      That would thrill me endlessly. I have such love and admiration for this show, I cannot express it enough!

      My love,



      1. Favoritest SB,

        I know you do – that’s while I’ll do it. Bitches are starting to cramp down on streaming up at work so it’s getting tricky to watch TV shows…. but I’ll figure something out.

        Gooiest Love,



      2. My Precious Gramps,

        Oh dear… that is problematic… I hope that you find a way around that. I know there is blah blah in here, but it is like TD blah blah. It all makes sense, and it all contributes to it.




  3. This really is a terrific first season of television. Delivers undeniably on a technical front – the atmosphere, look, sound, all so crisp – but also in terms of engaging the viewer. Great work Zoë!



  4. I watched the entire season in two sittings! Absolutely loved it. I’ll be starting in on season 2 real soon (I always wait until the end of a season to watch shows, so I can watch at my leisure).


    1. I totally agree with you there! It’s fantastic! Yay so I am not the only person in the world that waits for it to end before watching! It is SO worth the watch. Finished it last week and WOW.


      1. Heh, I think you’re the only other person I’ve met that does that too! hehe Most people think I’m nuts for waiting, but I really, really hate waiting after a cliffhanger :-p


      2. AGREED! I HATE waiting a week in between things, so I collect them and then have one major binge on it all! I am relieved I am not totally cracked in the head. Now we are two! 😛


  5. Stunningly comprehensive review Zoe, your passion for it really makes me want to get into this.

    Other good reasons to watch:

    1) umm…Mads Mikkelson, hell yeah!

    2) Hannibal is one of the greatest, most twisted minds of all time

    3) I have heard from a number of folks this is a really solid show


    1. Thanks Tom! You really should. It is one hell of an amazing show, breathtakingly beautiful and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way through.

      Those are three bloody brilliant reasons, none of which I can argue with! Hugh Dancy, too, it well worth looking into!


    1. Yessssssssssss Hannibal ❤ ❤ It is my biggest TV love (yes, truly). I love everything about this show. Like, it should already be done so we can just binge…


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