Okay, before we get started, I have to admit that I feel like an idiot right now. Back when I wrote about unnecessary prequels and shows, I had mentioned this one and how I thought it was going to be about the relationship between Clarice and Hannibal, which is what I had been told at that time, and how I thought a show about Will Graham and Hannibal would be a much better fit considering there is more material there and while we already kind of know what was going on during that time, it would still be interesting to see. Turns out that the people making the show had the same idea because that's exactly what the show is about.
And I gotta say, for a show that I was ready to shoot down at the first episode, I have to admit that I was all wrong. I thought it was just going to be another corporate attempt to hook audiences with a familiar title. And while that may have been the case at the beginning, it's easy to see that the people actually making the show are actually invested in what they are doing. The tone is perfect, making you feel creeped out but always wanting to know what happens next. The storyline is good, with it being one continuous narrative rather than they just solve a different mystery every episode and we're done with it. And I think the casting is superb. I'm not familiar with the actor they chose to play Will Graham, but he does a good enough job, and is able to create his own character that's independent of Edward Norton's version of the character in Red Dragon, but is still a creation of his own. Laurence Fishburne, while he is different than Harvey Keitel and Scott Glen, is still a good Jack Crawford. He's tough as nails and very in-your-face when he has to be, but you can tell that he is concerned and really cares about Will Graham. Freddie Lounds, while usually a male in both the novel and the film adaptations of Red Dragon, has been turned into a female. Not exactly sure why, but the actress chosen is good at being bitchy and pretentious about what she's doing. I just can't get over the fact that she is Philip Seymour Hoffman in another universe. But of course, the one casting that I was going to be critiquing the hardest was that of Hannibal himself. He is played by Mads Mikkelson, better known as the villain in Casino Royale. At first, I thought this was the studio saying "We need someone that can play a villain, and we are too cheap to call Gary Oldman or Ralph Fiennes, let's just get this guy that played a villain in another popular movie". But again, much like the rest of the cast, he's different than the characters that I am used to seeing, but he still delivers. I'm actually able to forget that he is played by Anthony Hopkins. And since this takes place before he was caught by the FBI, that means we get to see a whole new side of him that we didn't get to see in Red Dragon or Silence of the Lambs, we get to see how he was with his patients and how he was with other people.
It's an interesting show, and I don't regret DVRing it at all. If you are a fan of the novels and the characters, then this is definitely worth a watch. Heck, I've even talked to other people who are not familiar with the story and they seem to enjoy it too.