Television Review: HANNIBAL – Season 3, Episode 1 “Antipasto” written by Robert Reineke June 9, 2015 “It’s not that kind of party.” Hannibal Lecter may be the most famous supervillain created since the 1970s. And the series HANNIBAL shows how creative adaptation can continue to surprise and find new depths in an already well explored character. And, like its titular character, the series does it in such great style. HANNIBAL is in no great hurry to catch up with all of the outcomes of last season’s finale, but instead simply wants to explore the new status quo. All of the premiere episode is set in Europe, Paris briefly and then Florence, and finds Hannibal (Mads Mikkelsen) and Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) setting up shop as Dr. Roman Fell and his wife as Hannibal sets himself up as a scholar in Florence. And, like so much else of the show, the European locations are gorgeous. HANNIBAL is the most visually stylish show on television. I don’t think that’s even in dispute, including however much HBO is spending on GAME OF THRONES and TRUE DETECTIVE. What’s more, that look isn’t empty style, it’s an extension of the title character, how he sees the world, and the nightmares that he drags those surrounding him into. It’s aurally stylish too. And, if television could find away to incorporate texture, aroma, and taste into a package, I’m sure HANNIBAL would be equally as extravagant. Hannibal Lecter functions in a world where all the sense are heightened and the show, which Bryan Fuller jokingly refers to the visual style as being from a “pretentious art film”, heightens the beauty and the grotesquery of that world. Bryan Fuller is remixing parts of Thomas Harris’s book HANNIBAL here, both the beginning and the end, but he’s doing it in a way that informs our understanding of Hannibal, he’s a monster but you get the sense that he’s a lonely monster. That’s not necessarily deserving of our pity or empathy, but it establishes him as more than a flamboyant cartoon of evil. Pairing him with Gillian Anderson for a whole episode is a real treat. It’s no real secret that Dana Scully was influenced by Clarice Starling, but Gillian Anderson is the real deal as an actress and she and Mads Mikkelsen play off each other wonderfully. HANNIBAL is often told in pairings of characters verbally fencing with each other, and Mikkelsen and Anderson bring real chemistry to the pairings. And, with the focus on just the two of them, we get a real glimpse on what Hannibal has on Bedelia and his long game of manipulating her as he’s manipulated everyone else around him. She believes that she’s still in conscious control of her situation, but as Hannibal has proven again and again, that’s often more a dream than the reality. The plot of the episode probably could be written on the back of a napkin. It bears a resemblance to THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY with Hannibal’s new identity in Europe threatened to be undone, but the plot is hardly the crux of the episode. Hannibal asks Bedelia the question whether she’s observing or participating several times, with the intent of bringing her more fully on board. Hannibal could be asking that question of the home viewer as well, aren’t we really participating in Hannibal’s fantasies as well? We certainly know where things are headed in this episode, and probably get a little bit of glee when Hannibal says he’s having someone for dinner. And the locations and lifestyle are certainly gorgeous. I expect that question, and the dance between Hannibal and Bedelia and Hannibal and the audience aren’t finished. It’s a promising beginning to the season. That promise looks like it’s in good hands in being fulfilled. Especially as Bryan Fuller has name dropped DON’T LOOK NOW as an influence on the next episode. So, what did our readers think? Review: HANNIBAL – Season 3, Episode 1 “Antipasto” was last modified: February 21st, 2016 by Robert Reineke Related Hannibal 1 comment 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Robert Reineke previous post BATMAN V SUPERMAN Synopsis Released next post Jon Bernthal To Aerate DAREDEVIL Season 2 As The Punisher! You may also like Weekly Ratings Roundup: January 25, 2015 to... February 1, 2015 Weekly Ratings Roundup: January 17 to 23,... January 24, 2016 THE WALKING DEAD Companion Series Coming To... September 16, 2013 Weekly Ratings Roundup: April 17 to 23,... April 26, 2016 REVOLUTION: Season Two Review- “Dead Man Walking” October 31, 2013 Weekly Ratings Roundup: December 4 to December... December 24, 2016 Weekly Ratings Roundup: December 6 to 12,... December 13, 2015 REVOLUTION: Season Two Review- “Patriot Games” October 17, 2013 Weekly Ratings Roundup: April 2 to 15,... April 16, 2017 Weekly Ratings Roundup: March 5 to 11,... March 12, 2017 stock Liked it a lot, although it missed Will a bit, and I’m hoping Mason Verger returns as well. Definitely stylish, though almost to a fault. There are times I wish for a more straightforward narrative. I fear Hannibal becoming a serial killer of “ahole of the week” but I think they’re probably too smart to do that. I will say that Anderson isn’t doing much for the strong female role, since it seems she’s suffering an extreme form of Stockholm Syndrome, which is how the book portrayed Starling. I wonder how long they can play that out. I mean, she is also supposed to be of high intelligence. Figure it out, for God’s sake.