"Hannibal" and Cinematography: Looking is Hard

I have to admit that when news of NBC's television series "Hannibal," based on Thomas Harris's famed cannibalistic psychiatrist, made popular by the film "The Silence of the Lambs," I was...well, skeptical would be the most polite description. But the credibility and pedigree behind this adaptation's creator, Bryan Fuller, and the casting of Mads Mikkelsen and Lawrence Fishburne was enough to make me curious. Let's just say I got over any skepticism of this production very, very quickly. This show became one of my absolute favorite new TV series of 2013, to the point of borderline obsession. Every week I was engrossed and sucked in, and oftentimes shocked by what NBC's censors were allowing Fuller and his cast and crew to get away with. "Hannibal" was creative in every aspect - the writing, the risks they took with the characters, the stories and the way they unfolded. "Hannibal" could have too easily become a procedural, weekly homicide investigation show. That was my biggest fear. And while it has procedural elements, it never really felt like a procedural show. "Hannibal" could never be mistaken as another CIS or NCIS clone, and certainly not in the way this TV season's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." could be. Fuller and company were brave enough to do something completely different and get truly psychological with its characters, and freely dive into the dark side of empathy with the show's lead (I hesitate to call him a hero), Will Graham. Tillary does Photography explores the rich cinematography of this series, and is well worth reading. (On a side note, she also does a wonderful write-up on the cinematography of "Sleepy Hollow," another show I wasn't expecting much of and became my favorite for this year's round of new shows.)

If you haven't seen "Hannibal" yet, do so immediately. The second season begins Friday, February 28.

Michael Patrick Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

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