What I’ve Been Watching: Hannibal, Season 3

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hannibal season 3I watched the conclusion—for now, I hope; for good, I fear—of the Bryan Fuller’s miraculous Hannibal adaptation with a mixture of awe, joy, and sadness.

Awe that this even got on network television, maybe any television at all. It’s so weird, so obtuse, so arty, so so so violent, so explicitly sexual in a way that shows that are wall-to-wall nudity never could be.

Joy that I got to see this show as it aired, that I was able to live with it week after week, year after year after year, rather than discovering and binging on it later. The story and series having time to marinate and expand in my mind was enjoyable for me and beneficial to my viewing of the show.

Sadness because it seems criminal that the series is over (I still hold out hope that some entity will bring it back for a series of specials or short-run seasons. Couldn’t we do the Prime Suspect model of maybe 4 really long episodes every couple of years on Netflix and finish things off?). Smarter people and better writers than me have explained why it’s such a tragedy that the show didn’t survive for Fuller’s full plan. Here’s one good example. And another.

I remember when the series was announced; I scoffed at it, thought it was such a stupid rehash of things that had already been done. It’s nice to sometimes be so, so wrong. In fact, Hannibal retrospectively casts all other versions of these stories in a poorer light (maybe even, if it’s possible, the source novels).

What a truly spectacular TV series.

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