Hannibal: 5 Ways The Show Was Perfect (And 5 Ways It Could Have Been Improved)

The show Hannibal It might have been canceled and off the air for over five years, but it’s still talked about by friends and critics alike. While it wasn’t a huge hit in terms of numbers, at least not on network television, it was well liked by critics and a core group of devoted fans. In many ways, it felt like a show ahead of its time. And, if it had been canceled in more recent years, it probably would have been picked up by a streaming service.

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There is no denying that the show was a success on many creative and artistic levels, and received almost universal acclaim. However, while there are some things the show does almost perfectly, there were also some areas where it could have been better.

10 Improved: a third longer season

This point is a bit tricky because the reason the third season felt a bit rushed and disjointed is that the show was canceled. Rather than being able to stretch the narrative in the two seasons, it deserved to have the final season join in.

So the first half of the season has Hannibal and Will in Florence, while the second half is the Red Dragon story that could probably have used more episodes.

9 Perfect: the magical realism of the series

Graham on the steps

Hannibal it works very well because it seems to exist in our world and it also doesn’t. While there are many things familiar and similar to ours, there is also a level of poetry and even magical realism that doesn’t always make sense on a practical level. However, this works entirely within the program.

It often feels more like a poem or a dream / nightmare, and this is perfect for the story and the characters.

8 Improved: turn up the brightness setting

Hannibal Will and Hannibal hug

While this is more of a joke on the one hand, it is also something that many fans have fondly complained about. Hannibal is a dark spectacle both metaphorically and in reality.

So while it makes sense for everything to be a bit muted and without light, it makes it difficult to see what is actually happening. Viewers really have to turn up their TV’s brightness setting to see the details.

7 Perfect: the beautiful cinematography

Fans and critics alike were drawn to the series because of its inherent beauty. There was always a dichotomy in the beauty of the show. In fact, even the murders were often so visually stunning that it was like a feast for the eyes.

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So as long as you could turn up the brightness of the TV to see the cinematography, it was beautiful. And it wasn’t just the cinematography. The set design and even the soundtrack were perfectly well executed.

6 Improved: clarifies the motivations of many supporting characters

While Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham were engaging characters that fans loved, the series was made even better by having so many interesting and mysterious supporting characters.

However, sometimes the motivations and backstories of these characters were a bit confusing. This is in part because the series would reveal things slowly and was interrupted. However, characters like Bedelia and Chiyoh, for example, could have used more development.

5 Perfect: includes much more diversity than the source material

Laurence Fishburne as Jack Crawford in the Hannibal Show

One of the things that Hannibal What it did well was update the source material with a more diverse cast in many ways. Most of the characters in Thomas Harris’ novels were white males, and the few examples of LGBTQ + characters used to be problematic.

Hannibal On NBC, instead, he cast many women and people of color in important roles, such as Alana Bloom and Jack Crawford, and they had much better LGBTQ + representation.

4 Improved: Better handling of your minority characters.

Hettienne Park as Beverly Katz in Hannibal

While Hannibal did a lot of things right when it came to including a lot more diversity of race, gender, and sexuality, he wasn’t always perfect when it came to these things. One of the more troublesome examples was killing Beverly Katz, one of the show’s main women of color.

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While the series did a good job of not brutalizing female characters in a sexual way, her death was one of the worst deaths in many ways because it was so graphic. Along with that, other characters of color, like Chiyoh, should have had more screen time.

3 Perfect: all that metaphorical dialogue

hannibal season 3 second

Hannibal is a program that attracts an audience that enjoys analyzing media. It is an artistic show that refers to literature, history, mythology and real works of art. So it’s not surprising that the dialogue can be quite metaphorical and deep.

While it can border on the pretentious at times, this fits the entire aesthetic of the series and also makes a lot of sense given Hannibal as a character.

two Enhanced: clearer LGBTQ + representation

In many ways, Hannibal felt innovative. It was a very strange story that did not focus on storytelling or any other trope. It included an extended romance between Hannibal and Will that was difficult to define and also a much clearer romantic relationship between Alana Bloom and Margot Verger.

However, there were still cases where the show had to hold back. This looks like it was probably due to the network I was on at the time, but it would have been nice to give queer women a lot more scenes as well.

1 Perfect: Will and Hannibal’s slow-build relationship

Hannibal Season 3 - Will and Hannibal

While more seasons of the show would require some physicality between these two, the slow building of their relationship worked very well. It made sense given the complicated and twisted nature of his dynamic and who Hannibal is as a person.

This relationship is a big reason why so many people couldn’t get enough of the show.

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