I’ve been a fan of Hannibal Lecter since I saw Red Dragon in 1986. I read the book immediately after, so when Bryan Fuller decided to write a bit of fan fiction for TV, exploring a “dynamic” he felt was never actualized in the novel, I was beyond excited. When Mads Mikkelsen was cast as Hannibal, I lost my nut. I’ve been a fan ever since I saw him in The Green Butchers and Torremolinos 73.
Now, I’m not a big fan of fan-fiction, but I am a fan of tortured and twisted relationships, so I was not disappointed even though much of the story was kept intact, or rather, spoiled for me, since I read the books. The show was much more than the sum of its parts. I’ve said before that Hannibal was one of the best, most visually stunning and cerebral shows on TV, and now I’m thinking, it is one of the greatest love stories of all time. I’m not talking about sex here you gutter monkeys; though I am fairly certain that many slash-fic fans would have liked to see Will and Hannibal get down to business between all those beautiful silk sheets. I’d have been game for that as well, enthusiastically so, but we know all too well that it would have ruined the dynamic, THE LOVE, and by love, I mean that deep liquid-dark respect you have for another person, a person who is so like you yet not in a way that feels like a hidden or missing piece of your soul. A shadow-self. A friendship that moves in those subtle shades of grey beyond the physical. A love shared between two minds. A love that can heal you and destroy you. If that’s what Fuller had envisioned for the characters, he did it with aplomb and to fanatical applause. The finale was fucking brilliant in a way television has never been before.
Am I sorry the show ended after a mere three seasons? No. Another season dragged out for the sake of it would have ruined everything entirely IMO. There is nothing worse than a story gone stale. So bravo Bryan Fuller. Hannibal made it to my greatest love story list. Right up there with Mickey and Mallory Knox.