• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 4, 2013
Season #: 1, 2, 3
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 1016 Ratings

User score distribution:

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User Reviews

  1. Jun 21, 2015
    9
    Stellar show with amazing beautiful cinematography, and Mads is incredible in his role. Hugh Dancy is solid. What I can't understand is how the hell the government allows this show on free TV? It's possibly the most violent material I've ever seen in any medium - except maybe Dead Alive or Human Centipede.
  2. Jul 28, 2013
    8
    Incredible show that surprised the heck out of me. Before watching it I was very skeptical and now I am not sure how it isn't more popular. Hard to believe it's on NBC.
  3. Jun 23, 2013
    9
    Fantastic first season. Was impressed from the beginning at the quality of everything involved in this show. From the acting to writing, this is a gripping drama and I cannot wait until the next season.
  4. May 5, 2014
    10
    Surprising to see such a graphic show on NBC. The acting is brilliant, and the directing and writing are excellent. I can't imagine a better Lecter than Mikkelsen. One of my favorite TV shows.
  5. Apr 19, 2013
    10
    Most certainly the best show this year. Extremely well thought out, great performances, what else do you need? Watch out for this one it's bound to attract a wider audience very quickly.
  6. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    I would have rated this show a 7 after the first two episodes but it has grown just a bit creepier now that the characters are more developed. There are some 'horror' type scenes but it is the stuff that you don't see, that is implied, that really sells it. Very good show, I'd say unique as well.
  7. Jun 7, 2015
    9
    Hannibal is an extremely interesting character. Mads' portrayal of Thomas Harris' creation is intoxicating and draws the viewer into his story with equal parts from that which is said and seen on screen with that which is not. I appreciate the dialogue and think it well written. I am also glad to see the acting awards received by the cast...well deserved.
  8. Apr 28, 2014
    5
    Hannibal is a TV show that offers stark contrasts. In the end, while it provides a vivid and highly-detailed vision, that vision is too sanitized and too focused. It lacks any of the intermediate shades between light/dark, good/evil, pure/tainted, or clear/blurry. Instead it can only present sharp distinction, or at best offer capitulation of one over the other. Unlike Silence of theHannibal is a TV show that offers stark contrasts. In the end, while it provides a vivid and highly-detailed vision, that vision is too sanitized and too focused. It lacks any of the intermediate shades between light/dark, good/evil, pure/tainted, or clear/blurry. Instead it can only present sharp distinction, or at best offer capitulation of one over the other. Unlike Silence of the Lambs, there is no transformation and no imagination, only characters locked in an endless and uninspired waltz.

    I will point out the good parts of the show (and some parts are EXCELLENT). Hugh Dancy's performance is incredible: he somehow channels the impressive performance given by William Peterson when he played this same character in the 1986 film "Manhunter," yet incorporates those idiosyncracies seemlessly into his own, more damaged, vulnerable and bitter version of Will Graham. The result is a character that shows hints of the more traditional hero hidden beneath a fragile exterior, a promise always on the verge of materializing but always in danger of shattering completely.

    The direction and photography also show signs of genius. The use of dream sequence (if a bit over-used) is perfect for keeping the audience on their toes, and some of the visuals seem to indicate just the kind of world Hannibal might imagine for himself.

    There are two major flaws in this show, and they magnify each other: the show's lack of variety, and its overstretched nature. In the introduction to this review, I talked about the overly-sanitized nature of the show and the lack of intermediate shading. This kind of world, especially with light and dark interacting but never mingling, is certainly a clear vision of Hannibal's mind, but without a dirty, down-to-earth reference point it just makes the entire WORLD look like a soap opera set. Will Graham's cabin, or shack, or house (depending on your social class) SHOULD offer us a contrast, but while its materials are cheaper and its decorations less ornate than Hannibal's home, it is nevertheless clean and sterile and perfectly, maddeningly ORDERED. This is supposed to be a character in the midst of a long nervous breakdown, we're told, yet there isn't a single misplaced item in the entire home, not one dirty dish or discarded jacket. Even when he has a fit of psychosis and demolishes his own chimney, there isn't a single cast-aside brick or even a speck of dust around the hole, they only manage to leave one of the left-in bricks SLIGHTLY ASKEW as if to say, "See, this brick is not perfectly aligned, is this character's world FALLING APART or what?!?!" Unconvincing.

    Then we have the overstretched quality. Here I refer to the plotholes and the show's length and the resulting sense of shallowness, altogether. We're only a good way through the second season and already I feel like the show is retreading and making desperate leaps BOTH. How on earth do you manage to be wrong in both directions in only 2 seasons? This show's plotholes and complete implausibility give even Dexter a run for its money. The sad thing is, much of this paragraph's whining would be inapplicable if only the series were shorter, say a film or single season mini-series. But because we are forced to rehash the same plot over again and stretch the story at the same time, nothing makes sense anymore. The FBI refuses to investigate. The instructor refuses to learn. And the villain refuses to be frightening in any real way. If anything the only character capable of frightening us in this show is Will Graham, because the performance is nuanced enough to make the character itself unpredictable, and because his is the only character moving between the light and dark (again, if ONLY there were anything interesting in between) over and over and over again. Even the most delicious dish, no matter how well presented, needs variety.
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  9. May 23, 2013
    10
    I love this show...Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy awesome. Laurence Fishburn also great.
    @Lar I am over 45 and a woman and love the darkness of this show. I hope that this show is renewed..so different Cant wait to see the next episode a week is a long time to wait.This show is not for the faint hearted. Also loved Dexter.
    SO bored with medical shows that go on and on....cannot
    I love this show...Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy awesome. Laurence Fishburn also great.
    @Lar I am over 45 and a woman and love the darkness of this show. I hope that this show is renewed..so different Cant wait to see the next episode a week is a long time to wait.This show is not for the faint hearted. Also loved Dexter.
    SO bored with medical shows that go on and on....cannot understand how they last for so long.
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  10. Aug 15, 2013
    10
    Best new show on television in my eyes. A+ acting almost all the way through the cast, especially Hannibal and Graham. If you have a brain in your head that you like to use for thinking, give this show a shot and watch at least 8 episodes, that's when it really hits it's stride.
  11. Apr 30, 2013
    7
    The pilot episode doesn't jump at you straight away, but give it a chance. By the third episode the writing and great acting hooks you and you can't stop watching.
  12. Apr 27, 2013
    2
    I love a good horror movie as well as the next but this is just not good gru. This show lacks any sense of humor or empathy. The writing is putrid and the graphics are disturbing without any redemption. Having watched the third episode I cancelled my season pass and moved on. When they leave a serial killer's daughter alone in her house, even though, she may have been involved in theI love a good horror movie as well as the next but this is just not good gru. This show lacks any sense of humor or empathy. The writing is putrid and the graphics are disturbing without any redemption. Having watched the third episode I cancelled my season pass and moved on. When they leave a serial killer's daughter alone in her house, even though, she may have been involved in the murders, I threw up my hands. A suspect left alone to kill another suspect and then gets recruited by Hannibal who has time to hide the body while a crap load of cops are outside...oh yeah somehow he gets a bump on the head.....dreadful dreck! The dialogue and acting is god-awful. Oh, and the constant "eerie" soundtrack to set the mood is mind-numbing. This show is NBC's version of "Monk" meets "Criminal Minds"...feh! Expand
  13. Apr 8, 2013
    10
    This show has gotten off to a great start. Well written story and is captivating to you as to where you can't wait for more. Hugh Dancy as Will Graham is very good. He plays the mentally tormented detective quite well. Mads Mikkelsen does a good job playing Hannibal Lector. While maybe not quite as good as Anthony
    Hopkins, he does a fine job. First episode is very promising and this
    This show has gotten off to a great start. Well written story and is captivating to you as to where you can't wait for more. Hugh Dancy as Will Graham is very good. He plays the mentally tormented detective quite well. Mads Mikkelsen does a good job playing Hannibal Lector. While maybe not quite as good as Anthony
    Hopkins, he does a fine job. First episode is very promising and this series is worth checking out.
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  14. Jul 27, 2014
    10
    For many fans of the Hannibal Lechter films, the jury is still out on the new TV show, Hannibal. While the ratings have been passable, when you ask people what they think of the show, most will tell you they haven't seen it yet. If NBC would put more money into advertising and let it stream on Netflix, I have little doubt that this will be a top ten show.

    People are hesitant to watch a
    For many fans of the Hannibal Lechter films, the jury is still out on the new TV show, Hannibal. While the ratings have been passable, when you ask people what they think of the show, most will tell you they haven't seen it yet. If NBC would put more money into advertising and let it stream on Netflix, I have little doubt that this will be a top ten show.

    People are hesitant to watch a Lechter story without the legendary Anthony Hopkins, however once you get into the story, you will see that this isn't a problem. The series takes place in between the events of Hannibal Rising and Red Dragon, featuring Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) in his prime, as the FBI's top profiler. As seen in the opening scene of Red Dragon, Graham got help solving his cases from the world renowned psychologist, Dr. Hannibal Lechter (Mads Mikkelsen). The series focuses on this relationship, with Graham, who of course is in the dark over who Lechter really is. Lechter serves as a calming element in the vary chaotic and troubled life of Graham, and also plays the intermediary between Graham and his boss, Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne). This dynamic allows the FBI to solve some of the most heinous serial crimes they've been faced with.

    For those of you still hesitant about watching this series, a few things to keep in mind. The same writers, producers, and directors who worked on the four films are behind this series. There are frequent references to all the films, and points where they actually clear up plot holes from the films. That alone should be enough to get people interested, but what really brings the story to the same level as the film series is Hugh Dancy as Will Graham.

    Will Graham is a much deeper character than we came to know in Red Dragon. He is extremely complicated and as it turns out, not all that different from Lechter. Hugh Dancy, a veteran of a lot of bad movies, stars and is tremendous. Award shows are notorious for ignoring performances in series that feature gore and violence, but if anyone deserves an Emmy for best actor it his him. Dancy regularly gives a performance that is the best I've seen in a TV show since Breaking Bad. He really is that good.

    Mads Mikkelsen is also terrific as Dr. Lechter. I wasn't sure how a French guy known for B-movies would do taking on the epic character of Hannibal Lechter, but he has shown all the class, humor, and madness of the legendary character. Finally, Laurence Fishburne rounds out the cast as the only big name involved in the project. He plays the boss, Jack Crawford, and is very important as the man who brought Graham and Lechter together. In my opinion, Fishburne is the perfect choice as he's cold, emotionless, and deeply focused on on thing, getting the job done.

    You don't know most of the actors, but you know the characters. The cast of Hannibal is outstanding and will give you the chance to see your favorite characters in a whole other light. I love the Lechter films and was hesitant about watching this show myself. I didn't want to tarnish my view of the characters or the films, but this series is the missing companion piece that fills in the holes and gives you an all new appreciation for Lechter.
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  15. Apr 7, 2013
    2
    The actors are all top notch. The concept is extremely intriguing. The actual writing and direction are horrible. Execution is everything and they manage to blow it by a mile. I'll watch one more but if the next episode stays as muddled as the first one.....sayanara.
  16. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    Mikkelsen and Dancy work wonders together as Hannibal and Grant and their supporting cast is solid as well. I love the mind games that Hannibal has played with Grant through out the season and each episode is as sick and twisted (in a good way) as the next. I absolutely can not wait until season 2.
  17. May 24, 2013
    9
    First off, this television program is marginally better than the films which preceded it. Hannibal (2001), Red Dragon (2002) and the god-awful Hannibal Rising (2006) don't come close to this series when it comes to intelligence, charisma and charm. This series follows Will Graham (played masterfully by Hugh Dancy here) as he is brought back into the FBI for a series of cases by JackFirst off, this television program is marginally better than the films which preceded it. Hannibal (2001), Red Dragon (2002) and the god-awful Hannibal Rising (2006) don't come close to this series when it comes to intelligence, charisma and charm. This series follows Will Graham (played masterfully by Hugh Dancy here) as he is brought back into the FBI for a series of cases by Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne). Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) assists him in these cases and also acts as his unofficial psychiatrist.
    Laurence Fishburne plays his part brilliantly, and is the best Crawford we have seen thus far. Mads Mikkelsen provides an astonishing performance as the charming and sophisticated cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter. However, the stand-out performance of the lot is that of Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. Dancy seems to be playing to his strengths here, and fulfills the role perfectly, turning the character into his own. While the Graham in previous incarnations was simply haunted by his past in the FBI, Dancy turns the character into a sort of autistic savant.
    Dancy's character is sort of fun to watch. Sleepwalking, channeling his nightmares and feelings about the criminals he has to deal with through the ownership of an absurd number of dogs, and his diminishing mental state as the show progresses. His relationship with Lecter, and that with Abigail Hobbs, the daughter of serial killer Garret Jacob Hobbs, who Graham killed, make the character come to life. Most of the habits of Dancy's character come straight from the writings of Thomas Harris, such as his love of dogs, but otherwise it is all Dancy's intuition and his transforming of the character into his own creation.
    Let's not limit this to Dancy's performance, however. All of them were astonishing, from Laurence Fishburne's portrayal of Jack Crawford, to Mads Mikkelsen's performance as Hannibal Lecter. This has to be one of the best Lecter performances, only behind that of Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. Mikkelsen lends himself perfectly to the role, and he doesn't disappoint. The characters, and indeed the actors, all fulfill their roles perfectly, and the casting is magnificent.
    Some, mainly those who don't enjoy horror or splatter films, will probably be put off by this film and it's level of horrific violence. You will see people impaled on antlers, with the flesh cut from their backs and spread out, and having their limbs removed while they are alive. In the event that you feel put off by this sort of thing, you should probably abandon the show immediately. However, all shows are aimed at a certain kind of audience. I don't like True Blood because of the fact that it plays out more like a soap opera than an actual TV show, but some people love it for the same reasons. I love Game of Thrones, but some would be put off by it's graphic scenes of sex and violence. Same here.
    All in all, this show is magnificent. All of the acting is done brilliantly and to it's full effect, and it's as enjoyable as ever. Though it cannot appeal to everyone, nothing can, and it thrives on what it does do, so I do believe this show should continue for another season. I hope the ratings agree with me.
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  18. Apr 14, 2013
    9
    Great show so far (episode 1 and 2), very well written and directed, besides deep characters. Will easily substitute dexter as it's not going so well since season 5. With game of thrones and breaking bad season finale, will be a show to watch this year.
  19. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    Hands down, the best new series of this year so far! Hannibal has that certain element that makes me want to keep watching it. The writing is brilliant, strong and compelling when handled by the characters. I was worried how Mads Mikkelsen would handle his character but now I must say that I'm completely satisfied because justice has been done. Another thing, maybe more important is HughHands down, the best new series of this year so far! Hannibal has that certain element that makes me want to keep watching it. The writing is brilliant, strong and compelling when handled by the characters. I was worried how Mads Mikkelsen would handle his character but now I must say that I'm completely satisfied because justice has been done. Another thing, maybe more important is Hugh Dancy and his character Will Graham. Dancy has carried it out extremely well, gives you that feeling of loneliness and anxiety he goes through. He's done quite a great job in the pilot episode and he was better than Mikkelsen. The entire cast is compelling and Bryan Fuller has made the right choice by selecting them. Hats off to Fuller for developing this series and many thanks to NBC for ordering a complete season. I can easily say that Hannibal is better and stronger than Fox's The Following and A&E's Bates Motel and I have only watched Hannibal's first episode yet. Expand
  20. Apr 10, 2013
    0
    I was looking forward to this series, since The silence of the Lamps is my fav. movie of all times. I could never have imagined that the actor who is casted as Dr. Lecter would be such a disappointment i guess i had high standards from Sir Anthony Hopkins!
    ...i don't think i will be watching episode 2
  21. Apr 8, 2013
    9
    This is one of NBC's strongest premieres. The last time a show aired this well was last year with Awake which was unfortunately cut short. Hannibal's first episode was exciting, bloody, and fresh. The characters are great which is a good thing since it is filling the shoes of one of the biggest films to have ever been released but if it keeps this up it should be smooth sailing from hereThis is one of NBC's strongest premieres. The last time a show aired this well was last year with Awake which was unfortunately cut short. Hannibal's first episode was exciting, bloody, and fresh. The characters are great which is a good thing since it is filling the shoes of one of the biggest films to have ever been released but if it keeps this up it should be smooth sailing from here on in and we'll have one hell of a show on our hands. Expand
  22. Sep 6, 2013
    8
    This shows lives up to the first two films and is superior to the film of the same name. Mads Mikkelsen plays a very believable Hannibal. The only way you will not like it is if you are so tied to Anthony Hopkins that you can not see past that. Hugh Dancy is good as the police officer drafted by the FBI. The only problem with this shows is the muddled writing. Part of this was becauseThis shows lives up to the first two films and is superior to the film of the same name. Mads Mikkelsen plays a very believable Hannibal. The only way you will not like it is if you are so tied to Anthony Hopkins that you can not see past that. Hugh Dancy is good as the police officer drafted by the FBI. The only problem with this shows is the muddled writing. Part of this was because the main FBI officer (Dancy) has mental issues, but it goes beyond that and this needs to be worked on before the second season. I would recommend more crisp writing somewhat like a meal that Hannibal prepares. Expand
  23. May 3, 2013
    9
    UPDATE: Started little slow, but now with episode 7, things are getting "real". One of the few shows, that makes me want to watch every week really bad!!! The actors are getting better with every episode (so they characters develop nicely). Wonderful!…
  24. Mar 14, 2014
    10
    The first season of Hannibal is a lot like a roller coaster ride, and I don't mean that in the usual sense of it being a thrill ride (although the show is certainly that), but rather in the way it plays out. There is a bit of a slow, measured beginning, one where you are carried to a place where you can look ahead of you and see what lies in store before the plunge. We the audience canThe first season of Hannibal is a lot like a roller coaster ride, and I don't mean that in the usual sense of it being a thrill ride (although the show is certainly that), but rather in the way it plays out. There is a bit of a slow, measured beginning, one where you are carried to a place where you can look ahead of you and see what lies in store before the plunge. We the audience can tell early on where this season is taking us as it stares us in the face for the first few episodes. And then the coaster drops. As Hannibal takes us on this spectacular ride we find ourselves thrilled and oftentimes a bit sickened, still much like a roller coaster, by the images and violent murder depictions that hit us in each episode. They are spectacularly shot and horrifying to behold, though thankfully the sense of realism is extremely heightened as not to utterly repulse us. These aren't traditional serial killers we are watching the characters go after, they are artists expressing themselves through horrifying means, and Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham are like the critic and the appraiser. Hannibal is also an artist himself, both in his butchery of man and in the way he serves up their flesh to guests and to himself. Yes, even when he eats alone there is a performance in his consumption of his victims.
    Season 1 of Hannibal is the best first season of a show I have seen since the first season of Lost (I would love to say Breaking Bad, but its first season was, although awesome, very short). The great thing going for Hannibal, a thing which perhaps a show like Lost could've benefitted from, is that there is a clear plan in place for the characters and what is to come for them. It also benefits from outstanding performances from all of its players, particularly Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter, with the latter bringing us an interpretation that rivals the great Sir Anthony Hopkins's legendary performance. Yes, it's that good.
    Hannibal is a wonderful ride from the first episode to the last of season 1 and it only promises to get even better. It is admittedly not for the squeamish, but if you can handle the show's violence then you are in for a real treat. Hannibal is truly outstanding television.
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  25. Apr 27, 2013
    3
    The story is so full of BS that no actor can save this show. Written with complete disregard of probability, logic and common sense. A waste of great cast, characters and your time.
  26. May 9, 2013
    10
    Easily one of the best shows on TV right now and the best new series in a while. It's wonderfully acted with brilliant writing and interesting characters. The only gripe I have with the show is Hannibal can be a bit hard to hear at times. But it's so little it's easily overlooked.
  27. Sep 6, 2013
    7
    No show I can think of has gone quite so far to not just romanticize serial killing, but to attempt to raise it to the level of an art form. This Hannibal barely resembles his namesake from the movie, but he is just as interesting.
  28. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    Amazing new show. The acting is superb all around, especially Mads Mikkelsen in the titular role. This is honestly one of the creepiest shows I have ever seen. It's like some of the best episodes of the X-Files week after week, but with such a refined and modern visual style that it surpasses nearly everything else on television in terms of cinematography and art direction. I'd say it'sAmazing new show. The acting is superb all around, especially Mads Mikkelsen in the titular role. This is honestly one of the creepiest shows I have ever seen. It's like some of the best episodes of the X-Files week after week, but with such a refined and modern visual style that it surpasses nearly everything else on television in terms of cinematography and art direction. I'd say it's probably the best drama on network television, and comparable to the best shows on basic and premium cable. Expand
  29. Jun 1, 2013
    8
    As a fan of The other films starring Will Graham (Re Dragon and Manhunter) the TV series was of interest to me. I love how they have created Will as a cop who can barely handle his thoughts as a killer, and how he can still do his best to solve the crimes at hand. Having Hugh Dancy is surprisingly welcome since he seems less likely to have a sick mind the same way Edward norton or WilliamAs a fan of The other films starring Will Graham (Re Dragon and Manhunter) the TV series was of interest to me. I love how they have created Will as a cop who can barely handle his thoughts as a killer, and how he can still do his best to solve the crimes at hand. Having Hugh Dancy is surprisingly welcome since he seems less likely to have a sick mind the same way Edward norton or William Peterson did, yet portrays it very well.
    Mads Mikkelsen makes for a much different Hannibal than that of the iconic Hopkins, and can show even subtle touches as to how the character is thinking, be it in his quarters or when viewing a crime scene.
    The crime scenes are downright disturbing and having Will bring the scene to life adds to the freakiness. The third episode in particular had gruesome imagery, as well as some pyschological scares in what happened to some of the victims of the first episodes killer. Its truly inventive and leaves a lasting impression to the viewer.
    I am looking forward to how the rest of the season turns out, but I am hooked and cannot wait to see where the series goes next.
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  30. Apr 13, 2013
    10
    Hands down to Hugh Dancy (playing Will Graham) and Mads Mikkelsen (Dr. Hannibal Lecter) for they astonishing and cunning performances, tailored perfectly for such a brilliant show. Already addicted to this series (after watching the 1st episode), and can't wait for the next! Do not watch if you have a weak stomach, or heart-attack risk as this series is packed with suspense, blood andHands down to Hugh Dancy (playing Will Graham) and Mads Mikkelsen (Dr. Hannibal Lecter) for they astonishing and cunning performances, tailored perfectly for such a brilliant show. Already addicted to this series (after watching the 1st episode), and can't wait for the next! Do not watch if you have a weak stomach, or heart-attack risk as this series is packed with suspense, blood and other disturbing things. But If you like a good thriller, intriguing plot, amazing actors and a genial reshaping of the story of Dr. Lecter, this is for you. Expand
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 3 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Jun 18, 2013
    88
    Hannibal is richer and more ambiguous than prior Harris adaptations; it's an exploration of social decay that's rife with literal and figurative cancers eating everyone alive from the ground up.
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Apr 5, 2013
    80
    By the end of the first hour, it has managed to make Dancy, Fishburne and Mikkelsen a formidable trio of characters, and each actor responds in kind with strong, engaging performances. Another sign of a good series is the fact that beyond the main three, the supporting cast is filled with solid actors and--more important--strong, vivid characters.
  3. Reviewed by: Rick Porter
    Apr 4, 2013
    70
    It's anchored by several great performances, and it's among the more distinctive and gorgeously filmed shows on the air right now.... What did turn me off a bit in the first couple episodes of Hannibal was the victims were all young women.