Dark Serial Killer Series On Streaming Is A Modern Classic

By TeeJay Small | Published

Television is currently experiencing a golden age for pensive dramas, as streaming has made the serialization of long-form stories easier to digest than ever before. One series which is exemplary of this effect is Hannibal, which originally aired on NBC in 2013, and is now available to stream via Amazon Prime Video. Though the show never got a proper ending, leaving many fans begging for a finale film or special to this day, the show has gone down in history as a modern classic.

Hannibal Goes Beyond The Movies

Hannibal is based on the characters and story of author Thomas Harris’ 1981 novel Red Dragon and subsequent follow-ups Hannibal and Hannibal Rising, which also served as the basis for the hit 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. The NBC series centers on FBI agent Will Graham as he forges a partnership with forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, in order to capture the most deranged serial killers. Unbeknownst to Graham, however, Dr. Lecter is a deranged killer himself, with a horrifying habit of ritualistically consuming his victims.

Hannibal And Will

Unlike The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal showcases the doctor long before he is caught for his crimes, allowing audiences to engage with the suspense of Hannibal Lecter getting away with his twisted schemes right under law enforcement’s nose. In this way, the show is similar to the Showtime series Dexter, though the true heart of Hannibal is the budding friendship and partnership between its main characters. The chemistry on display between Graham and Lecter only serves to underscore how heartbreaking it will be when Lecter is eventually caught and placed in a maximum security cell.

Fans Fought For The Show

The series was developed for television by Star Trek: Discovery writer and producer Bryan Fuller, and stars Mads Mikkelsen, Hugh Dancy, Caroline Dhavernas, Gillian Anderson, Scott Thompson, and The Matrix’ Lawrence Fishburne. After airing 39 episodes over the course of 3 seasons, NBC canceled Hannibal due to low viewership numbers. Despite what was reflected by the network’s numbers, millions of fans worldwide flocked to the internet to demand additional material be shot in the interest of getting a proper conclusion to the fan-favorite show.

Don’t Let The Sudden End Stop You

Unfortunately, no such conclusion was offered, leaving Hannibal to end on an unsatisfying cliffhanger. Still, the show has been universally praised by critics, especially for the leading performances, distinct visual flair, and powerful writing on display. Today, Hannibal maintains a staggering 92 percent certified fresh critic score on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes, bested only by its general audience score of 94 percent.

A Chance Of A Revivial

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing Hannibal Lecter sauté a human hand while pontificating on how to catch a deranged child-kidnapper, be sure to stream Hannibal on Amazon Prime Video today. Despite the less-than-satisfying conclusion, the journey that the show takes over the course of 39 hour-long episodes is well worth the watch. Plus, series producers and stars have maintained in the nearly 10-year span since the show concluded that they’d like to revisit the characters, so there’s still a minor chance that the show could receive a final film to wrap up the story.