Thomas Harris, and then the series of several movies based upon said work, the current TV series -- "created" and often written by Bryan Fuller (shown at left) -- mistakes, among other things, pomposity and pretension for art. I am not sure I have ever had to sit through so much mindless repetition, zombie-like performances (from otherwise very good actors) and ludicrous plotting -- simply for the "payoff" of a few visually interesting moments (usually devoted to bizarre murders). This, as I am occasionally goosed into saying, constitutes fart masquerading as art.
Hugh Dancy, above) imagine that he's killing that girl (Casey Rohl, below) just one more time...." And then we do. Oh, yes: There is also the little matter of Will's constant nightmares, which we see over and over again. We get the point, OK? No matter, because they're determined to show it to us again. And then again. Just for good measure. (Maybe, in that week that passed between television episodes, most Americans forgot that our Will was "troubled" and so needed another gentle reminder.)
Mads Mikkelsen, are mostly one-note. Mikkelsen (above), perhaps for the first time in his storied career, is charmless and consistently flat, whether he is cooking up a gourmet meal (shown a few photos above) or taking care of a recalcitrant patient (Dan Fogler, below). Dancy, on the other hand, is forever threatening to go over-the-top and always in the same tiresome manner. (See the latter's fine film Adam in which he also plays -- but to much better result -- a character suffering from Asperger's Syndrome.)
Gillian Anderson, playing Hannibal's own shrink, gets stuck in this arty and pretentious attitude, and the less said about poor Laurence Fishburne (below, who plays the FBI boss), the better. His character makes no sense whatsoever. When he finally, very late in the game, tells Dancy, "You've got to take better care of yourself!" you'll want to kick this poorly conceived character down the stairs.
Eddie Izzard) can so easily escape from an armored prison truck, how can he then be captured by the sick, weak and (by this time) mentally ill Will? Don't ask, as the series -- so in-your-face regarding its nasty, ugly acts of killing -- proves awfully circumspect regarding exactly how so many of these and other actions get done.
Lara Jean Chorostecki (below), who plays the tabloid reporter Freddie Lounds and who, amongst the rest of these near-zombies, brings so much fiery energy and intelligence to her role that she often single-handedly gooses the series into a bit of life. (The best line in the entire first season belongs to Ms Chorostecki and has to do with the kind of people who might make good serial killers.)
Gaumont, having just completed its third season -- you can view the first two via Amazon Instant Video: (Amazon Prime members can watch for free) -- is now set for a fourth. Count me out, but maybe you'll have better luck. Especially if you don't binge-watch.