Can *anything* replace Hannibal for me…?

Can *anything* replace Hannibal for me…?

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I’m not really sure how I became a fannibal. Back in the old days, if you’d asked me about Silence of the Lambs, I would have told you I thought it was a great film and that I loved the pairing of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins. Is it a film I watch whenever it’s on TV? No, well..I won’t watch the entire movie because it doesn’t captivate me the way it used to. When it was first released, I saw it on the big screen and I remember thinking Anthony Hopkins was awesome as Hannibal Lecter. I thought no one else could do that role justice.

I was wrong.

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Danish actor, Mads Mikkelsen

Enter Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. Now, I’ve been living in Scandinavia for twenty years, so I was used to seeing him on TV and in films. Usually he outshone the actors he shared the screen with, but I wasn’t a rabid Mads Mikkelsen fan. I thought he was a good actor. I thought he picked smart roles to play. I never pictured him as Hannibal Lecter. When he took his first Hollywood role (which I think was as Tristan in the dreadful Clive Owen vehicle, King Arthur), I worried he’d be typecast. He’s not conventional looking. He doesn’t look like your typical leading man. So even if he goes over well as the romantic lead in Scandinavian films, his intensity and his quirky looks aren’t going to win over the housewife in Tupelo or the college girls in Cleveland who want someone like young Brad Pitt to scream over. Mads Mikkelsen broods….he exudes that Scandinavian stillness that most Americans find incredibly uncomfortable–and he’s amazing at playing characters who are not always likeable but who have charisma, which is probably why he’s been typecast as the villain in US films such as Casino Royale and Clash of the Titans).

I think it’s that Scandinavian stillness and his ease at playing morally questionable characters (let’s face it, he’s played a long string of very flawed characters) that made him the ideal actor to play Hannibal Lecter. I will admit, I was skeptical initially. I couldn’t envision him in the role. Before the show even aired, I remember telling a friend that Mikkelsen could never step into Anthony’s Hopkins shoes.

Yes, I know…I was wrong.

From the first episode, I was hooked. I love how creeped out I get while watching it–yet I can no longer sit through most horror films. The episodes are beautifully shot–even the most gruesome images are like these works of art–his suits are impeccable, the entire cast is amazing and the scripts are so intelligent, so clever. Perhaps that’s why NBC couldn’t handle Hannibal? It’s just too clever and intelligent… I mean, other shows that have as huge of a fan base as Hannibal stick around, even with lousy ratings. And Hannibal‘s ratings weren’t dismal. The critics loved Hannibal–it was the thinking man (or woman’s) type of show.

I guess that is the crux of the problem.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 06.33.02My former homeland celebrates ignorance and mediocrity these days. Shows like Hannibal don’t connect with people who would drool over Real Housewives of Atlanta or whatever other reality hell is now currently America’s favourite show.

So now I sit here wondering…what can possibly fill the void left by Hannibal once Season Three ends? I already watch Gotham. I never miss an episode of Game of Thrones. Maybe I will start binge-watching the reboot of Battlestar Galactica again. It’s filled many a dull evening.

But I don’t think anything will sustain me quite like Hannibal…it truly did feed my fear. I hope Bryan Fuller succeeds in finding a new home for the show. Until then, I have seasons 1 and 2 on DVD (yes, I still watch DVDs on my Blu-Ray player) so I can at least binge-watch those if the summer rains return to Stockholm.

But Hannibal will be like the one who got away. Or the bad boy who stalked off into the sunset…though in a perfectly cut suit and probably looking for something (or someone) to pair with fava beans and Chianti or Sangiovese.