Hannibal: Season Two Blu-ray Review

  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Release Date: September 16, 2014



            I loved the first season of “Hannibal,” both for the visual excesses and the intelligent utilization of an infamous cinematic villain. While some of the elements remain the same, such as the cast and the stylistic choices in cinematography and art direction, the very fact that the first season allowed the narrative to progress outside of the serial-killer-a-week formula also ensured necessary changed in the second season. While I still enjoy the actors involved, much of the second season of “Hannibal” begins to feel like the writers painted themselves into a corner with season one’s finale.


            After being framed for the copycat murders, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) has been locked up in the dingy mental hospital. Although he has more than just a suspicion that it was Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) who framed him, to cover up the fact that he was the serial killer in question, Will has a difficult time gaining the trust of his former colleagues. This is truest with Will’s former mentor, Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne), though a flash-forward sequence in the first episode of the season lets us know that his eyes will eventually be opened to the truth about Hannibal.


            I was honestly quite skeptical about a Hannibal series, though the choice for Mikkelsen in the role was inspired enough to draw my attention. The other element that won me over was creator Bryan Fuller (“Dead Like Me,” “Pushing Daisies), who has a long history of visually spectacular shows that have a dark sense of humor. While the visuals and the dark elements are here, there is not much humor to be found. Instead, all of the over-indulgent stylizing has gone into the horrific and grisly murder scenes. Few shows on any network have managed murder quite so creatively gruesome, much less one that isn’t on cable. Regardless of the 10pm slot, I am shocked at how disturbing NBC allowed this show to get in the first season. Surprisingly, season two takes a step back, though this is mostly over a preoccupation with other plot developments over new serial killers every week.


            The Blu-ray release of season two includes all thirteen episodes on three discs, along with plenty of extras. There are commentaries for episodes, webisodes with Scott Thompson, deleted scenes and even a gag reel. Also included are several featurettes and a documentary, most dealing with the style of the show.


    Entertainment Value: 8/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 8.5/10

    Historical Significance:  7.5/10

    Special Features: 8.5/10

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