Even though this show seems intent on the trappings of a police procedural I am very seduced by the bonding (and manipulation) between Hannibal and Graham. Intellectual peers although one is weak and the other exuding strength. I thought this week was terrific in terms of setting up the trust between patient and doctor. Moreover, Mikkelson, who I found wooded and sterile in the pilot really begins to flex his characters charisma and control. Hannibal is a monster and Mads is perfectly cast. The show expertly sets the tension that he is already 5 plays ahead of everyone. Dancy impressed me as well. Two episodes in and your already experiencing the brilliantly frail and dark mind of Will Graham. The labels of 'finest china', 'broken pony' are perfect labels for his embodied genius who is also a tortured soul. Someone who suppresses the impulse to kill like a recovering alcoholic avoids mouthwash. I know many will knock the casting but after watching a decade of stale, wooden acting of 'Criminal Minds, CSI:Everywhere, NCIS's casting... and so on it's gratifying to see actors with depth and a script that allows them to emote pain and fear. And Larry Fishburne even elevates himself from CSI land (not a bad show, however this is a step up).
I'm admittedly a pretty picky viewer. Since HBO's The Sopranos graced the screen there have been very little network TV that I've been inclined to tune into. Aside from LOST, The Good Wife and a few other programs that have been here and gone (cancellation) I've had a steady diet of serial based cable dramas to fill my TV time. BREAKING BAD, THE WIRE, JUSTIFIED, SOA, THE WALKING DEAD, THE KILLING, MAD MEN, DEADWOOD, THE SHIELD, HOMELAND, BOARDWALK EMPIRE... I could go on but the message here is that the networks offer me little to invest in. Kudos NBC and Bryan Fuller here. I could see myself watching this for 13 episodes (the series run). I don't shake my head at the screen and feel my intelligence is being cheated here.