Hannibal (TV series) part 03



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Critical reviews

Season Critical response
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 70% (40 reviews) 70 (32 reviews)
2 100% (24 reviews) 88 (14 reviews)
3 97% (29 reviews) 84 (15 reviews)

Season 1

Reviews for the first season were positive. On critic website Metacritic, the first season scored 70 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, which constitutes "generally favorable reviews". Joanne Ostrow of The Denver Post praised the series as a "... well constructed, masterfully written piece," but stated "... this level of violent imagery is not my cup of tea..." She also had high praise for the characters, stating that they are "... so compelling, however, that you may give in to the gore-fest." Paul Doro of Shock Till You Drop gave Hannibal an 8/10 and said of the series, "The stab at classy horror mostly succeeds due to excellent performances from the leads, genuine suspense and surprises, well-constructed short and long-term mysteries, and an appropriately disconcerting mood that permeates the action right from the start..." and praised Hugh Dancy in particular, saying he "... does an outstanding job of subtlety conveying how painful human interaction is for him, and despite being abrasive and unpleasant, you are always in his corner and really feel for the guy." Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly gave the show an A- and called it "... finely acted, visually scrumptious, and deliciously subversive."

Brian Lowry of Variety said Hannibal is "... the tastiest drama the network has introduced in awhile," and had particular praise for the central trio of Dancy, Mikkelsen and Fishburne. Eric Goldman of IGN gave the series a 9/10, which constitutes a score of "Amazing". He said, "A prequel TV series about Hannibal Lecter has to overcome a lot of preconceptions ... But guess what? None of that matters when you actually watch the show, because Hannibal is terrific." Linda Stasi of The New York Post gave the series two and a half stars out of four, praising the performances and called it "... The most beautifully shot and produced show on network TV, with many scenes simply and literally breathtaking..." Jeff Simon from The Buffalo News called Hannibal "deeply sinister" and "brilliant." The Chicago Sun Times' TV critic Lori Rackl said, "Hannibal is a haunting, riveting... drama that has the look and feel of a show audiences have become more accustomed to seeing on cable than broadcast," and concluded that "It's also extremely well executed... bound to leave viewers hungry for more." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix called Hannibal "creepy, haunting, smart, utterly gorgeous..." and the best of this season's serial killer shows. Sepinwall also praised the character of Hannibal, writing he has been made into a believable supervillain without making the police force and others look incompetent. Reflecting on the completed first season, The A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff wrote that the series acts as a corrective to the "empty" violence on much of television and "restores the seriousness of purpose to a genre long in need of it.... Hannibal is interested in death and murder as a means to glance sidelong at some of life’s largest questions. When not functioning as a cop drama, it’s an intricately twisted serial-killer thriller, but it’s also a surprisingly deep series about psychiatry and the state of the human mind." VanDerWerff concluded that Fuller had taken a series "that had every reason to be a cheap cash-in and has, instead, turned into one of TV’s best shows."

Other reviews were less favorable. Glenn Garvin from The Miami Herald called it "a fast-food hash of poor planning and worse execution...", referring to the writing as "a mess of unmemorable dialogue and unworkable characterizations." Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe was similarly critical, calling the series "rank and depressing," and concluded that it is "shocking, gruesome, and, ultimately, hollow."

Season 2

On Metacritic, the second season scored 88 out of 100 based on 14 reviews, which constitutes "universal acclaim". On April 10, 2014, Hannibal was voted the winner for Hulu's "Best in Show" online competition. On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season scored a 100% "certified fresh" rating with an average rating of 9.2 out of 10 based on 24 reviews. The consensus reads: "With powerful imagery and a strong, unpredictable story, season two of Hannibal continues to build on the first season's promise."

Mark Peters of Slate called Hannibal "an engrossing, psychologically dense show that is also visually stunning... the kind of gem seldom found on network TV." He did however note that the female characters were less developed. Matt Zoller Seitz, writing for New York magazine heaped praise on the show, calling it "serenely unlike anything else on TV or anything that ever has been on TV." Alan Sepinwall of HitFix continued his praise of the series, highlighting the performances of the lead actors. The A.V. Club named it the best TV series of 2014, and wrote that Hannibal was "the best, most elegantly designed thrill ride on TV in 2014".

The season two finale was met with universal critical acclaim. Gathering a perfect rating of 10 out of 10 on IGN, reviewer Eric Goldman stated, "Hannibal ended its fantastic second season with a thrilling, exciting and audacious series of events" and praised the directing by David Slade. The finale also earned a perfect "A" grade by The A.V. Club, where reviewer Molly Eichel called it "an entirely perfect cap to this season." Den of Geek reviewer Laura Akers labelled the episode "simply divine" and stated that she has "rarely found [herself] looking forward to a show's return more". Emma Dibdin of Digital Spy also heavily praised the episode, specifically Mikkelsen's performance, stating that he is "so convincingly predatory...and so simultaneously scary and sad". She also laid praise on the sound design of the episode by saying that "the integration of a ticking clock worked so well not just in the usual 'time is running out' way, but also a subconscious reminder of Hannibal's manipulation of Will". TV Guide named it the best TV episode of 2014.

Season 3

Season 3 of Hannibal received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, season 3 has a 97% "Certified Fresh" rating with an average rating of 8.7 out of 10 based on 29 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Bryan Fuller serves up another delightfully demented season of Hannibal, featuring a hearty helping of gorgeous gore, paired with a sweet side of twisted humor." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 84 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Joshua Rivera of Business Insider stated that "Hannibal is a show that puts all of its chips on the table, blows up that table, and then builds something even more fascinating from what remains", and hailed it as one of the best shows on television. Dominic Patten of Deadline.com also gave the first few episodes positive reviews also stating the show returns better than ever. In addition, the acting of Mads Mikkelsen and Gillian Anderson were particularly praised, with Bloody Disgusting writing, "Gillian Anderson's performance pushes Mads Mikkelsen in ways never thought possible," while also giving praise to creator and writer Bryan Fuller saying he creates "meticulously detailed scripts that define his characters in completely unpredictable ways." The review concludes by stating season 3 "re-establishes Hannibal as the best horror show on television." Chris Cabin of Slant Magazine gave it a very positive review, with four stars, and wrote that season 3 is "even more incisively and ambitiously written than the last season, and sporting the most radically expressive imagery currently on television." Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly rated it an "A-" and wrote, "Hannibal remains the most engrossing (and gross) serial-killer drama on television, and the most beautiful."

Critics' top ten list

2013

2014

2015

Awards and accolades

Awards and accolades for Hannibal
Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2013 Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Gillian Anderson Nominated
Best New Theme Song in a Series Nominated
Best New Titles Sequence Nominated
2014 IGN Awards Best TV Actor Hugh Dancy Nominated
Best TV Horror Series Won
Best TV Villain Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best TV Series Nominated
Best New TV Series Won
Saturn Awards Best Network Television Series Won
Best Actor on Television Hugh Dancy Nominated
Mads Mikkelsen Won
Best Guest Star on Television Gina Torres Nominated
Critics' Choice Television Award Best Drama Actor Hugh Dancy Nominated
EWwy Award Best Drama Series Won
Best Guest Actor, Drama Michael Pitt Nominated
Online Film & Television Association Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
2015 Satellite Awards Best Actor – Television Series Drama Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best Television Series – Drama Nominated
IGN Awards Best TV Series Won
Best TV Horror Series Won
Best TV Villain Mads Mikkelsen Won
Best TV Episode "Mizumono" Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Network Television Series Won
Best Actor on Television Hugh Dancy Won
Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best Supporting Actor on Television Laurence Fishburne Won
Best Supporting Actress on Television Caroline Dhavernas Nominated
Best Guest Star on Television Michael Pitt Nominated
Best DVD or Blu-ray TV Series Season 2 Nominated
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards 2015 Best TV Series Nominated
Best TV Actor Hugh Dancy Nominated
Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best TV Supporting Actress Gillian Anderson Won
Best TV Makeup/Creature FX Francois Dagenais Nominated
2016 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Drama Actor Hugh Dancy Nominated
Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Richard Armitage Nominated
IGN Awards Best TV Series Nominated
Best TV Horror Series Won
Best TV Villain Richard Armitage Won
Best TV Episode "The Wrath of the Lamb" Won
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards 2016 Best TV Series Nominated
Best TV Actor Hugh Dancy Nominated
Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best TV Actress Caroline Dhavernas Nominated
Best TV Supporting Actor Richard Armitage Won
Best TV Supporting Actress Gillian Anderson Won
Best TV Makeup/Creature FX Francois Dagenais Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Action-Thriller Television Series Won
Best Actor on Television Mads Mikkelsen Nominated
Best Supporting Actor on Television Richard Armitage Won
Best Supporting Actress on Television Gillian Anderson Nominated
Emmy Awards Outstanding Special Visual Effects "Primavera" Nominated
2017 Saturn Awards Best Television DVD Release The Complete Series Collection Won
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