Monday, July 1, 2013

Fan-Boy Icon #69: Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller)

Some of my favorite television shows have one thing in common; Bryan Fuller. Shows like Wonderfalls, Dead Like Me, and Pushing Daisies have always been high on my list, but there is also involvement in Star Trek: Voyager (oddly, my introductory how-to-love-Start-Trek show). I did not watch it, but in preparing for this post discovered he was a writer/producer on Heroes.

When the wife (@tas33) started watching/singing-the-praises of Hannibal, I was skeptical. Silence of the Lambs is her favorite movie, and she will watch all of the Hannibal Lechter related films with varying degrees of love. One of the few books I have convinced her to read was The Monster of Florence, which is the Italian case that inspired Thomas Harris to create the Hannibal character. She finally got me to watch Hannibal by making the Wonderfalls argument, and I am glad she stopped neglecting it.

Hannibal, primarily, revolves around the relationship between Will graham (who you likely know from Harris' The Red Dragon) and Hannibal Lechter before he was a known serial-killer/cannibal. It is not, thankfully, a rehashing of what we know, nor is it an impression of Anthony Hopkins. We know that Lechter is a killer, and the show does not hide it from us, nor is it the point of the show.

I am no great student of film or television, as long time readers can attest, but here is an anecdote that I think is actually a good way to explain the show:

While watching the second episode of the show, I said aloud what I thought was the subtext of something Lechter said. Actor Mads Mikkelsen uses a rather Dutch-sounding accent (as Lechter would have had), so I attempted to copy it. The wife said "he's not Dracula", referring to my poor attempt at impersonation.

In a way, though he is. Rather than making a pastiche performance based on Anthony Hopkins, this is a different Hannibal Lechter than we are used too, so in some ways he is Dracula or Sherlock Holmes. Not everyone has to play Dracula as Bella Lugosi, nor Sherlock Holmes as Basil Rathbone. Those characters transcend the actors to whom they were signatures, and I think this is an attempt to put Hannibal Lechter in that same vein.

Fortunately, Hannibal has been picked up for another season, and I trust it will be enjoyable. The season recently ended, and I believe it begins in re-runs this Thursday (check your local listings). It is definitely worth watching, even if (or especially if) you were never a fan of the character before.

Oh, and watch Wonderfalls, while you're at it. Easily one of the most beautiful pieces of television ever.


Kal said...

I got tricked into watching Wonderfalls which shorting became one of my favorite series of all time. Such great characters and a genuinely NICE show that you don't see much anymore.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I rewatched Wonderfalls after making this post. It is a pretty delightful show. I know a lot of people wanted it to go for another season, but I like that it wrapped up nicely. Kind of like a12hr movie.

Kal said...

It's like Firefly...NO ONE can ruin Wonderfalls. It is what is is and that is pretty great. I talk that show up to whomever I can.

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