2. Hannibal. There was no more indelible a TV image this year than Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham, wracked by the effects the swelling in his brain was having on his consciousness, ostensibly waking up from sleep only to find himself trapped in some variation of Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory.” Every week on network TV’s best new series, Will floats through a cavalcade of horrors so dizzying in their graying of reality and fantasy as to suggest a perpetual slipstream. Through a hieratic fusion of image and sound, the show’s makers have made the focus of Hannibal not so much the cruelty of the debonair, ever-elusive monster played by Mads Mikkelson, but the toll one man’s empathy, his anxious desire to save humanity by entering the minds of killers, has on more than just his own well being. Gonzalez
Les Chappell: In the realm of pleasant surprises this year, it’s hard to think of another show that turned out to be as unexpectedly good as Hannibal. All of my expectations were low for this show, for plenty of valid reasons: It was an adaptation of a property that’s already been dragged out past its prime in sequel form, it’s on a network meaning it can’t go as far as the subject matter, and that network happens to be NBC, where ill-conceived remakes and adaptations roam like restless ghosts. Only the presence of Bryan Fuller, one of my all-time favorite showrunners, was enough to keep me interested, even though I didn’t see how the aesthetic of Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies was going to match up with the writing of Thomas Harris.
And I have never been so happy to be wrong. Hannibal was one of the best shows of 2013 for me and the best network drama (edging out Scandal by a narrow margin). It was the other side of Bryan Fuller’s coin, his gift for whimsy and fascination with death inverted into a gorgeously macabre affair. Mads Mikkelsen gave us a completely different version of Dr. Lecter, a monster hidden under the veneer of an aloof dandy, while Will Graham and Jack Crawford were more sympathetic and nuanced than they’ve been in any other version. The visuals brought to life by David Slade and fellow directors were gorgeously macabre–the bodies given angel wings of skin, the living mushroom garden, and the horrific specter of the black wendigo that haunted the entire season. And it also managed to be a show with a compelling narrative threaded through the entire 13 episodes, as Hannibal’s fascination with Will Graham led him to gradually guide the other man into insanity, for no other reason than one chilling sentence: “I wanted to see what would happen.” NBC miraculously renewed the show in the face of terrible ratings, and there’s few other programs I’m anticipating the return of as much in 2014.
Emma Fraser: Like Les, I was very pleasantly surprised with how incredible Hannibal turned out to be.
9. Hannibal (NBC)
This freshman NBC drama was a surprise at every turn. Barely promoted as a late-season throwaway, Bryan Fuller’s reimagining of Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs author Thomas Harris’ work was equally horrifying and hauntingly beautiful. Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen were superbly cast as the gifted-but-fragile FBI consultant Will Graham and budding serial killer psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, respectively, and their twisted dance around each other was fascinating to watch. As Dr. Lecter manipulated Will into a state of madness, the show also did something rare in this franchise: It showed its villain’s own troubled vulnerability. And only a show this visually stunning (those color palettes!) could make human organs being served at a dinner party look so delicious. We can’t wait for another serving.
- Doctor Who [Official Tumblr]
- Teen Wolf [Official Tumblr]
- Hannibal [Official Tumblr]
- Glee [Official Tumblr]
- Game of Thrones [Official Tumblr]
- Adventure Time [Official Tumblr]
- The Vampire Diaries
- Pretty Little Liars [Official Tumblr]
- American Horror Story
- The Simpsons
- The Walking Dead [Official Tumblr]
- Once Upon a Time [Official Tumblr]
- Breaking Bad [Official Tumblr]
- Parks and Recreation [Official Tumblr]
- New Girl [Official Tumblr]
- The Office [Official Tumblr]
- Castle [Official Tumblr]
- Orange is the New Black
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Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy in Hannibal
2013 was an excellent year for television, with many potential contenders for the no. 1 spot in this top 25 list, but ultimately, no show this year excited Digital Spy as greatly as Hannibal. While House of Cards was hailed as game-changing and Breaking Bad won all the critical acclaim, Hannibal bubbled away in the background, attracting an absolutely fanatical fanbase practically overnight and slowly, secretly, becoming the best show on television.
The term ‘visionary’ is one of those words that is often thrown away lightly, but it’s no exaggeration to describe Bryan Fuller as such – so much of why Hannibal worked so wonderfully is down to his brilliantly dark and vivid imagination. Harsh yet beautiful, uber-violent yet heartfelt, Hannibal – airing on safe, dependable US network NBC – was in its own quiet way every bit as groundbreaking as House of Cards and introduced viewers to the greatest on-screen pairing since Breaking Bad’s Walt and Jesse in Mads Mikkelsen’s sinister yet suave Hannibal Lecter and Hugh Dancy’s fragile yet powerful Will Graham.
In 2014, Hannibal deserves to move beyond cult status and become the next television phenomenon.
A poster featuring Hugh’s character from Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return was posted to their official facebook today, you can view the image in our photo archive.
A New Adventure Begins with some new friends in “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” coming to theaters in May 2014.
“Hannibal,” NBC: This cerebral yet bloody drama was gorgeous to look at and disturbing to think about, and, in this case, both those statements are compliments. Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy were brilliant in the lead roles, but “Hannibal’s” main recommendation is that, like several of the most ambitious shows on my best-of lists, it took the costs and consequences of violence seriously. (My review and thoughts on the Season 1 finale)
I have added additional high quality images from the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony on the 10th of December to our photo archive.
Public Appearances > 2013 > [December 10] Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony
I have added images of Hugh attending the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony with his wife Claire to our photo archive. Thanks to my friend Lah over at zigazig-ha.com for sending these to us!
Public Appearances > 2013 > [December 10] Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony
The Show: Mads Mikkelsen dropped out of Thor: The Dark World to play Hannibal Lecter in this NBC series, and thank goodness he did. Overseen by Bryan Fuller, Hannibal is a deliciously dark horror series following the infamous cannibal.
Why So Good? Mikkelsen brilliantly ignites the dangerous intellect in Hannibal’s lunacy, while Hugh Dancy is right up there alongside him as Special Agent Will Graham.
Best of all, the show banishes the memory of Hannibal’s lesser big screen outings for something that can quite happily sit alongside Silence Of The Lambs.
9. Hugh Dancy
As criminal profiler Will Graham on Hannibal, Dancy played a man who’s slowly losing his mind throughout the show’s tense, cannibal-heavy first season. Much like it embraced his costar Mads Mikkelsen, the internet immediately fell in love with both Dancy and his character. The British actor had been a critical darling thanks to roles in the 2011 cult-centric film Martha Marcy May Marlene and 2009’s Adam, in which he played a young man with Asperger syndrome, but the Hannibal cast’s active engagement with its fans (such as acknowledging popular Tumblr memes, like flower crowns) sealed the deal for the internet.