Today I am going to use my barely touched blog to talk about something people have gotten tired of hearing me talk about in real life; Hannibal. The new cult TV series adaptation of Thomas Harris’ classic crime trilogy, charting the early relationship between sophisticated and erudite serial killer Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham, the man who will eventually catch him. Anybody who has seen the series does not need me to tell them that it is a visually stunning, operatic and gripping nightmare of a show, delving into the abnormal psychology of its twisted, compelling and weirdly likeable central characters. For someone whose writing style was irreparably coloured by reading Red Dragon at thirteen, this series is a gift, full to the brim with references to the source material that make me grab and shake whoever I’m watching the show with and excitedly explain which book that was from and how they cleverly re-contextualised it for the series (note; do not watch Hannibal with me if you don’t want to start feeling homicidal impulses of your own).
Every episode of Hannibal’s incredible second season was the highlight of my week. If I finished work late on a Saturday and went for a drink after you could rest assured that the first thing I would do upon getting home at 5:30 in the morning was watch the new episode. And when the week long waits started to kill me, I decided to re-read Red Dragon to get my fix, which led to re-reading The Silence of the Lambs which led to me finishing the novel Hannibal around the same time as the season ended on a killer cliff-hanger. And then…
People tell me I’m too invested in fiction. But those people can get fucked, to be frank. Stories to me are everything; they are comfort, they are my career, they are entertainment, they are hobbies and they bring me endless joy and satisfaction, whether I’m writing them or consuming the genius work of somebody else. I have been obsessed with stories since I was old enough to watch them, read them, hear them, tell them and write them. They are the prism through which I understand the world. Watching Hannibal brought me back to some of my all-time favourite books and made me love them again, more than I ever had before. It reminded me of all the feelings that good stories can give me, and it inspired me to write more, to try and get to the point where one day I can tell a story that makes somebody feel the same way Hannibal makes me feel.
Hannibal is gone for a year, so I guess I’m going to have to find something else to obsess over in the meantime. But I am so glad that this low-rated oddity of a TV series could re-ignite in me the passion that has defined my life.
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