Well, we'll see. But I do want to talk about the TV Series Hannibal, at least Season 1, which I watched thanks to my Amazon Prime membership and my Roku box. (As as aside, technology is cool.) And they did tremendous job and made tremendous mistakes.
Now, I'm a fan of the Thomas Harris books (Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, in particular. Hannibal, not so much) and I dearly hope he's been busy writing under a pen name rather than sitting around, cashing royalty checks and brooding. He's a damn good writer and wrote damn good stories. These stories are also perfect examples of the dangers of secondary characters running away with you.
The first thing you need to know about the series is that it is a Horror show, in the most specific meaning of the word. There are images so horrific and gory in this show that I can't believe this was ever shown on television. Things have changed a lot since I canceled my cable in 1999.
The second thing you need to know about the show is that this is a world without lawyers. This is important for dramatic reasons, in real life and in books, lawyers ruin everyone's fun. Yet, in small doses, lawyers to perform a useful function, reminding people that certain actions are illegal, unethical and providing useful cannon fodder. Related, the FBI's once-famed and respected Office of Professional Responsibility doesn't show up even once and it dearly needs to.
Third, and this is mostly for fans of the books and movies, this seems to be a case of alternate continuity. So much depicted here directly contradicts what Thomas Harris wrote that, if you're like me and take your stories too seriously, you might need to medicate yourself to the point that you forget the books and movies ever existed. Of course, if you could do that, why would you bother watching the show in the first place. Well, I'll tell you. Then I'll rip the show a new hole that it clearly would enjoy televising.
The performances (with the possible exception of Lawrence Fishburne) are uniformly good, at least for the leads. Mads Mikklesen does a remarkable job playing Hannibal Lecter, managing to step out of Anthony Hopkin's shadow. I can't say enough what an accomplishment this is. He is courtly, suave but with an air of subtle danger about him. I have some nits to pick but he did a fine job. Same with Hugh Dancy, who plays the Byronic Hero in the series, Will Graham. There are fatal flaws in the characterization but his performance is well done.
It is daring. It reminds me a lot of Millennium (which I'm not the only one who sees that show as an inspiration. They have a cameo by Lance Henriksen who played Frank Black in that show). Millennium gave us visuals and stories that got under your skin and squirmed around. Hannibal goes even further, with even more horrific images and crimes. I don't know if that's a good thing or not culturally, but i can recognize the skill with which it was done.
The arcs are well written. There are some mis-steps but they are conceptual, not in execution. The arcs include: Will Graham losing his mind, Hannibal's attraction to Will (non-sexual, he sees will as a kindred soul), Will's PTSD from shooting a serial killer in episode 1, Abigail Hobbs flirting with the killer in her and her own responsibility in her father's crimes and Dr. Gideon's red herring role about being the Chesapeake Ripper. Each arc is very well done, paced with great skill, each is resolved in a way that leads to new plot arcs.
The final image is very cool, if utterly out of canon. So let's use that as the transition to what doesn't work. The final image is Will Grant in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, behind bars. Saying, with a crazed look, 'Hello Doctor Lecter', who is visiting him. Cool? Yes. A great reversal from the first time we see Hannibal in Silence of the Lambs. And it's a crowning example of what the writers did wrong.
The biggest problem is with that final image and the whole Will Graham insanity plot. Will Graham (and for that matter, Jack Crawford) is loosely based on John Douglas*, the real-life FBI agent who created profiles for Bundy, Gein and other serial killers. In the book, he's the man who caught Hannibal, earning Lecter's hate. Hate. You can't describe it any other way, both in the book and the movies, Lecter hates Graham who deprived him of his freedom. Famously, Graham caught Lecter, not because he was smarter but because Lecter had a disadvantage: he was insane. This who plot, Will going crazy, takes away the advantage Will Graham had in the original story: his sanity. Will fought with monsters and made it out alive. He didn't become a monster. He didn't fall. He didn't lose. He didn't make it out unscathed, he stopped profiling serial killers because they'd take up headspace inside his mind, that's true. But he didn't succumb. Putting Will in the Hannibal cell and putting a clear lucite mask on him is daring but its also a betrayal of the original character. As a practical matter, it stretches the credibility that Will can effectively operate as a teacher and investigator while his mind is deteriorating.
I'm also seriously doubting how much research the writing or directors did about procedures and policies in the FBI. You get a feel for how much ice there is below the surface of the water and I'm not feeling a lot. The X-Files had a lot of ice, so did Millennium. Hannibal has a culinary advisor but if there's a technical advisor, I'm not seeing it. Some details could be dropped for drama but I've yet to see anyone Mirandized, even Will when he's arrested at the end of the first series. Nobody has an attorney present during questioning. Ever. Ever,ever,ever. And they make a huge deal out of Will Graham being a 'Special Agent' instead of a 'full Agent', which is a fake distinction. They're same thing. Does the character have a badge and a gun and investigates crimes (as Will has) ? They they're a Special Agent. I'm starting to doubt they even used Wikipedia, let alone the contacts a major network would have with the FBI.
That ties into one of my surprise gripes, that of Lawrence Fishburne's performance as Jack Crawford. It's not just that I feel Scott Glenn did a better job. It's that Fishburne's leadership style seems to be 'leadership by yelling' and 'leadership by endangering my employees'. Seriously, the guy has already gotten one student killed by sending them after serial killers. Yes, Jack Crawford did send Clarice Starling to Hannibal Lecter but he was in prison at the time. He didn't send her after Buffalo Bill. Fishburne's character is told, and believes, that Will Graham is deteriorating mentally, but not only does he keep using him, he justifies it as 'saving lives'. I don't know any professional law enforcement officer who would operate like that. And if they did, the OPR would be down on him like a ton of bricks and he'd be supervising cactus in New Mexico by the end of the week.
The support characters don't really shine. Scott Thompson keeps reminding me of the Kids in the Hall and though he isn't as arch as he was then, he doesn't quite feel like a tech geek or a professional CSI admin. Hettienne Park is cute, but she can't act and she doesn't behave like a professional either.** The reporter character, played by Lara Jean Chorostecki, is also cute but her TMZ style reporting ought to earn her the fate that the similar male character in Red Dragon suffered.***
I have other nit picks, Hannibal throwing dinner parties and inviting Jack Crawford and his wife, Hannibal offering marriage counseling to the same, the plausibility of erecting a totem pole made of human body parts without discovery, etc. But that's enough to go by.
In conclusion, Hannibal is a well-written Horror show, if you can ignore the lack of research and suspend your knowledge of the books/movies. Good performances, no lawyers. For better or for worse.
* I HIGHLY recommend his book, Mindhunter. I bought it back in the 90's
** She wanders around, sorta flirty, disturbing Graham when he's working and her speech to Will Graham when she's scraping blood from under his nails is especially cringe-worthy
***Gruesome death. But I'm sure you knew that.