Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hannibal Lecter on TV

Did anyone else watch the premiere of the TV series HANNIBAL? As a devoted fan of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (both the book and the movie), I was eagerly looking forward to it. This program, written as a prequel to RED DRAGON, updates the story to the present, doubtless to avoid confusing viewers with a recent-past setting as well as to showcase the latest cool crime-solving technology. Will Graham, as a special investigator for the FBI, solves serial killer cases with the help of the profiling expertise of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, at this point still a highly respected psychiatrist rather than a convicted murderer. So far, I’m favorably impressed.

This series faces a quandary similar to what we find in shows such as FOREVER KNIGHT and VOYAGER. If the central problem posed at the beginning, which gives the program its main interest for the viewer, is solved, the series has to end. If Nick Knight got cured of his vampirism or Voyager made it back to Earth, the series would have been over (was over, in the case of VOYAGER). So Will can never find out Dr. Lecter is a cannibal serial killer (unless the show is eventually scheduled to be canceled and the writers want to wind it up decisively). Unless plotted as essentially a miniseries with a defined conclusion, the story arc can never progress to the threshold of RED DRAGON. Therefore, the scripts will have to continually tease the audience with hints and near misses wherein Graham almost finds out Lecter's secret and then fails to do so. That could get frustrating.

(OTOH, as we’ve already seen in the pilot, there's potential for pleasurable irony in the viewer's knowledge of what Lecter really is while watching Graham obliviously continue their collaborative investigations.)

I believe this is an example of what Jacqueline calls the “hung hero” dilemma.

BTW, yesterday I was interviewed on Amber Skyze’s blog:

Amber Skyze

And on April 12, Ellora’s Cave will release a “Naughty Nooner” (e-book short story) by me called “Weird Wedding Guest.” This is a sequel to my humorous Lovecraftian erotic romance novella “Tentacles of Love”:

Weird Wedding Guest

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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