Book Review: The Art and Making of Hannibal

The Art and Making of Hannibal
@Lcfremont takes a look at The Art and Making of Hannibal…

Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal is one of those shows that takes more than one season for people to realize that they are missing out on some truly amazing television. On the dreaded bubble of possible cancellation last season, Hannibal is making a big entrance with the season three premiere and there is a gorgeous book to go with it.

The Art and Making of Hannibal The Television Series by Jesse McLean has been released at the perfect time. If you have heard about Hannibal, but haven’t yet checked it out, you can now binge the first two seasons while you feast your eyes on a book that goes into detail about the intricacies of what makes this show exceptional.

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Each chapter in this gorgeous, gorgeous book focus’ on a specific element of the show. It may be a specific character (Hannibal Lecter) or the precise detail that goes into the wardrobe of that character. No detail is left out of Hannibal and that is why it is one of the most visually stunning and stimulating shows on television. Whether you are a passive or extremely invested viewer of the show, you cannot deny the many intricate layers of all of the things that make Hannibal……well, Hannibal.

With a nice, succinct history of how Hannibal came to grace our television screens we are then taken down the rabbit hole that is wardrobe, architecture, the glorious, glorious food, characters, special effects and specific murder scenes. No stone is left unturned and all of this extra information simply makes you adore the show even more than you already did. 

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Despite the fact that Hannibal is often serving up long pig, it’s nearly impossible to not be jealous that you aren’t at that dinner table. From the sterile functionality of the kitchen to the lush surroundings in the dining room where mouth watering dishes are served, no detail is ignored and it is truly intriguing to read about how so many people came together, creating an exceptionally precise environment to showcase the beauty that is Janice Poon’s food styling. It really was so wonderful to learn about the care that went into a very specific dinner scene with Eddie Izzard while revisiting this show and reading this book to make a viewer appreciate everything so much more.

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When detailing the love and care that goes into the tragically beautiful crime scenes, many interesting points are learned. As is very American, it is the nudity that often poses the biggest hurdles when it comes to what can and cannot be shown on network television. In what is, arguably, the most beautifully complex murder scenes, The Praying Angels, it was the visibility of bare buttock and not wings made of human flesh that bothered the censors. Learning all of these little tidbits is extra fun because Hannibal is one of those shows that, with every episode, you ask yourself, how did this get onto network television?

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Hannibal is one of those rare shows that only gets better with repeated viewings. It is this repetition that allows you to see something new and marvel at what the writers already had planned episodes ago. To have such a lovingly compiled book to go along with this experience is almost too much visual and mental stimulation for this TV Baby to handle, but it was a wonderfully gluttonous experience. With candid, and in-depth insights from everyone involved in the creation of the amazing show, The Art and Making of Hannibal is not just an indulgence, but a necessary addition to your Hannibal menu. To not add something so deliciously decadent to your Hannibal library would be discourteous and we all know what happens to the rude.

Lisa Fremont

Twitter: @lcfremont
Images: craveonline, bloodydisgusting,

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