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New Inspiration

May 3, 2013

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Not too long ago, I wrote about how a lot of shows on TV nowadays are being based off of classic literature. Since then I’ve noticed a new trend that is just starting, but I’m sure will continue to grow.  For a long time, film producers have been taking television shows and making movies out of them (Charlie’s Angels, Shaft, Dukes of Hazard, Starsky & Hutch, Star Trek, The Simpsons, just to name a few).  But now it seems to be working in reverse – and when I say working, I mean WORKING.

Bates Motel is based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and has received glowing reviews, and was renewed for a second season two weeks before the show premiered.  But the one I really want to talk about is Hannibal.

Based on Silence of the Lambs, among other films, Hannibal shows us the good cannibal doctor prior to being caught, as he is contracted by the FBI to work with a special agent that can empathize with deranged serial killers (Hugh Dancy).  Obviously none of them know that Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) is himself a deranged serial killer.  He appears completely charming, and the audience is compelled to watch as he manipulates those around him.

One can argue, of course, that both of these are based on books rather than movies, since both Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter graced the pages of novels before we met them on screen, but they are far better known for their film portrayals than they are for their presence in literature.  Also, both shows portray these characters before the film versions we know and loathe. 

I’m certain Hannibal will be renewed soon, as it as compelling, well written, and visually stunning as anything else out there.  I look forward to seeing what trouble the good Dr. Lecter will get into as the season progresses and in the future, and I hope that this trend continues, as it is clearly an inspiration that leads to an excellent product.

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