The time is here: Hannibal ended for good (or at least until someone — anyone! — decides to pick it up). And while there is no real substitute for what star Hugh Dancy once called a “gore-geous” show, there are some series that together make for a Hannibal-like experience — read on for our recommendations.
Pretty Little Liars
Yes, it’s perhaps the most melodramatic teen-centric show on TV. And yes, it is insanely entertaining: Similarly to Hannibal, the show constantly teases its viewers. The people you think are dead usually are, in fact, alive and (sort of) well, and the people you think are good are usually, in fact, really, really bad. Although people die all the time on PLL, it’s not quite as dark as Hannibal — but it is equally crazy.
Hannibal stands out in its emphasis on direction: Killings usually look uncomfortably sexy, sex has been filmed through a kaleidoscope lens. And although USA’s Mr. Robot is only in its first season, it’s a show also (and already) heralded for its approach to aesthetics. Just watch:
Like Hannibal, Rectify has a heavy emphasis on psychology and moral ambiguities. Also like Hannibal, it’s not an easy show to watch. It’s dark and gritty and full of heavy dialogue — and on top of all that, it’s a beautiful, fascinating look at humanity. Aden Young portrays Daniel Holden, a former death row inmate accused of murder when he was a teen, with a sense of discomfort that mirrors Hugh Dancy’s own role as the eternally empathetic, occasionally awkward Will Graham — a type of character not always easy to find on television, a world filled with stereotypically charming individuals.
Ignoring the much-maligned series finale, Dexter successfully profiles a stone-cold killer … while also managing to make said stone-cold killer a sometimes likable character. While Dexter Morgan’s murders are good-natured compared to Hannibal’s (Morgan specficially targets bad people; Hannibal specfically targets, well, anyone), he still spends his free time ending people’s lives — not exactly a morally justifiable hobby. And Showtime didn’t visually sugarcoat these murders: Though Dexter rarely gets as gruesome as Hannibal, it does feature enough blood to satisfy any gore fanatic.
Hannibal‘s praised for its luxurious display of food just about as often as its praised for everything else — and for good reason: Each and every dish Hannibal himself prepares proves that food can be just as artistic a medium as, say, painting or sculpting. Netflix’s Chef’s Table, a documentary series that profiles a different chef each episode, also goes by that philosophy. Sure, they might not be sauteeing up fresh human, but they do treat food as more than simply a necessity of life — and because of that, their dishes come out just as stunning (and likely delicious) as any of Hannibal’s.
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