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#10 – Hannibal
Mads Mikkelsen has been one of my favorite actors for years now, delivering fantastic performances in films like Pusher 2, King Arthur and Casino Royale. His interpretation of the role that acting legend Anthony Hopkins made famous decades ago not only holds up but it may actually rival the original. Blasphemous statement? Maybe, but Mikkelsen’s serial killer psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter is a delight to watch every week. The scenes where Hannibal cooks up those extravagant meals for his guests are alone worth your time.

The show is very much a psychological thriller instead of an action packed spectacle, but the one episode that really sold the series for me was where Hannibal squares off against another serial killer who makes violin strings from the intestines of his victims. That episode may be the finest hour of television in 2013 (sans Game of Thrones episode 9). I’m not sure how season two will continue the series and I’m not sure the new direction will work, but I don’t care because I’ve been sucked into this world and I can’t wait to watch Dr. Lecter cook his delightful meals in 2014.
4. Hannibal
I have to admit that I was one of the critics who thought that “Hannibal” could never work on TV, especially not on NBC.

And yet Bryan Fuller and his team proved me wrong. Their reinterpretation of Thomas Harris’ classic serial killer is amazing, with a cast more than equal to the task of bringing this story to life. Laurence Fishburne was terrific as Jack Crawford, but he’s not even the best performer on this show.

Instead that honor is shared between Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen. Dancy’s Will Graham is more tortured and vulnerable than the earlier portrayals of that character, while Mikkelsen is chilling and compelling as Dr. Hannibal Lecter without disappearing into the shadow of Anthony Hopkins’ iconic performance.

It’s fascinating to see how far NBC has allowed Fuller and company to push the limit of what network television can depict. “Hannibal” is deliciously dark and the first season cliffhanger was particularly twisted. I can’t wait to see what’s next for this series.

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