a few great shows

Note: the following post discusses Hannibal, Rick & Morty and The Path. I don’t believe there are any real spoilers in here, but just a fair warning.

So I just finished breezing through three really decent (in my opinion) shows I can’t believe I didn’t see previously: Hannibal, Rick & Morty, and The Path. Mainly, I was blown away that no one had really made a big stink over me seeing either Hannibal or Rick & Morty. The Path, I tried on my own but I haven’t heard anyone really talking about it. I find that pretty strange. Of course, these shows aren’t exactly “Lost” in both their build-up, intensity and mystery, but they do each possess a very engaging characteristic.

Take Hannibal, for example. It’s easy to think of a murderous sociopath as sort of one dimensional — in The Silence of the Lambs, Lecter seems almost like a cat who has found a new plaything in Clarice Starling. It seems like he’s just toying with her for the sake of the game itself, only trading little bits of what she’s after in exchange for personal details. Sure, that’s interesting and Lecter is terrifying as a character because he seems to be able to smell where someone has been before his lizard brain even detects whether they’re lying about a particular question. That’s already an interesting character. A cat-like creature wearing human skin that will bare his fangs the moment someone he has distaste for drops their guard.

The Hannibal Lecter of the Hannibal TV series, on the other hand, seems purely lizard like. The things hinted at in other movies on the character are shown in more vivid detail in the series. We get to see what Hannibal’s love interests are like. Yes, he’s a cannibal — unacceptable — but putting that aside for the sake of good television, just watching the way the character goes through his “process” in everything from his therapy sessions, to the meticulous way he prepares all his food, down to the ease with which he plays people. Again, to Hannibal, everything is still a game but there is such a style to him that it almost makes you question who the real hero is at times. You can almost begin to see the world through his eyes and he really, really hates rude people and is endlessly fascinated by human monsters. In a sense, he is their savior. And again, putting aside the eating of folks, it’s hard not to want to emulate the way Hannibal lives his home life. I don’t know who they’re consulting to dress these sets, but they’re doing a fine job.

Anyway, I’m late to the Hannibal train but I really do hope they carry on with another season. I’ve read rumors saying it’s possible, but there’s nothing set in stone yet. If you catch wind, please let me know.

Moving on to Rick and Morty, a friend of mine mentioned it in passing a while back and I kind of put it in the back of my mind but then decided to dive in after reading a Reddit post on the subject. Actually giving it a chance was a great decision, mainly because — despite the show being crude and aiming for funny most of the time — a lot of the plots are just very interesting and I find myself having a lot of, “Why didn’t I think of that?” moments, which is great. I can’t wait to see what else these guys come up with.

Next is The Path. Sure, it’s a drama. And yes, I may have used the gateway of Hugh Dancy from Hannibal as a sort of divining rod for what to watch next, but I actually got really interested in where this show would go. Cynically, I know the show isn’t going to really shock me with anything I haven’t seen before, but who cares? To me, the really interesting part is that it seems to be show that’s not taking a side on cults (movements?); it doesn’t seem to be a tongue-in-cheek message about people in Scientology or whatever. For me, it seems to be showing the ugly and the beautiful along with it. That being said, am I thinking of ever joining something similar? Nope. Not even close. But that doesn’t mean I don’t find it interesting.

It’s so easy to sort of blanket everyone in a “movement” as sheep who refuse to accept reality as it is and choose a better version to believe in just because life is easier when all the answers are provided, but obviously there’s more to it than that. Within the movement, everyone remains human and they don’t want to kill everyone else, but they definitely consider themselves otherly or separate. In fact, people in the movement want to help the people in society that no one else wants to look out for and that society just sort of sweeps under the rug. I think that’s the really interesting part. In helping the weak, they become strong. That echoes some truth about other religions/movements in reality as well: people operate within the framework of the movement, but can’t run from all it means to be human. Particularly when they’re living right alongside their trangressing counterparts.

There are some emotional moments along the way with this show, too. People dealing with losing their faith, or in outsiders being introduced to the weirdness of anything vaguely resembling a cult. It doesn’t hurt that it has Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad!) and Hugh Dancy in it either.

I’ll be looking forward to the next seasons of each of these shows, particularly Hannibal and Rick & Morty.