Friday, September 5, 2014

¡Qué horror! 2014
Candidate #13

(February 2014)

So, yeah, in a year that had some strong potential TV horror entries, no one could touch Hannibal.

True, Bryan Fuller’s exquisitely constructed mix tape adaptation of Thomas Harris’ serial killer novels was on its sophomore season, while most of the other TV horror contenders were freshman series, but hey, it managed to tie with Les Revenants for a ¡Q horror! slot last year, and they were both freshmen shows back then…

As we inch ever closer to a third adaptation of Red Dragon and the tantalizing possibility of a television rendition of The Silence of the Lambs (with Agent Schmarice Schmarling, if MGM can’t be bothered to play nice), Fuller and company continue to stage the most elegantly audacious and horrific serial killer scenarios this side of American network television.

If you haven’t gotten a, ahem, taste of Hannibal, you really ought to…

Parting Shot 1: For the record, the other horror series I hoped would be contenders but ultimately weren’t are:

Salem – honestly, a lot better than I thought it would be. A pleasant surprise (with a kickass opening title sequence orchestrated to a Marilyn Manson ditty) that still has some issues which, hopefully, will get resolved in its sophomore run.

Penny Dreadful – I absolutely love the first two episodes (directed by J.A. Bayona and shot by Xavi Giménez), but subsequent episodes don’t quite come up to that opening, impressive level.
Again, some issues need to be worked out… having Bayona and Giménez on board for all of Season 2’s episodes would be an awesome start!
But, barring that, I’m still stoked to hear that we get more of odd duck Egyptologist Ferdinand Lyle, as Simon Russell Beale is reportedly being upgraded to series regular.

The Strain – this was the one that hurt. Given the pedigree of the show (Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse), I wanted this show to kick ass.
Sadly, even though the one-and-done guest appearances of some familiar genre faces (like Larry Fessenden and Aaron Douglas) were much appreciated, it’s still got a whole slew of issues that need to be fixed.
As with the above two shows, The Strain’s also got a second season renewal, so here’s hoping they make the most of it, ‘cause they’ve got lots of tweaking to do to get this show pitch perfect…

Parting Shot 2: And while we’re on the subject of television, the pilot episode for Chris Carter’s new show for Amazon, The After, is mighty interesting.
Yes, the premise is not exactly new (it’s a mash-up between the “a bunch of strangers find themselves working together to survive an apocalyptic disaster” and “a bunch of not-so-random strangers thrown together, seemingly by fate” set-ups), but hey, this is Chris Carter, so I’m über-curious where he plans to take the story.
Plus, an initially unrecognizable Jamie Kennedy and Sharon Lawrence!
And a projected 99 episode run based, at least structurally, on Dante Alighieri’s Divina Commedia. (And I’m assuming he meant 99 episodes past the pilot, since there are 100 cantos in the Commedia.)
Given my fascination with Dante that stretches back all the way to high school (thank you, Mr. Manny Leviste!), there was no way I was gonna pass this up.
I’m so in, Mr. Carter…

(Hannibal OS’ courtesy of and; Salem and Penny Dreadful OS’ courtesy of; The Strain OS courtesy of; The After image courtesy of

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