Is TV’s ‘Hannibal’ even better than ‘Silence of the Lambs’? (Poll)

NBC’s “Hannibal” premiered its third season on June 4, and it continues to receive rapturous praise from critics (84 on MetaCritic as of this writing). But as good as it is, could it be – gasp – even better than “The Silence of the Lambs”?

Is Mads Mikkelsen now the greatest Hannibal the Cannibal? (Poll)

“Silence,” directed by Jonathan Demme in 1991, wasn’t the first film to feature the infamous serial killer Hannibal Lecter – that was “Manhunter” in 1986 – but it was certainly the one that made him a star. It was so dazzling that the motion picture academy momentarily forgot their snobbish bias against horror films and awarded it the Oscar for Best Picture and gave Anthony Hopkins the Best Actor prize as Lecter. What’s more, it’s one of only three films in Oscar history to win the big five awards (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress for Jodie Foster and Screenplay), following “It Happened One Night” (1934) and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975).

None of the Hannibal Lecter films that have been released since then have come close to the acclaim and pop cultural impact of “Silence” – including Ridley Scott‘s “Hannibal” (2000) and Brett Ratner‘s “Red Dragon” (2002), both starring Hopkins – and it seemed for a while that the character had finally run his course.

Who’s the scariest Hannibal: Mads Mikkelsen or Anthony Hopkins?

Then “Pushing Daisies” mastermind Bryan Fuller applied his particular magic touch to the classic horror saga and, quite appropriately, brought it back from the dead, casting Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen in the title role. The series hasn’t been a huge ratings hit, and the Emmys have yet to catch on – those TV academy folks are anti-horror snobs too – but it has emerged as one of the most acclaimed watercooler shows on television, and with two seasons and 26 episodes already under its belt, it has logged more time with the infamous cannibal than all the films put together.

So what do you think? Has “Hannibal” surpassed “The Silence of the Lambs”? Vote in our poll below.

4 thoughts on “Is TV’s ‘Hannibal’ even better than ‘Silence of the Lambs’? (Poll)

  1. NOT EVEN CLOSE

    Silence of the Lambs is one of the greatest films of all-time.
    Hannibal the television show? Not many people have even heard of this show, let alone watch it.
    Sure, you and I do, but aren’t the ratings horrendous?
    Silence swept the Oscars with Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay. I think only Cukoo’s Nest has done that.
    Obviously, there would be no Hannibal without Silence.

  2. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I got to go with Hannibal the TV show because it’s more visually stunning and it takes serial killers and made them interesting by the works of art.

  3. I can’t really compare the two. One is an epic movie based on an incredible book that is as close to perfect as a film can be. The other is a flawed but beautiful tv show that’s great as well. If I had to choose better, I’d go with Silence, but I think Mads is my favorite Lecter, and Hugh is far and away the best Will Graham.

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