The Hannibal Fans Are Kind of Freaking Me Out

Credit to rocketkidzz on deviant art

There was a show called Dexter that was quite popular a few years ago. I had co-workers who kept trying to get me to watch the show, because they knew that I watched a huge number of procedural crime shows and I liked to read books about serial killers.

It was research for a book, I swear. Someday I might even finish writing it.

Anyway, I wasn’t interested. Maybe I’m weird, but I’ve always liked my shows and movies to be a little more black and white than a show where the hero is a psychopath serial killer committing bloody murders of other serial killers.

That’s more or less the reason I refuse to get involved in a show like Hannibal. I know it’s popular, trust me. I have a tumblr account and half the people I follow seem to be morbidly obsessed with the show, but something one of them said finally got me thinking and I watched a couple of episodes.

Which left me feeling a little worried about the fans.

See in Dexter (yes, I watched an episode or two before writing this) the main character is something of a principled psychopath. He has rules and, while his activities are morally ambiguous at best and obviously illegal, he is almost doing a public service. He’s like a trash collector…with no emotions and a lot of knowledge about how to kill and dispose of human bodies (depending on how much you know about the beginning of trash collection on the East coast, you might say there isn’t much difference at all).

But Hannibal…that’s a different story.

The problem is that I don’t think the writers were trying to create a show where the main character would end up getting the fans to humanize him and think that cannibalism was a huge joke, but fans in this day and age are a little weird. Give them a show with canon heterosexual love interests (or no love interests at all) and they will find a way to “ship” two males in the show in the most disturbing way ever.

Hey, I’m not judging (mostly) I’ve done it too!

Sometimes it’s like the writers *cough*JJAbrams*cough* are intentionally making the heterosexual canon couple so unpalatable and disfunctional *cough*Uhura/Spock*cough* that the relationship between the two male best friends seems a lot more romantic and rational *cough*Kirk/Spock*cough*

But still, the very concept of “shipping” Will Graham and Hannibal Lector is a bit…far fetched, and more than a little disturbing.

I think this really makes me wonder about society. Why is it that people are watching a show about a serial killer, who essentially kills people who he doesn’t like or whenever his freezer is getting a little empty, are humanizing him and giggling about how “cute” he is with his “family” (the daughter of serial killer who killed his wife and nearly slashed his daughter’s throat).

Admittedly there are fans who recognize that the character is not something to humanize and that he is quite evil and not “adorable” at all, but they seem to be in the minority on websites like tumblr.

In the end I’m left more than a little creeped out and a lot less inclined to go to dinner parties thrown by anyone who is a fan of the show.


  1. Tumblr culture and their obsessive fandoms sometimes scare me too! At first it’s exciting to find other people who like something like you, then sometimes they take it too far! Great post as always. I enjoy reading everything you post.

  2. I must admit that I do love the show Hannibal. The characters are intriguing and it is wildly different from the book. I don’t pull for Hannibal at all. He’s the bogeyman underneath your bed or he is the snake in the garden of Eden. Totally evil. I enjoyed the big reveal of when Will Graham has the veil removed. I do think it is not for regular TV and I think the violence is too much at times. It will be interesting to see next know that Will he has been betrayed by a serial killer.

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