Controversial 'Hannibal' episode gets sliced into webisodes
As we discussed last week, NBC is skipping the fourth episode of "Hannibal," and will jump straight to episode 5 tonight at 10. The official version of the story is that Bryan Fuller approached NBC and said he felt episode 4 — whose main plot involves Molly Shannon as a woman who trains children to kill other children — was inappropriate after the Boston bombings, though as Deadline pointed out, NBC had announced the scheduling change before the bombings, suggesting a pre-existing unease with the episode. (It's the only one of the first 6 that critics weren't sent in advance.) And as you'll see in the first video embedded below, Fuller says that the episode will be available in its entirety in other countries, but not America.
I have no idea what happened here, particularly since the episode airing tonight has some of the most disturbing, graphic imagery of the entire series, even if it doesn't involve dead children.
But as I noted when the decision was made, my concern was mainly about "Hannibal" as an serialized narrative, and about the parts of the episode unrelated to Molly Shannon, bridging what happened in episode 3 and what's to come in the one airing tonight. And to deal with that problem, NBC has put all of those scenes — most of them involving Abigail Hobbs, who was the center of episode 3 — online as six webisodes, which you can watch below.
There are a couple of instances in these scenes where characters are clearly impacted by what was happening in the Shannon plot — in particularly a conversation between Jack Crawford and his wife, who's a major part of tonight's episode — but what's most interesting about these scenes is how easy it was to apply Dr. Lecter's carving knife to them and separate them from the parts no one wanted to air. "Hannibal" tries to balance between the ongoing Graham/Lecter/Crawford material and some standalone cases like the mushroom killer in episode 2, or the one from tonight's episode, but the serialized material is by far the more important, interesting part of the show. Some of the Killer of the Week material is affected by what the characters are going through overall (like Will's showdown with the mushroom man not long after he killed Abigail's father), but these webisodes demonstrate just how easy it can be to dispose of them and still have a very compelling series.
So here are the six parts of "Ceuf" that are available to watch (if you live in the U.S., anyway), and I'll have at least a short post up tonight to discuss episode 5.
1993 | Drama | RSummary: Janet Jackson makes an impressive acting debut alongside a strong Tupac Shakur in the story of a young poet and hairdresser from South Central Los Angeles whose life takes new turns during a road trip to Oakland.Director: John Singleton
Cast: Janet Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Regina King
2011 | Adventure | PG-13Summary: There is a new criminal mastermind at large--Professor Moriarty--and not only is he Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil and lack of conscience may give him an advantage over the detective.Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Jared Harris, Noomi Rapace
1985 | Comedy | PGSummary: Paul Reubens and his boyish, oddball alter-ego Pee-Wee Herman make the leap to the big screen in this cartoonish and vivid adventure from director Tim Burton.Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton
2000 | Adventure | PG-13Summary: Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically-skilled, teenage nobleman's daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, Chang Chen, Sihung Lung
1998 | Action | NRSummary: Animated series with day-Glo colors, fast action, and three young girls who are as adorable as they are powerful. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup fight off giant monsters and battle the pains of growing up.Director: Craig McCracken (creator)
Cast: Cathy Cavadini, Elizabeth Daily, Tara Strong
2008 | Documentary | PG-13Summary: On August 7th 1974, French tightrope walker Philippe Petit stepped out on a high wire, illegally rigged between New York's World Trade Center twin towers, then the world's tallest buildings. After nearly an hour of performing on the wire, 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan, he was arrest...Director: James Marsh
Cast: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau, Annie Allix
2014 | Animation | GSummary: When a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina steals Pixie Hollow's all-important Blue Pixie Dust and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must embark on the adventure of a lifetime to return it to its rightful place.Director: Peggy Holmes
Cast: Mae Whitman, Tom Hiddleston, Christina Hendricks, Pamela Adlon
1935 | Comedy | NRSummary: While filling in for injured supersleuth Bulldog Drummond (Atholl Fleming), world-class cricket player Jack Pennington (Jack Hulbert) attempts to foil a criminal mastermind's (Ralph Richardson) impending heist that's targeting a valuable jewel necklace held within the British Museum. This comedic...Director: Walter Forde
Cast: Jack Hulbert, Fay Wray, Ralph Richardson, Claude Hulbert
2007 | Comedy | NRSummary: Wacky animated kids’ show about a "catbearrabbit" named Chowder (don’t think too hard about that one), a would-be chef with a big problem: he can’t resist food.Director: C.H. Greenblatt (creator)
Cast: Nicky Jones, Dwight Schultz, John DiMaggio
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