Parents say

(out of 14 reviews)
age 14+
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Parent of a 18+ year old Written byTsion December 27, 2013

Deep, Dark, and Disgusting

Hannibal is one of the classiest, most artistic TV shows I've ever seen. In addition to building the Hannibal Lecter legend from the ground-up in an impressively realistic and sinister manner, this show supersedes its entertaining plot and becomes a thoughtful meditation on the horrific emotional and psychological effects of violence on everyone it touches, from victims and law enforcement to perpetrators. The show is a slow burn at first, but as it gains steam through the season it becomes absolutely riveting and mind-blowing. Mads Mikkelsen's performance as Lecter is smolderingly sinister and frightening but also occasionally alluring and sympathetic. His understated emotion and quiet physical cues make Anthony Hopkins' legendary portrayal seem cheesy in contrast. The rest of the cast is also uniformly excellent, especially regulars Laurence Fishbourne and Hugh Dancy as well as guest stars Eddie Izzard, Raul Esparza, and Gillian Anderson. All of this praise comes with a very important caveat, however: this show is absolutely not for children of any age. It's certainly the most graphic, gory program I've ever seen on television (including TV-MA cable offerings like American Horror Story), and how it manages to skim by with a TV-14 is absolutely beyond me. Every type of gratuitous violent act, from cannibalism to dismemberment, is shown onscreen. The most alarming visuals come from the aftermaths of horrific crimes, where corpses are seen after immolation, skinning, decomposition, etc. The DVDs are even more graphic, containing "Producer's Cuts" of episodes that are too bloody for TV. All of this sounds terribly unnecessary and appalling, but in actuality the show is very conscious of the way it portrays violence, even removing one episode from airing because of recent headlines-making violence. I'm traditionally more upset by violence than I am with sex or profanity in TV and movies, but Hannibal is one of my favorite shows. All of the violence it shows has a point, and is never, ever glamorized or idealized in the least. It's explicit and monstrous, but is meant to have a negative effect on the audience and characters. Kids and teens won't be able to appreciate the context surrounding the gore; they'll just be overwhelmed by it. But for discerning adults who think they're able to stomach it, Hannibal is one of the most contemplative, mature shows to grace primetime television.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bychristian2011 May 6, 2013

Great show. Compelling, dark, disturbing and brilliant. Too intense for young teens.

The new TV series Hannibal is a major success in my book. The plot, storyline and the characters (acting) is great. It's about a psychopathic cannibalistic serial killer (Hannibal Lecter) who works as a psychiatrist and he works with a gifted criminal investigator who can see flashbacks of how the murder took place, which he somehow takes advantage of. For a TV-14 rated show, the violence is very graphic with blood and gore shown quite explicitly - with grisly scenes of murdered, decomposed and cannibalized victims, plus people whom are killed in their own home (a mother and daughter have their throats slit with a realistic feel). The language and drug use is minimal, nothing to be concerned about, but there's some brief nudity with mild sexual themes, but infrequent. Due to the intense dark and eerie atmosphere and the theme about a sadistic cannibal killer can easily disturb most viewers, even adults. I'd say at least 16+ if they're very mature.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent Written byJudith365 February 19, 2015

Great show, Some Gore

Though it is violent in nature, Hannibal is not excessively gory. The violence is also different from most violent shows, and the actual killings are not shown; only the aftermath, which is why this show is ok for most kids. Only concern is there are some swear words. Otherwise, should be ok for most kids.
Adult Written byA. Wing August 20, 2016

Gripping psychological thriller (not for the faint of heart!)

Hannibal is a very violent show (even though much of the violence is implied), and for every person I've personally recommended this show to, they always have something to say about the blood and gore (it can be hard to watch at some times.) However, the violence is often done artistically, and Hannibal is an extremely beautiful and an expertly-shot show overall. I particularly like Hannibal because of the deeply intellectual conversations between characters, and its critical exploration of mental health and psychopathy. The manipulation Hannibal exerts over other characters (especially Will Graham) is so brilliant (in the way I just want to yell at the screen sometimes!) I also admire how Hannibal is a very good chef, and all of his meals are exquisite masterpieces (even for a vegetarian like myself)...no victims are eaten raw! Definitely a perfect show for mature teens like myself who can handle all of the blood. :)
Parent of a 18+ year old Written byJohnnygator May 27, 2013

Intense yet enjoyable

Skip thru the gory murders ( less than 5 minutes total spent on screen perepisod) and you will find a compelling thrilling nail biting story. Can't wait for next weeks episode. Not for children. But for mature audiences.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Adult Written byhamstergurl09 May 4, 2013

Very Good

I love this show. It's ridiculously compelling. I can remember some instances where I shouted stuff at the screen because I got so into it. I watch all the episodes religiously (including the one not aired in the USA, which I had to find online). I'm really into dark themes, and I'm looking to major in forensics when I get to college (I'm 15 and in grade ten right now), so this stuff is right up my alley. All of the actors are phenomenal, particularly Hugh Dancy as Will Graham and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter. I like the psychological angle of the show. It does a lot of in-depth and interesting exploration of relationships between characters. In particular I'm fascinated by the relationship between Hannibal Lecter and Abigail Hobbes. After seeing "Silence of the Lambs," with Lecter in prison mostly just giving cryptic hints, it's cool to see what he's like in the outside world, interacting with others prior to his incarceration. Will Graham has a strange form of empathy, which allows him to put himself in the shoes of the killer and assist with criminal investigation. He possesses that trait partly due to his autism. I like the portrayal of an autistic person fighting crime; it's something seldom seen in media. The show often displays scenes through the (sort of) eyes of Will Graham, which is really cool. If you are particularly freaked out by murder, you shouldn't watch this. But I encourage mature teens and adults who like suspense to watch this show.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byroxanne20 February 19, 2015

Great Show, Artistic Violence

Not what you would expect from a serial-killer based show. This show is a very good show, and is very compelling. In my opinion, it is less violent than other shows. This is because the violence is almost artistic. Just like in art. There are some scary scenes, but most violence is implied. I let my 10 yr old watch alone, she loves this show. Only issue is there are some swear words, but it isn't too graphic.
Parent Written bykvturner July 12, 2013

Watch it after bed time.

Not for kids. Please, don't let them watch this. I can barely handle certain scenes, and I'm in my twenties and a horror movie fanatic. I'm pretty sure that even older teens need to hold off on this one. there are plenty of other shows they can watch. Save this one to watch when all of the kids are in bed.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byBig-Brother November 11, 2016

This show has been censored to get the TV-14 rating.

Keep in mind that the home video releases are uncensored.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Adult Written bysorryfornotsorry February 28, 2016

i like hannibal

hannibal is an elegant and sophisticated man except his cannibalism thing lol
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bykellenr February 18, 2015

great show

let my 7 and 10 yr olds watch, disagree with other reviewers as the violence is very minimal. This show is family friendly and we watch it during dinnertime with the kids. Such a great show!!!!! NOTE: there is almst no blood, and most violence is implied
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byslasher23 August 16, 2014
gory a violent
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byINMH July 1, 2013

Love This Show

Excellent and compelling show, but deals with extremely grisly and horrifying scenes and themes (including an unaired episode that deals with child violence). Might want to preview it yourself before letting younger kids get a look at it.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byLindsey Ragoczy June 19, 2013

Excellent Drama

I don't think younger children would understand Hannibal. It's an extraordinary show and presents a realistic view of the ambiguity which exists in most things and people. It highlights the gray areas. I find it interesting to see how the producers reveal both the light and dark in each character - which is true to life, since we all contain both. It's an elegant production and can haunt the mind beautifully. It challenges the viewer. There is what I feel a positive message about alcohol in this show. Through Hannibal's appreciation of fine wines alcohol is shown to be what it should be - a pleasant adjunct to social situations or a meal, when taken in moderation. That's a message I think is important for children since I feel it's better not to present liquor as a forbidden item but rather just as part of what children will encounter - and will need to learn to handle well. There are other positive messages in this show - the title character (Hannibal Lecter) has high standards in many ways and displays excellent manners and genuine courtesy. Shows like this can impart a love of positive discrimination to the viewer.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence