He’s back. Everybody’s favorite cannibal is on the loose again. Only this time he’s trying to help a young FBI agent troubled by his ability to empathize with killers. This time, Dr. Lecter is played by the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen (Clash of the Titans, Valhalla Rising, King Arthur). Hugh Dancy (Blood and Chocolate, King Arthur, Blackhawk Down) takes up the role of Special Agent Will Graham. But is this new show from NBC, helmed by Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies), the procedural to end all police procedurals? I sincerely hope so; I passed up watching Elementary to watch it. We watched the first episode and below is what we thought.

In the premiere episode, Will Graham is recruited by Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne of The Matrix) to help catch a killer responsible for the disappearance of eight young women.  The case becomes troubling to Will when he realizes the killer is eating the victims and in enters Dr. Lecter to help. Remember your Hannibal Lecter trivia though… the good doctor only kills and eats rude people. So we know it’s not him… right? Right, but he wouldn’t be Lecter if he wasn’t helping out a fellow killer while also trying to help an FBI agent. So begins what promises to be a turbulent cat and mouse season.

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While Sir Anthony Hopkins will always be our favorite cannibal psychiatrist, Mads Mikkelsen does do a better job than Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal Rising) and Brian Cox (Manhunter). The acting, though probably not Emmy-winning, is better than most police dramas. Where this series does win though is the relationship between Lecter and Graham. Do we detect Hannibal doing copycat killings to show the FBI agent what he’s missing? Speaking of the crimes, great detail is put into them… and they are graphic. In several scenes blood squirts freely from wounds and the set decorators are quite liberal with it on walls, floors, faces, and pretty much everywhere else.

So are we glad we passed up Elementary tonight? Considering we would possibly give every episode of CBS’s rival show 4.5 to 5 alien heads, not particularly. We do give this show ½ though.

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