Aside from the obvious?
Not going into aestheticism, they pretty much screwed up everything they could have screwed up. Will Graham, the ultimate empath (insert race from Star Trek) is nothing more than an oversensitive, snivelling child who cannot seem to keep his eyes dry for two minutes. The guy who plays Graham in the show (I don’t care about his name) could not portray the transformation of the “real” Will Graham into a ruthless killer – shockingly, saying “This is my design” has not proven enough.
The only thing which lead me through the whole first season was the fact that I was intrigued by the massive changes to the story. However, the changes they made to the title character were just too much.
Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is antisocial, weird and so obviously “not-all-there”, that I fail to understand how no one took note of it sooner. He lacks any emotion and fails to react properly in almost all situations, which pretty much screams “sociopath”. However, one of best psychiatrists recommends him to one of the best FBI investigators to help the best profiler. How quaint. And utterly idiotic.
Hannibal is once again – ruined (remember this?). The greatest and biggest reason to fear Hannibal (the Original) is his normalcy and the fact that you like him and enjoy being in his company. It’s a pleasure to talk to him, even after you learn that he is in fact a monster, at times his intelligence makes you forget this. He is sociable, well-liked and highly-functional – only at times his misanthropy seeps through. In my opinion, you can mess with everything when using Thomas Harris’s books, but you cannot mess with the essence of Hannibal.
Now, the story. One episode per serial killer. Really? Come on? Hello – here’s a vicious, cruel serial killer who kills young women who all look alike. Oh, here’s a list of employees at a construction site. Oh look, here’s the serial killer. Yay. Sorry, but there’s no aestheticism that can mask this massive fail. One episode was simply not enough to portray a warped mind which instils fear and haunts Graham throughout the entire season. I mean, the guy you showed me is just a glorified butcher.
Hannibal is at best a 3/10 but I’m still going to watch season two. Because, I really want to know what happens next. But first I’m going to go back to one of my favourite books and one of my favourite characters (not Hannibal, Will Graham).