To those who haven't watched it for the same reasons I didn't I can only say: knowing the storyline from the films (or the books) doesn't spoil this in the least; the writers cleverly play with your expectations and they have taken enough liberties that you can never tell what is going to happen. And Mads Mikkelsen makes for a terrific Hannibal. The cat and mouse play between him and Hugh Dancy's Will Graham is a thrilling joy to watch; the conversations between the two are an example of surgically precise writing where every word counts and could - literally – be a concealed weapon (the writing in general is top notch, especially the dialogues).
Visually, this series is unlike anything I've ever seen; the opulence of the images seems to be directly inspired by the aesthetic of oil paintings; whenever food is served or you see the interior of Hannibal's mansion you're reminded of still lives from the Dutch Baroque; certain dreams, visions and hallucinations even recall the works of Hieronymus Bosch. Don't get me wrong: first and foremost this is a gory crime show about an exceptionally well educated and highly intelligent serial killer (and not some "art show") – albeit one with a very unique look.
My verdict: 'Hannibal' offers gory thrills along with amazing images, fascinating characters and an outstanding cast. Perhaps the most visual – and visually daring – crime show ever. 9 stars out of 10.
Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/
Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/
Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/
Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/