Bad times for Hannibal fans, the chances that the show around the smoothest cannibal of pop culture is renewed, are dwindling.
But to be fair, maybe it’s not only NBC’s fault alone (although it tried its best to bury it) that there will possibly no fourth season. The target audience of this series has always been rather small: It was aimed solely at mature viewers and even among those, understandably not everybody is into the gore, the bleakness and the general weirdness the fans learned to love.
That’s why I had the idea to suggest 5 potential spinoff series with more accessible, tested and mass-compatible concepts, so we at least don’t have to miss our favourite characters on screen as some sort of compromise if we cannot get our weekly dose of bizarreness. Each of those shows follows chronologically the current third season, with Dr. Lecter still incarcerated.
Chilton aka Chilton PhD
Genre: Medical dramedy
Now that House M.D. has finished its run, there is a void on TV left for asshole doctors who are walking on a cane, and Dr. Chilton is here to fill it.
Each episode of this spin-off deals with a different patient that is institutionalized in Chilton’s sanitarium. The doctor discusses the psychological symptoms with his colleagues over the course of the episode, but in the end, Chilton always brushes the final diagnosis away and the subject usually winds up being drugged and incarcerated and sometimes lobotomized. And of course the episode is capped off by a few smug words by Chilton. That’s how the doctor rolls!
In between we witness his private life shenanigans, like his autograph hour for the book he wrote about Hannibal, or him listening to the surveillance tapes from Hannibal’s cell while playing Wii Golf in his office. A recurring scene shows him calling Dr. Alana Bloom on the phone at nights and trying to get her to co-write another book about the infamous cannibal. Episode 4, featuring Miggs, was already considered as the early comedic highlight of the first season by the test audience!
Dr. Alana Bloom, Maneater
What scores better among the female audience than a quirky show filled with pseudo-witty dialogue, awkward moments and half-assed slapstick, rounded out with yesteryear cliches about single career women? Nothing, that’s why David E. Kelley is already planning this comedy show about Alana Bloom, who moves into the big city after Lecter got caught to start a new life. But not only her attempts at making career in a new surrounding reveal to be a bumpy ride, also her love life is rather impeded due to her notorious and well publicized past as the lover of Hannibal. The men she wants are deterred by that back story, while the ones that she can get also reveal to be -hilarity ensues- serial killers themselves on the next morning!
Why does she always fall for the same men? Will she find Mr. Perfect and happiness one day? We will know after 7 seasons if it does not get cancelled before!
The New Red Shoe Diaries aka The Blood Red Shoe Diaries
Genre: Soft erotic, anthology, drama
Remember The Red Shoe Diaries ? If so, congrats, then you are probably in your mid 30s.
The show was about a guy who finds out that his fiancee, who committed suicide, was cheating on him, which makes him ponder about the nature of female sexuality. He reacts in the only reasonable way and runs an advert under the pen name “Red Shoes” encouraging readers to write him letters about their experiences with “love, betrayal and forbidden passion”. Each episode was dedicated to a different story, presented by ole horndog David Duchovny in the wraparound segment, who read the first lines (always starting with “Dear Red Shoes…”) of the letter out aloud to his canine with his monotone, bored voice.
Reviving shows from the early 90s are all the rage now (X-Files, Twin Peaks), so why not this soft erotica anthology series?
Remodelled as a Hannibal spin-off with Hugh Dancy as the presenter of the wraparound segment instead of Duchovny -both played famous fictional FBI agents after all, so it’s not a big leap- he stays in role as Will Graham, who became even more of an recluse after he got scorned by the now imprisoned Hannibal. Trying to fully understand what happened, Graham runs an advertisement in the newspaper seeking for people who mail him their stories about, you guessed it, “love, betrayal or forbidden passion” which he then reads out loud to his dogs.
His infamous name attracts a “different” kind of people though and so he gets letters by questionable dudes with weird pen names like a “Buffalo Bill” who tells him how he wants to fuck himself or “The Red Dragon” who just wishes that women would see him as what he is.
Mason Verger, Camp Counselor
Genre: Comedy, Coming-of-age
After Hannibal is locked away in the asylum, Mason Verger not only loses his nemesis, but without the quest for revenge, also his purpose in life.
In the middle of this life crisis, he has an epiphany: The only way out is to completely turn away from the decadence and luxurious lifestyle and a return to the roots. His roots as counselor in the Christian summer camps that were founded by his dad, to be precise!
Partly a hilarious romp in the vein of 80s teen movies, partly a touching coming-of-age story*, this series shows what Verger and the kids of the summer camp learn from each other in their sometimes side-splitting, other times heart-breaking adventures and when the summer is over, everybody has grown a little as a human. Several tie-in options for chocolate and candy bar brands.
*emphasis on “touching”
The New Joy of Painting with Dr. Hannibal Lecter
He can draw, he can lull you in with his words and he has now a lot of time at his hands.
Think about it.
What are your ideas? Mr. Fuller, if you are reading this, please tell me your opinion!
Also: Check out my article about 4 Things we will surprisingly be missing if Hannibal gets cancelled
Or the 8 cannibalistic movie alternatives to Hannibal
You prefer listening over reading? Then check out my Hannibal podcasts Part 1 (movies) and Part 2 (TV show)!