Masters of Sex

If you’re not already, you should be watching Masters of Sex, the second-best new show of the year (after Hannibal). The show follows the scientific research of Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) and his assistant Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) into human sexuality. Set in the fifties, it bears more than a passing resemblance to Mad Men,…

Manhunter (1986)

Manhunter has much to recommend it; as the first adaptation of Thomas Harris’s books, it hasn’t had the same cultural impact of the superior Silence of the Lambs, but it benefits from Harris’s richly considered world, falling somewhere between fantasy and realism. Even without knowledge of Harris’s canon, the characters feel fully-developed, even in minor…

Hannibal – “Savoureux” (Season 1, Episode 13)

Hannibal is a lean show, almost utterly devoid of connective tissue (well, unless you count the flayed bodies on display). This leanness worked in its benefit in its first season finale, particularly as Will Graham staggers around Dr Lecter’s office, trying to puzzle out if he could actually be responsible for the copycat murders. It’s…

Hannibal – “Relevés” (Season 1, Episode 12)

It’s always a treat when a drama takes the time to pause and let its characters to engage with one another without the runaway narrative train pushing them forward. Hannibal takes a much-needed chance to breathe in the opening half of “Relevés.” There’s no killer-of-the-week: instead a more traditional investigative episode, as Will and Crawford…

Hannibal – “Buffet Froid” (Season 1, Episode 10)

Hannibal’s early episodes demonstrated an affinity for horror, realised in thick brushstrokes of sumptuous gothic tableaux and direct references to horror classics like The Shining. That horror focus has diminished, but not disappeared, as the season has continued, fleshing out both its characterisation and serialisation. “Buffet Froid” serves as a return to elegant, unnerving horror;…