About David Pustansky

As well as writing, David Pustansky is also an actor and director and founder of The ImProDigies Theatre Company. He has written for both stage and screen as well as working as a freelance journalist for WhatCulture.com, Tvbomb.co.uk and Off The Hook Magazine. David has a self confessed strange attention to detail, or rather attention to strange details perhaps, and looks to look deeply into things and analyses them with quirky wit.

TV Review: Hannibal – Coquilles

hannibal

This month, Hannibal was renewed for a second season, which for all its fans across the world was the cause of a collective sigh of relief. This relief comes as it would have been a far worse crime to not have the series renewed then any act of cannibalism performed by its titular character. But if this series is so deserving of renewal why hasn’t it performed in the ratings to demand an obvious return next year? The answer can be found in the episode Coquilles.

Coquilles continues the series pattern of most episodes giving us a new case for Will Graham to work his magic on whilst slowly building up intrigue in the bigger picture which will eventually lead to Hannibal Lector being revealed as the true series villain. It is both a great approach for the series and also a bit of a hindrance. The show is slightly at risk of becoming one of those shows which is better to watch as a marathon on DVD then it is to watch live week by week. We all know that the show runner Bryan Fuller has said that season four would tell the story of the book Red Dragon, and therefore you can guess that season six would show Silence Of The Lambs, and that after all this build-up those seasons will be amazing. Unfortunately there lies the problem; we’re having to wait too long for the pay off.

The episode started with a sleepwalking Will Graham and really started to add to the idea that as good as Will is at his job, he pays quite the mental toll for doing it. This plays in perfectly with his growing relationship with Hannibal and will make their interactions when Hannibal is behind the muzzle that much richer, but whilst this slow burn is extremely exciting and intriguing for fans of Thomas Harris’s books and the previous adaptations of his works, the casual fan perhaps feels they’re not yet getting enough of the promise of a series based around Hannibal the Cannibal. The subtle hints are great and the attention to detail that Mads Mikkelsen brings to Hannibal are fantastic. The care in which he serves and eats food is so telling of what the character will later become, and the way his keen sense of smell was explored as he sniffed Crawford’s wife Bella was very eerie in its execution. These elements are great at laying the groundwork for the bigger picture, but a whole episode they do not make.

The main focus of the week was our hero’s search for a killer who would slice his victims up to resemble angels who he would position around his bedside to watch over himself as he slept. This made for a very memorable image worthy of any of the famous scenes in the film adaptations, but overall the angel maker killer didn’t get enough screen time for you to really care about his unseen suicide towards the episodes close. Also unless I missed something I’ve really no idea how the guy was supposed to have killed himself by slicing himself up to become an angel as he had done to his victims. This however is a minor gripe and on re-watching the episode an answer may make itself apparent.

It’s a shame that a character like this couldn’t have been granted a longer story arc over the series as it could have proved even more memorable if there were more and more angels being created and popping up through the season. Overall this episode was good, but not great as a standalone experience, but still very good in building up the much bigger picture that is the unexplored pre arrest days of everyone’s favourite cannibal.

Image reproduced from NBC.com

24: Jack Bauer is Back

In what is one of the most exciting and unexpected developments in TV this year, it looks as if Fox are planning to bring back 24. If it pans out the current plan is to bring it back for a limited order of twelve episodes, which would be interesting and may warrant a rethink to the show’s title, ‘24: Half Day At The Office’ anyone?

Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer

When 24 first came on our screens in 2001 it was a groundbreaking series, not only because of its real time format, but also because it was one of the first shows that really brought Hollywood style storytelling, production values and actors primarily known for movies to the small screen. It was also the first in a wave of serialised dramas which proved that audiences could follow a single narrative ark over a whole season and that audiences didn’t only want to watch story-a-week procedurals like CSI and House. If it were not for 24, then we never had shows like Lost, Prison Break and The Walking Dead.

24 ran for eight seasons before we finally waved goodbye to the likes of Jack Bauer, Tony Almeida and everyone’s favourite socially awkward character Chloe O’ Brian (Sorry to Sheldon Cooper fans out there). The goodbye was sad, but not final as we rather more fittingly bid farewell to the members of CTU with the gesture of “We’ll meet again” as it was widely known that after the show ended we had the proposed 24 movie to look forward to. Yes, we wouldn’t get a whole day with Kiefer Sutherland anymore, but fans were content that we’d finally get to see step up Jack Bauer kick ass on the big screen Die Hard style. It was even rumoured at one point that the fifth Die Hard would be a 24 cross over called ‘Die Hard 24/7’ but that along with a standalone 24 movie was never to be.

Kiefer Sutherland long said that there would be a 24 movie, and various start dates were announce, and pushed back and announced again, and pushed back again, and it became clear that the chances of 24 The Movie happening were just as unlikely as seeing Jack Bauer go to sleep. Kiefer moved on to star in Touch, a series from Tim Kring who created Heroes, which was an alright show, well acted and an interesting concept, but really wasn’t want anyone wanted to see from Kiefer. So although Touch’s cancellation may be sad, we will all soon get over it with the phoenix which has arisen from its ashes.

The initial response to the idea of bringing Jack back has been generally positive. There’s a few raised eye brows and rolled eyes from some of the more passionate in the internet community, but overall people are very excited that what was for many a year the most exciting show on television is making a comeback. The most interesting thing about the very few details we have on its comeback is that it’s said to only be coming back for a twelve episode season. This wouldn’t be the first time 24 has existed as less than a twenty four hour period as we got 24: Redemption, a two hour TV movie a few years back when the writers’ strike forced the series proper to be put on hold for a year.

If it came back in real time it’s very possible that after six episodes or eight episodes they may announce based on its success that the series is being extended to twenty four episodes. That would be the safe bet, especially considering that that is exactly what happened with the show’s very first run (Hence that the story seemed to wrap half way through with Jack rescuing daughter Kim only for her to be kidnapped again a couple of episodes later). What would be more interesting is if the series abandoned its real time aspect, and they re-launched the show with a fresh feel and format. It was considered that the second season of the show wouldn’t be in real time, and maybe that could happen now. I’m not saying that each episode should cover a twenty-four period in itself, but maybe the twenty-four hour period the title suggests could be covered in twelve episodes. It wouldn’t be as strange as it sounds, as anyone whose watched 24 on DVD will know, the show skips over a few minutes of ‘real time’ every time there was an ad break on the telly. Surely the show could use the familiar digital clock display to show jumps in time.

However it comes back, and whoever is involved from the previous run of the show one thing is for certain. It won’t be long until Jack has another bad day!