For a while now, a friend of mine has been nudging me to watch the Hannibal TV series, but I resisted because it seemed like it would be too grim and grisly for my tastes… then a couple weeks back, I caved in and watched the pilot. As expected, I found it depressingly dark and dour, and resolved never to watch any more episodes… but something about the eponymous psychiatrist’s (Mads Mikkelsen) cat-and-mouse mind-games got under my skin, and made me itchy to see how everything played out between him and FBI consultant ‘Will Graham’ (Hugh Dancy). Meanwhile, the inclusion of Caroline Dhavernas as a concerned colleague of Graham’s made me curious to check out Wonderfalls (2004), a previous series created by Hannibal’s showrunner Bryan Fuller, that starred Dhavernas as a slacker sales clerk who has a near-death experience, then starts receiving oblique prompts from the universe to help people in need!
The colourful comedy and desaturated drama really couldn’t be more different, but watching the second episode of each show in short succession yesterday led to a very disconcerting crossover, when poor-little-mean-girl ‘Gretchen Speck-Horowitz’ (Chelan Simmons) strode confidently out of her six-and-a-half-year highschool reunion in Wonderfalls… only to be ambushed by a crazy killer who used human bodies to fertilise his mushroom garden in Hannibal! Shudder. Fuller made sure to have Gretchen announce her name at the start of her Hannibal cameo, so we’d know it was the same character… and she even repeated her parting line from Wonderfalls, as a wink to attentive viewers! Apparently cast members from other “Fullerverse” shows such as Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies will also be cropping up in future episodes, so I still have that to look forward to… for now though, I just wanted to note the mischievous mindf*ckery, and also to praise Simmons for her very funny performance in Wonderfalls… which made her fate in Hannibal all the more distressing! Where are those damn talking animals when you need ’em to warn a gal?