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Hannibal Returns for Season 3: Why You Should Watch the Creepy Show

Hannibal
Hannibal returns to NBC for Season 3 on June 4. Brooke Palmer/NBC

Pull up a chair, put on your best formal wear, and come hungry because NBC's Hannibal is finally back! 

With the attitude and death count of a cable show, the creepy cannibal drama is the grossest, bloodiest, and best thing on network television that few are watching. The show is based on the early relationship between pop-culture mainstay Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy). Considering it's from the mind of Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daises, Dead Like Me), the show is expectedly grotesque, oddly beautiful, and absorbing.

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After a full year away from NBC's schedule, Hannibal returns on Thursday, June 4, for its third season. Fuller has said the upcoming episodes will be funnier and more comedic than ever before, and there is a slew of hot guest stars lined up: The Slap's Zachary Quinto, The Hobbit's Richard Armitage, True Blood's Rutina Wesley, and Tony winner Nina Arianda.

Here's What You Missed

If you haven't been keeping up with Hannibal, it's not too late to dive in. The show revolves around the complicated relationship between FBI agent Will Graham and Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Through their interactions, Graham helps shed light into the mind of a killer. Over the course of the past two seasons, Graham was imprisoned and accused of the crimes Hannibal had actually committed, flipping the script on the entire series! It's like Mob Wives, but with (more) blood.

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The Freshest and Best Take on an Old Character

Over the years we have seen several iterations of the legendary Hannibal Lecter. The Silence of the Lambs is the most memorable cinematic iteration of Thomas Harris' books, with Sir Anthony Hopkins earning an Oscar for playing the cannibalistic serial killer. Several semi-sequels and prequels such as Hannibal, Hannibal Rising, and Red Dragon followed, but never really matched the success of Silence of the Lambs. NBC's Hannibal is a striking, compelling take on the character that feels fresh and is the most original and daring iteration to date.

#FoodPorn

While Hannibal Lecter might be a serial killer and a cannibal, he manages to find the time to whip up a mean dish with his busy schedule. Food is a major part of the show's aesthetic, and thanks to the show's food stylist, Janice Poon, Hannibal serves up major food porn every episode. Each installment is titled after a dish. For example, this season's premiere is titled "Antipasto," Italian for "before the meal."

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One of the Best Casts on TV

Hannibal has collected one of the most dynamic casts on TV right now: Danish actor Mikkelsen as the titular character, Brit Dancy as Graham, the ageless Gillian Anderson as Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier, and Fuller favorite Caroline Dhavernas as Dr. Alana Bloom. The talent bench runs deep here.

Never Sleep (or Eat) Again

Talk about terror — Hannibal succeeds in being a genuinely frightening television event each week. From the cinematography to the visual effects work and the set design, there are many moments of true horror in the show. How a network series gets away with the amount of blood and gore that it does is astounding. Tip: Don't eat during an episode, as it tends to get really graphic! Good luck!

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Hannibal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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