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About All That Homoerotic Subtext in 'Hannibal'? It's Intentional

By Dustin Rowles | TV Reviews | April 25, 2014 | Comments ()


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In an interview with the Back Lot, Bryan Fuller — who is gay, but says that he’d never pursue a straight man, because he finds that to be the ultimate in narcissism — spoke to the homoerotic subtext that is practically unavoidable in Hannibal, almost to the point sometimes where we just want to see Hannibal and Will Graham f*ck to finally break some of that tension.

Fuller, however, admits that while the homoerotic tension exists, and it is palpable, it’s not sexual. It’s more than sexual.

I think Hannibal is a very broadly spectrumed human being/fallen angel, who probably is capable and interested in everything humanity has to offer. Whereas Will Graham is very definitely heterosexual, but that does not necessarily prevent us from a homoerotic subtext. It’s practically text in a couple of episodes just because we really want to explore the intimacy of these two men in an unexpected way without sexualizing them, but including a perception of sexuality that the cinema is actually portraying to the audience more than the characters are.

Fuller spoke to one scene in particular, where the homoerotic subtext was particularly apparent:

There’s a scene at dinner where we were tackling in the edit bay because it was so transparently homoerotic. They were doing something that was not sex or anywhere near sex, but it was shot so suggestively that they may as well have been. I think that’s the fun of this show, is that particularly at the end of episode eight, which is a very intimate moment between Will and Hannibal where Will crosses a line of sorts, with his own psyche. And Hannibal is there to welcome him on the other side with open arms … There is hard to deny an attraction between these men.

Fuller further suggested that “anyone in the audience who is attracted to either of the men will feel that energy,” and though I never considered the possibility that I’m attracted to either men — I love the show, but it gives me the squicks — the energy is obvious.

I’m sure there are plenty who are excited about the possibility of three-way homoerotic subtext when Michael Pitt joins the show. Here’s our first look, as Mason Verger.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • BizzyBzz

    Yes, at the end of episode 8. I wanted them to kiss SO. BAD. And that header pic takes my breath away.

  • Kash

    I haven't read the books but I hope that Michael Pitt doesn't get his character written off the show by being a dick in real life.

  • e jerry powell

    Said the 100% gay man to the 87% straight man:
    DUH.

    ;-)

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Last week's ending scene was one of those "and two seconds later, Hannibal grabbed Will's face and just kissed the living shit out of him" scenes, you can't convince me otherwise. I never wanted to ship them, the show made me.

  • JayEff

    Oh yeah, I've noticed. Hannibal and Alana seem to spend most of their time in bed talking about Will.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    I'm certain I had something to contribute to this comments section but that damn gif is so hypnotic that I lost my train of thought.

  • Pants_are_a_must

    Then you probably can't handle this:

    http://media.tumblr.com/59d8a2...

  • Guest

    Then you probably can't handle this:

  • DarthBrookes

    I'm a straight man, but if Bryan Fuller ever did decide to throw a pass at me... I'd have to at least consider it.

    I mean, Pushing Daisies... Wonderfalls... Look it's a tough call, okay?

  • Blake Shrapnel

    For the love of god, just don't apply that logic to Dan Harmon.

  • DarthBrookes

    No, no, no. I'd... No...

    ...Well...

  • Lotney

    Mr Pitt's single "thoughtful serious" facial expression will fit right in on the show.

  • Michelle

    Yeah, I've noticed it myself, which is kind of weird/delightful since my boyfriend bears more than a passing resemblance to Hugh Dancy.

  • Maddy

    I KNEW IT. I ship it and I don't care if it's wrong.

  • cruzzercruz

    Knowing Mason Verger's character, there's about to be a lot more than subtext going on.

  • I'm so glad he confirmed it. I've been seeing it and I wasn't sure if I was making it up. But I love that it sits on the edge. I wrote about it in my recap for EW, specifically the moments. The look Hannibal gave Will. It was...I need a cold shower.

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