Hugh Dancy’s face and everything else we’ll miss about ‘Hannibal’

On Monday, news broke that NBC had canceled Hannibal after only three episodes in to its third season, and the Internet responded in full force. Hashtags like #SaveHannibal were immediately spawned, and a petition to potentially bring the show to another direct-to-streaming network like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon gathered almost 30,000 signatures as of this posting.

Considering the timing of the show’s cancellation and the die-hard fanbase (hello!), there’s certainly a lot of potential for Hannibal to get picked up on another network – similar to what happened with Community heading to Yahoo! and The Mindy Project going to Hulu. But if any of these platforms are still waffling, allow us to point out exactly why this show deserves a longer run (because there are a lot of reasons):

The cast of Hannibal is phenomenal

Hugh Dancy as profiler Will Graham brings a different perspective to every crime scene (and a year-long magazine subscription full of issues), and Mads Mikkelsen savors every moment with supreme relish as the titular cannibal Hannibal Lecter. Supporting cast members Laurence Fishburne (Jack Crawford) and Caroline Dhavernas (Dr. Alana Bloom) also lend their strengths to every episode they’re in. Gillian Anderson was also just promoted to series regular for season 3 (and gave us a lovely interview for our Nerding Out series). Why, NBC? Why would you take a show away from us Fannibals with such fantastic people in it?

This show doesn’t look like anything else on TV

Hannibal combines the grotesque and the gorgeous, the beautiful and the beastly. From the towering image of a human totem pole to the disturbing sight of human angels, it stretches the boundaries of what many people often might be comfortable with on their television — and yet it’s somehow impossible to look away. Like Will Graham, we are drawn in to this world of darkness, but we’ve never been so happy to deep-dive. The gory aesthetic of the show would be perfect for an audience in a place like Netflix, where things like Standards and Practices aren’t necessarily going to bump up against Hannibal‘s pretty horror.

You’re provided all the information you would ever want on cannibalism

The show actually has a food stylist and a culinary consultant – early on, it was famous chef José Andrés, who was responsible for making all of Hannibal’s meals look surprisingly appetizing. Granted, the show doesn’t actually use real human organs for a variety of obvious reasons — much of it is actually just food substitutes prepared to resemble the real thing. Toronto-based artist Janice Poon is the primary person behind the scenes in the kitchen, and she even keeps a blog called Feeding Hannibal where she breaks down her food styling ways. Can a show that makes us this surprisingly hungry be all that bad?

We’ve just barely scratched the surface of the stories ahead

Before season 3 premiered we were promised a taste of the Red Dragon — a new bad guy brought into the Hannibal universe. While readers may be familiar with him from the book written by Thomas Harris in 1981, the show finally declared he was being brought out into the open. We were also more than eager to find out what happens in the continuing saga of Will and Hannibal’s bromance as the two circle each other in the crushing aftermath of last season’s finale. And we were hoping to finally get the chance to know what happened to other characters who found themselves on the receiving end of Hannibal’s true nature — like Jack and Alana. Clearly this can’t be where the story ends.

This is executive producer Brian Fuller’s official profile picture on NBC’s Hannibal website

This man is obviously a genius.

And yes, Hugh Dancy, we would miss your face if we couldn’t see it on the regular

Even when you’re wearing a terrifying mask, your eyes are still seeing into our souls.

Season 3 of Hannibal is scheduled to finish out its run through the summer — but its fate is still in question, SIGH. If you need us, we’ll be over here eating our feelings (no pun intended).

[Featured image via NBC, other gifs via, via, via, via]

Nerding out with Gillian Anderson

Hugh Dancy and Lena Dunham challenge Jimmy Fallon, pyramid-style