Yes, I like to watch serial-killer shows on TV. SO WHAT?!? That doesn't make ME a serial killer. If anything, these shows actually stop me from serial killing—because they always portray serial killers as very unlikeable people. (Except for maybe Dexter... but he's only likeable because he kills serial killers who are even more unlikeable than him.) These murderers also tend to be super weird; often times, you'll see them shouting nonsensical religious proclamations while wearing a bunny mask and/or a diaper. Other times they may be extremely cold and calculating—perhaps using their high political office to mask their murderous tendencies and cackle evilly. So you see? I'm neither of these things! I hate religion AND politicians! Therefore I'd appreciate it if you'd stop looking at me that way every time I'm using an extremely sharp knife to carve the skin off an avocado.
However, I do understand your concern. There are A LOT of serial-killer shows out there right now, including (but not limited to): True Detective, The Bridge, The Killing, Bates Motel, The Following, Ripper Street, The Walking Dead—what? Every person in that show is either serial killing humans OR zombies!
Anyway, if you're still not getting enough serial killing in your daily diet, there are two shows coming on this week that may be of perverse interest to you: Hannibal (NBC, Fri Feb 28) which returns for its second season, and a brand-new entry, Those Who Kill (A&E, Mon March 3).
Based on the work of Danish crime novelist Elsebeth Egholm (the Danes DO love their serial murderers), Those Who Kill stars Big Love's Chloë Sevigny as homicide detective Catherine Jensen, who's given a super creeeepy murder investigation right when she's trying to deal with the creeeepy disappearance of her brother. (Weeeeeird... wonder if they're connected?) While the trailer for this one is cram-packed with TV serial-killer tropes, there's a palpable sense of horror and dread here that might make it worth killing an hour or two. (Preferably with hedge clippers.)
However, if you can only bear to watch one serial-killing show, Hannibal is a good choice. Based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (which includes characters Harris later used in The Silence of the Lambs), Hannibal depicts the early relationship between psychologically fragile FBI profiler Will Graham (played by Hugh Dancy) and his psychiatrist helper/secret serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (a brilliantly creepy Mads Mikkelsen). The two are on the hunt for a murderer (Will! He's right there next to you!) who sticks antlers on his victims (seriously! The murderer is Dr. Lecter! Turn around!), and baffles the FBI at every turn (why are you so baffled? HE'S RIGHT THERE!). It's almost as if... the murderer knows every move the FBI is making (THAT'S BECAUSE HE DOES! THE MURDERER IS DR. LEC... oh forget it).
Despite the gory storyline, Hannibal is also one of the best acted and gorgeously shot series on TV, and unlike the grotesque Criminal Minds (blech!!) the violence is never gratuitous. So give it try—it's not gonna kill ya! (Heh, heh, hehhhhhhh.) (That wasn't me laughing... it was Hannibal Lecter! TURN AROUND!!! HE'S RIGHT THERE!!!)
This Week on Television
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
9:30 ABC MIXOLOGY
Debut! A sitcom about singles from the guys who made The Hangover, which isn't as good as The Hangover.
10:00 FX THE AMERICANS
Season premiere! The return of one of the best shows on TV, about a pair of Russian spies in suburbia. Don't miss it!
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27
8:00 NBC COMMUNITY
Jeff gives Professor Duncan tips on how to seduce Britta—aaaand awkward hijinks ensue!
10:00 ABC SCANDAL
The most hilarious government soap returns with a new scandal that rocks the White House.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28
10:00 NBC HANNIBAL
Season premiere! Will fights to prove his innocence, while Dr. Lecter smiles evilly.
SATURDAY, MARCH 1
11:30 NBC SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE
With musical guest Beck, and host Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory).
SUNDAY, MARCH 2
5:30 ABC THE ACADEMY AWARDS
If Matthew Motherfreaking McConaughey doesn't win, I'm going to burn down the city!
9:00 HBO TRUE DETECTIVE
Hart and Cohle kiss and make up to investigate a new series of disappearances.
MONDAY, MARCH 3
9:00 A&E BATES MOTEL
Season premiere! People! Look out! Norman Bates is standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!
10:00 A&E THOSE WHO KILL
Debut! A serial-killer show in which the serial killer is probably RIGHT BEHIND YOU!!
TUESDAY, MARCH 4
8:00 ABC AGENTS OF SHIELD
Coulson races to save Skye (which might involve a "magical place" called Tahiti?).
10:00 FX JUSTIFIED
One of the Crowe family disappears, and Raylan goes looking for him—with a GUN.