'Hannibal' vs. 'American Horror Story': Is Network Now More Gruesome Than Cable?
Networks have been playing catch-up with TV's freakiest trend: horror. (Let's not even get into ABC's epic fail "666 Park Avenue.") Along with AMC's "The Walking Dead," FX's "American Horror Story" has set the bar for grotesque, disturbing imagery and graphic violence on nonpremium channels while providing haunting social commentary on insanity, reality, and loyalty.
"American Horror Story" is not for the faint of heart. And now, there's a new contender in the TV horror game, and it comes from an unlikely place: NBC. The network's freshman series "Hannibal" (the finale airs tonight!) is definitely a thriller, a drama, and a police procedural — but it's also, without a doubt, horror.
[Video: TV's 11 Most Disturbing Moments]
"Hannibal's" vivid, extravagant, and terrifying imagery rivals that of any cable offering. In fact, for some, it might simply be too extreme for network television. A Utah NBC affiliate pulled the show off the air due to "extremely gory" content; and in the wake of the Boston bombings, the fourth episode, "Ceuf," never aired. The series, no doubt, is pushing the boundaries, but just how far? You're about to find out.
We're putting "American Horror Story" (both seasons "Murder House" and "Asylum") head-to-head with "Hannibal" — which has already been renewed for a second season — to find out if the network's gory thriller stands a bloody chance against cable's groundbreaking spookfest.
Which freaks you out more? Proceed with caution.
1. Insane medical professionals keeping the nearly dead alive.
In only Episode 2, "Amuse-Bouche," "Hannibal" took the classic buried-alive theme to a new, well-fertilized level. A depraved pharmacist — who just wanted to make "connections" between fungi and the brain — put his diabetic clients into a coma by handing over the wrong meds and then creating a mushroom garden out of their barely alive bodies. (Well, we'll never be in the mood for shiitakes again!) Clearly, this victim's a fungi — zing! Hey, nothing wrong with some levity when discussing such a messed-up TV moment.
"American Horror Story"