A Polite Reminder That ‘Hannibal’ Returns Tonight (and That You Should Watch It)

Hannibals third course is about to be served.

Tonight, Hannibal begins its highly-anticipated third season on NBC. The show has been off the air for more than a year, and when we last left our characters… well, Hannibal Lecter, played to devilish perfection by Mads Mikkelsen, had left most of the rest of the cast, including Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham, in a pool of their own blood.  Of this new season, we know that Lecter is on the run in Europe, with therapist Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson) by his side. We also know, later this season, this “prequel” series will catch up to Thomas Harris’ novels and The Tooth Fairy (aka The Red Dragon), played by Richard Armitage, will be introduced.

Hannibal has amassed a small but incredibly passionate fan base throughout its two-season run. We’re hoping that in its third year the show finds the larger fan base it wholeheartedly deserves.

Ahead of all that gruesome fun that is sure to ensue, here are seven reasons you should be watching Hannibal:

1. The unspoken (and unfortunately unconsummated) love between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham:

2) Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is arguably even scarier than Anthony Hopkins’:

Yeah, we said it…

3) FOOD PORN:

4) Gillian Anderson becomes a series regular this year:

And she’s really f***ing fantastic:

4) For the love of God dogs:

5) It’s really f***ing creepy in a way no other show on TV is:

6) But despite the disturbing and violent imagery, it still manages to be shockingly beautiful:

7) The Hannibal fandom — Fannibals, as they call themselves — is perhaps the greatest on the Internet, and they create things like:

Those are our seven reasons to start tuning in. There are many, many more. You’ve been warned: start watching. It would be rude not to. And what happens to the rude? They get eaten.

Hannibal airs at 10 p.m. on NBC.