See, Hear, Read: six must-have books, albums and movies coming out in March

See, Hear, Read: six must-have books, albums and movies coming out in March

See, Hear, Read: five must-have cultural products coming out in March From left: Scott Speedman (Image: courtesy Roadside Attractions); Mads Mikkelsen stars as the famous flesh eater on Hannibal (Image: courtesy NBC); Royal Wood (Image: Norman Wong)
1. Hannibal

Serial dramas about serial killers are the latest TV obsession: seven new shows about psychotic slashers debuted in 2013. The surprise hit was Hannibal, NBC’s Toronto-shot prequel to Thomas Harris’s Silence of the Lambs novels, starring the dead-eyed Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen as the namesake cannibal and the impish Brit Hugh Dancy as the twitchy FBI profiler Will Graham. Hannibal, whose second season airs this month, hits all the familiar procedural beats, but we’ve never seen a cop show this beautiful: the blood artfully spattered across the screen, the waxy corpses posed like Roman statues and the cooking scenes as sumptuous as Renaissance still lifes. Toronto is the canvas for this lush grotesquerie, masquerading as Baltimore but revealing a few telltale landmarks, like the U of T campus, the AGO and handsome old houses on Simcoe Street. Even better, the show has brought a sprinkle of stardust to the city’s streets—Dancy and his wife, Claire Danes, live here part-time; spotting them at Pusateri’s has become a Where’s Waldo game for the Yorkville set.

2. Barefoot

After a few false starts, hunky Toronto export Scott Speedman is finally building up some Hollywood momentum: he stars with Evan Rachel Wood in the indie rom-com Barefoot and headlines Ryan Murphy’s HBO pilot Open later this year. (The rest of the time, you might find him playing Seinfeld trivia at the ­Gladstone.)

3. Veronica Mars

Moon-faced character actor Enrico ­Colantoni reprises his role as Kristen Bell’s detective dad in the long-awaited movie adaptation of ­Veronica Mars, produced with $5.7 million in ­Kickstarter donations.

4. Duffy: ­Stardom to Senate to Scandal by Dan Leger

Depending on the day (and the headline), CTV anchor turned besmirched senator Mike Duffy is either a victim or a villain. Duffy: ­Stardom to Senate to Scandal, by Halifax journalist Dan Leger, probes the truth behind the spin, with a foreword from Peter Mansbridge.

5. Burning Bright by Royal Wood

Suave pop singer Royal Wood claims he went without phone, TV or internet while writing his new record, Burning Bright. The resulting album affects an appropriate air of melancholic longing (probably for Facebook).

6. One Hour in Paris by Karyn L. Freedman

The most harrowing book of the season is One Hour in Paris, by Toronto writer Karyn L. Freedman, about her gruesome rape in Paris at age 22 and the ensuing trial.