We finally got around to watching Clarice this week. The good thing about being late is that we had two episodes to watch instead of just the premiere. The show takes place one year after the events of Silence of the Lambs. Clarice is still dealing with PTSD from the events when the US Attorney General, who is the mother of the woman Clarice rescued from Buffalo Bill, sends her to join VICAP(Violent Criminal Apprehension Program). The leader of the team is not a fan and by the second episode has asked for her to be transferred off the team.
I am not someone who has a deep love of the movie Silence of the Lambs. I barely remember it. I didn’t watch the TV show Hannibal. I’m coming into this with a very basic knowledge of the source material. My thoughts are not based on how I feel it reflects any of that.
The cast is great. I really like Rebecca Breeds in the lead role. Michael Cudlitz is good as the boss who I’m sure will slowly warm to her methods. Lucca de Oliveira is good as Tomas, the member of the team who welcomes her from the start. Kal Penn isn’t given much to do in the first couple of episodes. I hope he gets more to do soon.
It is really just another CBS procedural with Clarice dropped in to boost exposure. The first episode is the investigation into the murders of two women found in a river. Clarice figures out it is more than just a standard serial killer and goes against her boss when he tells her to tell the media they caught the killer and it is over. I assume this story will come back again over the first season In the second episode, the team goes to Tennessee to help with a siege at a compound. Clarice is supposed to only help on the fringes, but that changes when the leader in the compound will only talk to her. It looks like it will be a case of the week procedural where Clarice is always able to solve the case alone using methods other people don’t understand.
It is a decent enough show if you like procedurals. I’m not sure the Silence connection is enough to draw in fans of the movie. The show would be better served to become more of an ensemble show rather than the Clarice show. There is a great cast being wasted just doing reaction shots to Clarice’s expertise. Clarice can still be the center, but make it more like House. She’s a genius, but the team works with her to help her get to the point where she solves the crime. I also think the fast they move away from the “she’s the person who stopped Buffalo Bill” the better. The last thing the show needs is to encourage the comparison to the movie.
Verdict – Give it a shot. View it as a procedural TV show and not a sequel to the movie