TV Review: Clarice (Season) | Adding Layers to the Hannibal Lore

This psychological horror crime drama created by Alex Kurtzman (Sleepy Hollow, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Jenny Lumet (Star Trek, The Mummy) is based on the best-selling novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. The series stars Rebecca Breeds (Pretty Little Liars, The Originals) as the titular character, along with Lucca De Oliveira (SEAL Team, The Punisher), Devyn A. Tyler (Watchmen), Kal Penn (House MD), Nick Sandow (OITNB), Michael Cudlitz (Invincible, The Walking Dead) and Marnee Carpenter.

Premise: A look at the untold personal story of FBI agent Clarice Starling, as she returns to the field about a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Review: Stylistically this show is very 90s without trying too hard. It also has the right look and tone to land itself between The Silence of the Lamb (1991) movie and Hannibal TV series. The show is darkish and creepy, without being too gruesome, adding layers to the lore we already know.

As for the overall story, they did a great job weaving the cases, Clarice’s mental health, and the social commentaries in the show. At first I thought that they went in a bit too strong with some of the commentaries. At first the misogyny was through the roof, while they did a subtle but effective job at tackling racism, but as the season went they balanced that out. It went from Clarice against most of the boys, to showcasing how much harder she had to work to gain an ounce of respect. Her struggle on that front was smartly contrasted by how her black best friend and fellow agent was even more underestimated and underappreciated. It’s a few of the many commentaries that the show tackled pretty well; putting a mirror to it asking us, without actually doing so, if and/or how things have changed since.

From the pilot on, the first case blossomed into a conspiracy with many entertaining twists and turns that kept things quite interesting the whole season. I appreciated that the show wasn’t much of procedural with a serial killer of the week but one big case that the team was working hard to untangle. Episode by episode we had a piece of the puzzle but not every piece seemed important or that captivating to uncover but in the end it pays off.

The ensemble cast of actors, and their characters as well, are incredible. Lucca De Oliveira among them really stood out. I instantly liked the actor and his character, and not just because of his looks or the writing, he’s good. As for Clarice herself, Rebecca Breeds, is excellent like the rest of the cast.

Clarice was a very interesting show, that could have benefitted from a second season but I hear it’s not happening.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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