CBS’s Clarice premieres on February 11th, but if the early reviews are to be believed you may want to give this one a pass. Clarice stars Rebecca Breeds in the titular role and according to CBS “Clarice is a deep dive into the untold personal story of FBI Agent Clarice Starling as she returns to the field in 1993, one year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs.”
A quick scan of the reviews starting to pop up reveals that the series just fails to give Clarice anything interesting to do in the wake of her tangles with Hannibal Lecter. Entertainment Weekly went as far as to call Clarice a ‘Bland Procedural’ with TV Line, CBR, and Collider similarly savaging the freshman drama.
Only Variety saw virtue in what everybody else decried: a total lack of Lecter. In their eyes, the post-Hannibal world is liberating for Clarice. Their review warns: ‘Clarice is much more about the grimly, glumly human cases that an FBI agent might face in a universe somewhat like ours than it is about the depredations of Lecter-scale monsters.’
We haven’t seen it yet, but I’ll say that setting an FBI procedural in the world of Hannibal Lecter, with a character as intimately tied to his story arc as Clarice fricken Starling, and opting for a more vanilla procedural tone sounds like a huge mistake.
If you need more proof that Clarice is doomed, consider this: The production is legally prohibited from even mentioning Hannibal Lecter by name.