Almost 30 years to the date of its predecessor’s (The Silence of the Lambs) release, the new CBS crime drama CLARICE picks up one year after the events of the film and follows the current life of federal law enforcement agent Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds).
Further clarifying the time reference during a “Clarice” preview and Q & A, show co-developer/writer Jenny Lumet shared this season is about seven years prior to author Thomas Harris’s sequel to the source material “Hannibal.”
Still dealing with the death of serial killer Buffalo Bill (Simon Northwood), whom she was forced to murder during his attempted arrest and the rescue of Catherine Martin (Marnee Carpenter), Clarice is thrust once more into the spotlight to solve another high-profile series of killings – this time at the behest of Catherine’s mother Ruth (Jayne Atkinson), a former Senator who is now Attorney General.
Within the first ten minutes, I felt that CBS had a program that might satiate us “Criminal Minds” fans, still withdrawing from last February’s show finale. Since I viewed one episode, I can only say it was enough to whet my appetite and leave me craving, in a good way, for the next.
With its 90’s setting but a story creation post “Me Too” and “Black Lives Matter” movements, the show already promises to delve into social issues relevant to today – a clear example being a conversation between Clarice and friend/roommate Ardelia Mapp (Devyn Tyler), originally portrayed by Kasi Lemmons in the film, about the misogyny and racism both experience respectively within the FBI.
And the creators have made it plain that they are addressing the offense towards the transgender/LGBTQ+ community, with the original depiction of the Buffalo Bill character, head on this season. They have also hired transgender activist/producer/actress Jen Richards first as a consultant, which subsequently led to an acting role on the show to address the issue.
With its dark elements, somber, atmospheric shots and timely storyline, “Clarice” is a welcome addition to the episodic crime drama genre – one that could pleasantly fill the thriller/mystery void on network primetime.
I rate it 3 out of 5 on the MMTrometer.
CLARICE premieres tonight February 11 at 10pm ET on CBS.
Until next thought, Thomasena