How does Clarice measure up to The Lambs’ Silence?
The decision is on the new crime thriller series Clarice by former Home and Away star Rebecca Breeds, with the series garnering a mixed bag of ratings.
The series acts as a sequel to the 1991 horror film Silence of the Lambs, with Breeds taking on the part of FBI agent Clarice Starling, who was played in the film by Jodie Foster, who played Ruby Buckton on Home and Away between 2008 and 2012.
Set in 1993, the series is characterised as a “deep dive” into Clarice’s untold personal tale as she leaves behind the Silence of the Lambs events and tries to pursue violent suspects, all while negotiating Washington, DC’s high-stakes political environment.
Yet it is better said than done to move on from her ordeal with Killer Buffalo Bill and Clarice appears to be haunted by her memories. In the meantime, as well as contending with a prejudiced male colleague who is not keen on her involvement, she still has to cope with her celebrity status.
To say the least, the first reviews of the season, which will premiere in the US later this month, have been positive, with some reviewers praising the success of Breeds as Clarice and her character’s discovery of the episode.
Others, however, lamented the utter lack of participation of Hannibal Lecter, who is not listed in the show by name because of copyright concerns, as well as the series’ “run-of-the-mill” procedural aspect of the case.
Take a look below at our analysis round-up:
Breeds is a great network lead, an undervalued skill set, that sells us on the rage of Clarice, but shines particularly when Clarice finds a way around it, not past it. Clarice, here, has a real sense of mischief, and it doesn’t sound out of position, surprisingly.
“Clarice has been created with curiosity, confidence and art, and it is a joyful surprise to state that she cares more than everyone else about her heroine’s mind.”
One of the best heroines of all time is now the lead character. But there are enough ways this show might have gone wrong that it’s worth praising how straightforward it makes it look to get the most important thing right. Clarice is proud of Clarice. Clarice Starling is electric, played here by Rebecca Breeds. In the role, Breeds is instantly charming-she doesn’t impersonate Jodie Foster, but she’s not impersonating Jodie Foster.
“Fans of the Lamb Silence don’t believe that Clarice would meet the horror of the movie, but a woman in the heart is doing the right thing. It’s a well-executed mechanism that succeeds because it has the good sense to stay out of the way of Clarice Starling and let her walk into the light.”
Even if you think this sequel has the most genuine creative intentions, because I don’t, to be frank, there is a huge issue here. All about Clarice has been achieved by a whole generation of CBS procedures, effectively and poorly and endlessly.
True and fictional past is devoured by Clarice, and what appears on the other side is the twentieth drama about grisly murders and tough cops who care. Be a decent cannibal, at least, and add some flavouring.
The loss of Lecter and his indelible dynamic with Clarice leaves Clarice unable to fill a massive hole. The result is a disappointingly run-of-the-mill operation, another bleak, gritty Criminal Minds clone slapped on the front of it with a glossy brand name.
It’s hard not to feel like we’re being served a glamorous Hollywood version of Clarice, and it seems false that she would hardly mention him here, considering the close relationship she and Lecter had in Lambs.
“It seems robbed of its vitality, like one of Lecter’s victims.”
Keeping Clarice tied too closely to the case of the Buffalo Bill only stops the show from moving the plot along. And every new concept that [Jenny] Lumet and [Alex] Kurtzman are steering Clarice deeper into conventional police-procedural territory, but there is not anything to hang onto there, either. Clarice is not just a bad sequel to The Silence of the Lambs; it is also a weak standalone crime drama.
The way that Jonathan Demme, director of The Silence of the Lambs, shows all the microaggressions that Clarice has to contend with as a woman in the FBI is totally lost here, replaced by more blunt examples of misogyny. The overall lack of nuance makes Clarice a natural match among its fellow CBS crime operations, but still lacks the uniqueness of the character and the world that author Thomas Harr has.
“This may be a series of Clarice Starling TV shows which value what is beautiful about the character, but it’s definitely not the predictable, sane network drama.”
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