CBS’s Clarice Looks Heavy on Trauma, Light on Murder Husbands

CBS’s Clarice Looks Heavy on Trauma, Light on Murder Husbands
Rebecca Breeds as Clarice Starling. (Photo: Brooke Palmer/CBS)
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It’s not the Silence of the Lambs show Fannibals been wishing for. But it’s the Silence of the Lambs show coming in February.

The network just released a first look at Clarice, a drama following DC-based FBI agent Clarice Starling as she chases serial killers, sexual predators, and politicians (and probably some that are all of the above) in 1993, a year after her heroic triumph in The Silence of the Lambs.

Dead girls in the water, moths, Buffalo Bill sewing that skin-suit — looks like Clarice (Rebecca Breeds) is understandably still working through some trauma from her first big case. When Breeds’ casting was announced back in February, creators Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet (Star Trek: Discovery) told the Hollywood Reporter their series would take a close, personal look at the character, calling her “one of America’s most enduring heroes” and noting that “Clarice’s bravery and complexity have always lit the way, even as her personal story remained in the dark. But hers is the very story we need today: her struggle, her resilience, her victory. Her time is now, and always.” (In a more recent interview, Kurtzman insisted that Clarice is not going to be “Clarice Starling: The Procedural.”)

Of course, as anyone who’s read the Thomas Harris novel or seen its the Best Picture-winning film adaptation knows, a certain culinary superstar is very much at large when Silence comes to a close. And he already had his own TV show that ended somewhat abruptly after three seasons on NBC.

Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen continues to talk about the cult-beloved series in interviews; just two weeks ago, he casually told IndieWire “We would love to find someone to play Buffalo Bill” if the show, which surged in popularity after it hit Netflix over the summer, ever made a return. Around when Clarice was announced earlier this year, Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller explained on Twitter that MGM declined to give him the rights to use the character of Clarice — “They ultimately told us they had their own plans for Clarice and they didn’t need Hannibal to tell her story” — and that the existence of this new show doesn’t necessarily cancel out a potential Hannibal season four. Fuller’s tweet also suggests we won’t be seeing Hannibal Lecter at all in CBS’s series, which just seems…weird.

At any rate, we’ll find out a lot more when Clarice — which also stars Michael Cudlitz, Lucca de Oliveira, Kal Penn, Nick Sandow, Devyn Tyler, and Marnee Carpenter — debuts, starting February 11.