DVD Review: Clarice (Season One)

The Silence of the Lambs remains one of the great films of our time. The story is about Clarice Starling, a not quite out of training FBI agent, brought in on a major kidnapping case and having to get clues out of a Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a cannibal killer. The film won Oscars, spawned hit sequels (and revived Michael Mann’s Manhunter film that was the first film in the series, but didn’t quite have the impact of Lambs), the movie had already spawned on TV series. Hannibal dealt with the relationship between Dr. Hannibal Lecter and criminal profiler Will Graham. The show lasted three seasons and finished with a reworking of Manhunter (which was the book Red Dragon – which was also the title of the cinematic remake of Manhunter). The series has a loyal cult of fans. It made sense for someone to give Clarice Starling her own show. Instead of going back in Starling’s life, the TV series picks up with the character during the events that followed The Silence of the Lambs. The series was aimed to cover the years between Lambs and Hannibal, when Starling reunites with the doctor. The show cast Pretty Little Liars’ Rebecca Breeds as Starling since both Jodie Foster and Julianne Moore were a little too old for the role.

“The Silence Is Over” lets us know that Starling’s days after putting an end to Buffalo Bill and being made a full FBI agent wasn’t as dreamy as imagined. Because of her relationship with Lecter and his escape, Clarice isn’t exactly the hot shot newbie at the FBI. She seems destined for being a short career until a connection comes through for her to get her placed on the VICAP task force. This gig has her tracking down at large killers and predators. But it’s not an easy transition since VICAP is headed by Paul Krendler (Southland’s Michael Cudlitz). He was proven wrong by her during the tracking of Buffalo Bill. And the two butt heads on their first case together. She might still have a short career at the FBI.

“Ghosts of Highway 20” has her and the crew in Tennessee to deal with a militia. She discovers this group might be doing more than loving their guns. “Are You Alright?” has her forced to prove she’s worthy of being on VICAP. “Get Right with God” has her abducted and doped to the gills. Can she escape her hallucinations and survive this case? Most of the cases deal with Clarice getting extremely worked over during a case. She doesn’t take the easy assignments on a case and volunteer to do the paperwork. The final episode has her getting on the wrong side of a slavery ring. Clarice really wants to be an FBI agent judging from the amount of physical and mental abuse she handles each week. She doesn’t have an easy time on the job. Nothing comes easy. The only people she has a more caustic relationship with than her boss is the people she’s tracking down. The final episode of the season has her over her head and locked up behind bars by a human trafficking operation.

There are 13 episodes for Clarice‘s first season since it was a mid-season replacement show. It appears that this may also be the only season of the series. The show was supposed to switch over from CBS broadcasting to the Paramount+ streaming. But so far there haven’t been any announcement from the network or site as to when Clarice returns to duty once more at the task force.

Video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. You’ll see all the clues with Clarice. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. The levels are just right to hear when people are sneaking up on Clarice. The episodes are subtitled in English.

Deleted Scenes are featured on seven episodes.

The Silence Is Over (11:01) has executive producers Jenny Lumet, Alex Kurtzman and Heather Kundin talk about creating the show. They discuss what made them want to know what Clarice did deeper in her career at the FBI.

Progress In Portrayals (24:53) goes into how they have to go back to 1993 to view how the times deal with Clarice. Executive Producers talk about how women in the FBI were treated. This is also why the show has fax machines.

VICAP Views (37:04) goes into how the TV series was influenced by what Jonathan Demme did in The Silence of the Lambs movie. They didn’t mind working on a darker set.

Gag Reel (4:22) shows that things didn’t go according to scripts. There’s quite a bit of playful moments between the stressful scenes.

CBS DVD presents Clarice: Season One. Starring Rebecca Breeds, Michael Cudlitz, Lucca De Oliveira, Kal Penn, Nick Sandow, Devyn A. Tyler and Marnee Carpenter. Boxset Contents: 13 episode on 4 DVDs. Release Date: October 5, 2021.

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