Clarice Explores What Happens After Hannibal Lecter’s Story Ends
Clarice. CBS. Thursday, February 11, 10 p.m.
So, who do we love more? Hannibal Lecter, the cannibal gourmet and charming psychopath? Or Clarice Starling, his hillbilly protégé from the other side of the law who channels Lecter’s murderous expertise into more civilized purposes? When the two first appeared together in Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, their work won five Oscars and grossed $273 million. The American Film Institute named Lecter the greatest villain in film history and Starling the greatest heroine. Together and separately, they’ve appeared in four novels, five films and, with CBS’ new Clarice, two television series.
Well, that question won’t be answered in Clarice. Not only is Lecter not present, his name literally can’t be even be spoken due to some tangle over legal rights to the characters. Hannibal’s fans will have to be satisfied by a single reference, a crack made by a snotty FBI shrink who contemptuously notes to Starling that her “last therapist was an inmate in the Baltimore Hospital for the Criminally Insane who, you know, ate his patients.”
If that remark seems to you to imply that Starling is seeing an analyst, which in turn implies that Lecter is not the only one in their peculiar relationship who’s a brick or two shy of a full load, you’re onto the central premise of Clarice: A year after she, with Lecter’s aid, tracked down a monstrous serial killer who was sewing the skin of his
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