Clarice cannot feature or reference Hannibal Lecter, and the CBS freshman series feels strangely incomplete without its iconic villain.

Clarice I can’t introduce or mention Hannibal Lecter, who looks a lot like a version of Batman who can never recognize or confront the Joker. The new CBS series takes place a year after the events of The silence of the lambs, with FBI Agent Clarice Starling still dealing with the trauma she suffered while tracking down serial killer Buffalo Bill. She is forced to see a psychiatrist, who makes a passing reference to Lecter in the pilot without actually naming him.

Due to complicated study fees, Clarice he can’t even mention Lecter’s name, much less present it in a real way. Without Hannibal’s presence, Clarice it’s just another common crime procedure, devoid of the core relationship that made the story so compelling and disturbing in the first place. A version of the series that featured Hannibal might have great dramatic potential, but as it currently stands, the series feels strangely incomplete.

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Related: Clarice’s Setting Breaks The Silence Of The Lambs Timeline

The obvious analogy is Batman and the Joker: the immovable object and the unstoppable force of good and evil. Batman fights other villains, of course, but the relationship with the Joker defines him even when the “Clown Prince of Crime” is not around. The sheer and chaotic evil of the Joker haunts Batman and makes him wonder if his mission can really be won. Hannibal’s psychiatric depravity hangs over Clarice’s head in similar fashion. The tension of that relationship is what makes both characters work to such brilliant effect on Silence of inocents, and the notion that Clarice no longer has to actively care about Lecter on the CBS series leaves him somewhat toothless. If Hannibal isn’t at least lurking in the background, it feels like a typical CBS procedural show on Silence of inocents cosplay.

Despite this, there may be some hope for Clarice in the long run. The latest and greatest NBC series Hannibal showed that the character was still interesting without Clarice; his twisted relationship with Will Graham was a more than adequate substitute for his obsession with Clarice. That said, the show also had the advantage of being produced by Bryan Fuller, who made the horror elements strikingly beautiful, unlike anything else on TV at the time. After an episode, Clarice seems to lack any of By Hannibal wit, with Clarice surrounded by a fairly common group of supporting characters.

Clarice He always faced an uphill battle as a classic movie adaptation and following a beloved cult television series. The fact that it has to operate without Hannibal Lecter, and without a visual or stylistic flair to separate it from the heap of crime drama, means the effort will be even more Herculean. The dynamics between the characters is a defining element of The silence of the lambs novel and film, and like a Batman TV show that found itself unable to mention the Joker for whatever reason, it is missing a key ingredient.

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