A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Clarice contains positive messages about surviving and coping with trauma, and about otherwise persevering through adverse circumstances.
Positive Role Models
Clarice Starling exhibits bravery, perseverance, critical thinking, ingenuity, and honesty.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is seen throughout the series. It is essentially a body-of-the-week crime series that shows victims of brutal murders and other crimes, as well as the hunt for their killers, which tend to involve shoot-outs, assaults, and other forms of violence. The series is particularly interested in serial killers, both in the main character's history with serial killers (from the show's prequel, The Silence of the Lambs) and in the cases each week.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There is no romantic sexual content in Clarice. However, outlines of male and female naked bodies are often seen, including murder victims and the character Buffalo Bill (from The Silence of the Lambs).
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Mild profanity is used throughout and includes "hell," "bitch," "damn," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Spin-off of a critically and commercially successful movie, which has led to other installments in the Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill story.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters occasionally drink alcohol. Effects of drug use are sometimes shown (for example, the detectives visit a flop house looking for an implied heroin addict). No smoking is shown.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Clarice is a spin-off of the film and novel The Silence of the Lambs and follows a team of FBI agents who solve crimes each week. The series focuses on the aftermath of the events of The Silence of the Lambs, in which young FBI agent Clarice Starling tracked down serial killer Buffalo Bill and formed a strange friendship with serial killer Hannibal Lecter. In the show, Clarice supposedly suffers from PTSD and other psychological disorders, but she continues to investigate serial killers as part of her job. Clarice features a case-of-the-week type structure, and like many similar shows, often begins with a dead body that has been mutilated in some way. Corpses are shown, and sometimes characters are naked, though only the outline of nudity is shown. Violence occurs throughout the series, as the cases almost inevitably lead to shoot-outs, assaults, and other violent confrontations. The series will reportedly confront one of The Silence of the Lamb's more unfortunate legacies, which is that the film suggests a relationship between Buffalo Bill's crimes and the fact that he is a transsexual character. However, the series seems to be taking a pop psychology approach to Clarice's trauma, using it for mostly for entertainment purposes, so it's possible that other complex issues will be addressed in a similar, surface-level, fashion.
Is It Any Good?
The Silence of the Lambs is rightly considered one of the best movies of all time, and its main character getting lifted to head up a TV procedural was probably inevitable. Clarice leans very hard on its connection to the 1991 film, but at the end of the day it's just a showcase for the same 45-minute whodunits that have been recycled well into the ground over the last 20 years of network television.
Unsurprisingly, the series is as vaguely satisfying and imminently replaceable as any other decently-produced mystery show. The one thing that makes it unique is its beloved lead character coping with the trauma and fallout of her well-known backstory. But its portrayal of Clarice as a "survivor" is mostly just pop psychology and window dressing, rather than a sincere effort to reinvent the body-of-the-week medium or even question, as its source material does, why viewers find brutal murders so entertaining.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.