TV Review: The Man Who Fell to Earth (Pilot) | Engaging but a little slow

Review:

For the past couple of months, I’ve been working toward something else. So books, Tv Shows and movie reviews have not been more of a priority to me. I read a little less, don’t have much time for series and films but I watched this pilot.

I wasn’t sure about reading the book that the show is based on but after watching this pilot I’m very intrigued. The intro to the series is starking, with Ejiofor’s voiceover paired with images of his character’s arrival on Earth was beautiful. It was also useful to see where he ends up since the show starts from where he started, because the episode does drag a little at time. Because it’s very anchored in the mundane – for a alien-on-earth TV series – so the anticipation I felt to see the extraordinary side of things made some of these mundane parts a bit…boring or maybe more acurately slow.

However the cast is excellent, they make give the slower moments some gravitas, they also make the plot so engaging. Overall this pilot grabbed so I’ll be watching.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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TV Review: Clarice (Season) | Adding Layers to the Hannibal Lore

This psychological horror crime drama created by Alex Kurtzman (Sleepy Hollow, The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and Jenny Lumet (Star Trek, The Mummy) is based on the best-selling novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. The series stars Rebecca Breeds (Pretty Little Liars, The Originals) as the titular character, along with Lucca De Oliveira (SEAL Team, The Punisher), Devyn A. Tyler (Watchmen), Kal Penn (House MD), Nick Sandow (OITNB), Michael Cudlitz (Invincible, The Walking Dead) and Marnee Carpenter.

Premise: A look at the untold personal story of FBI agent Clarice Starling, as she returns to the field about a year after the events of The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Review: Stylistically this show is very 90s without trying too hard. It also has the right look and tone to land itself between The Silence of the Lamb (1991) movie and Hannibal TV series. The show is darkish and creepy, without being too gruesome, adding layers to the lore we already know.

As for the overall story, they did a great job weaving the cases, Clarice’s mental health, and the social commentaries in the show. At first I thought that they went in a bit too strong with some of the commentaries. At first the misogyny was through the roof, while they did a subtle but effective job at tackling racism, but as the season went they balanced that out. It went from Clarice against most of the boys, to showcasing how much harder she had to work to gain an ounce of respect. Her struggle on that front was smartly contrasted by how her black best friend and fellow agent was even more underestimated and underappreciated. It’s a few of the many commentaries that the show tackled pretty well; putting a mirror to it asking us, without actually doing so, if and/or how things have changed since.

From the pilot on, the first case blossomed into a conspiracy with many entertaining twists and turns that kept things quite interesting the whole season. I appreciated that the show wasn’t much of procedural with a serial killer of the week but one big case that the team was working hard to untangle. Episode by episode we had a piece of the puzzle but not every piece seemed important or that captivating to uncover but in the end it pays off.

The ensemble cast of actors, and their characters as well, are incredible. Lucca De Oliveira among them really stood out. I instantly liked the actor and his character, and not just because of his looks or the writing, he’s good. As for Clarice herself, Rebecca Breeds, is excellent like the rest of the cast.

Clarice was a very interesting show, that could have benefitted from a second season but I hear it’s not happening.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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TV Review: Clarice (Pilot review) | The Right Look and Tone But It Still Needs Work

CAST
Rebecca Breeds
Lucca De Oliveira
Michael Cudlitz
Kal Penn
Devyn A. Tyler

The Accent is the first thing that I noticed. Not to judge if it was good or not, but I didn’t remember if Jodie Foster‘s Clarice had one. To say that I went in “blind” is an understatement, all I knew about the show is that it was centered around Thomas Harris‘s “The Silence of the Lamb“, I loved Hannibal so this show made it to my list easy. So it is set in 1993 right after The Silence of the Lamb and deals with the consequences that investigation had on Agent Clarice Starling and Buffalo Bill’s surviving victim.

The show itself has the right look and tone, it’s a bit creepy, and morbid but not enough to put me off. This first case has the potential to stretch on multiple episodes, maybe the whole season, which is great because if it’s too serial killer of the week I don’t see why that would be interesting. The fact that there might be a larger conspiracy with a powerful ennemis might make it worth it.

However, they went a little too far and obvious with some things. The boys club aspect of the FBI at that time is a bit too in your face. Her boss is a also too extra with the a-hole behavior. It feels like nine out of ten men in the show are just against her, which happens but come on! I know it’s the 90s but there might have been some descent men around at that time too.

As for Clarice herself, she’s smart and makes sense. I like that the show is exploring the toll this kind of work can have on someone, I just hope she won’t be the only one feeling those effects. The actrice portraying her, Rebecca Breeds, is also excellent so far, she reminds me of Elliot Page and Jodie Foster, and has already made the role her own building on what came before.

Clarice can be a very interesting show, I’ll definitely give it the customary three episodes trial, I just hope it won’t fall into the usual trap of other mind-numbing procedurals.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

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