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You Won't Sleep After Watching Clarice's Super Bowl Spots

On paper, Thomas Harris' Silence of the Lambs universe might not have seemed like an obvious choice when studios came looking for a multimedia franchise that'd last longer than most marriages. It is, at its core, the story of a young woman hunting an Ed Gein stand-in with the help of a man-eating psychiatrist with a mnemonic device for a name. It's just not that easy to squeeze a themed breakfast cereal out of Silence of the Lambs, no matter how perfect marshmallow Lecter masks would look.

And yet, here we stand, 40 years after the release of the novel Red Dragon and 30 after the debut of the iconic Silence of the Lambs film adaptation. We've seen Hannibal and friends portrayed in four books, five films, and a television series. Now, a new entry in the franchise that made fava beans cool again is headed for CBS — notably free of Hannibal himself — in the form of Clarice, the network's upcoming primetime drama.

Clarice got the Super Bowl ad spot treatment, and while verifiable footage from the show itself was hard to spot in the trailer's surreal cinematography, it certainly made one thing clear according to social media users: nobody's getting any sleep tonight.

Clarice is coming, and insomnia's coming with her

The generous sprinkling of Clarice ads throughout the 2021 Super Bowl notably made use of dialogue from The Silence of the Lambs, cutting and pasting Clarice Starling's lines from an interaction with Doctor Lecter while adding a powerful mission statement to the end — "I couldn't save [the metaphor-laden lambs] then, but I will never stop trying." Add to that a chilling shot of Starling, played this time around by Pretty Little Liars' Rebecca Breeds, adorned in chic lip moths, and you've got yourself a recipe for discomfort.

"That Clarice trailer needs to chill the big one. I'm trying to not have nightmares tonight," tweeted one viewer. 

"I've never had a nightmare after watching the Super Bowl. I think the Clarice promos are going to change that," chimed in another

Others took issue with the ad's use of a creepified cover of John Denver's "Country Road," an homage to Starling's humble roots in West Virginia. One viewer worked through their feelings, tweeting, "I never thought I'd stop loving [John Denver] but this Clarice show makes me want to never sleep and keep every light in my apartment, including my flashlights, on at all times."

Clarice is currently slated to premiere on February 11, and explore the life of Agent Starling following the conclusion of the Buffalo Bill case. As for whether the lambs will ever stop screaming, you'll just have to tune in and find out.