I confess I was drawn to watching Quantico because of the pure mojo coming from of its lead actress, Priyanka Chopra. I’m not alone in finding her intriguing – she’s a former Miss World, after all.
Upon watching the pilot, I was pleased to find I had landed in a world full of strong lady characters and characters of many nationalities. Here, Priyanka plays Alex Parrish, an FBI student at Quantico, where the best and brightest are trained to figure out whether or not our texts about ISIS pose a threat to the country.
At her side, we have TWINS Nimah and Raina pretending to be one person, played by Yasmin Al Massri. We later learn that one twin is a devout Muslim and the other is much more secular, which is an interesting tension. There is a mysterious southern belle named Shelby (Johanna Braddy), and Simon (Tate Ellington), a Jewish student who is the first openly gay man training to be a special agent. Finally, there is Miranda (Aunjaneu Ellis), their teacher who is hard on them yet emotionally sensitive and forgiving.
People have called Quantico a Shonda Rhimes-ian program because of its devotion to complex, diverse characters and representation of LGBT stories. This is a fairly accurate comparison, although I can’t say I’m 100% versed in Shondaland.
The premise of Quantico is pretty damn daring. In our flash-forwards to the future, someone has blown up Grand Central Station, and we know it’s one of the characters who trained in Parrish’ class at Quantico. The finger is pointed heavily at her, but hey, this is T.V. and no plot can be that simple. It had to be somebody else. (Or was it???)
As we try to figure out which of the students it was, we find ourselves in a game of “Guess Who? Don’t Racially Stereotype” edition. Which of these diverse characters could we blame for a crime like this without this becoming a racist show? I was curious to see if they could pull this off with grace or end up choosing the “provocative” (read: racist) route that so many other shows go for.
I found myself sucked into Quantico pretty quickly. Alex Parrish is an awesome character. She’s badass at kickboxing and all things physical, but also bright, sensitive and courageous. She’s not perfect though — she’s got secrets, and she has a hard time getting close to people. Priyanka Chopra is definitely a star, and if I had watched this show as a tween I would have definitely found her inspiring in a Buffy-like way. (This show isn’t funny like Buffy though, although it has its moments.)
The women on the show stick up for one another, as opposed to the women in creator Joshua Safran’s other shows (Gossip Girl, Smash). Plus the central female characters in this show are almost all women of color, which is a far cry from the waspiness of Gossip Girl.
I’m surprised I haven’t heard more about this show, since I really liked it. If you’re looking for an entertaining show and a new girl crush, Quantico has you covered.