Genre: Terrorism thriller/Drama
Created by: Joshua Safran
Cast: Priyanka Chopra, Jack McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Yasmine Al Massari, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington, Graham Rogers & Anabelle Acosta
Escapism is what comes to mind when one watches ABC’s Quantico. Starring Priyanka Chopra, a former Miss World winner, in the lead role as Alex Parrish, Quantico features attractive FBI agents amidst the chaos of a catastrophic New York terrorist attack. The show alternates between the ostentatiously vibrant and the pulse-quickening thrills surrounding the mysterious framing of the talented FBI recruit, Alex Parrish.
The premise of the show is set in its opening scenes. Alex lies amidst the rubble of a bomb blast. Offering no immediate explanation, the story instead rewinds nine months, introducing Alex’s fellow recruits at the FBI academy and her superiors, Liam O’Connor and Miranda Shaw, played by Josh Hopkins and Aunjanue Ellis respectively. As with any decent series, the characters vary wildly – from twins acting as the same person to the blonde and Barbie variety. However, the show does deserve a nod for its character development and most characters have been equipped with elaborate backstories that add to the twists and turns of the plot.
To elaborate, the plot in itself is reasonably captivating in a Friday-night-lounge-on-the-couch manner. It is simple and straightforward, with all the frills and thrills of a comedy-drama-thriller packaged into forty minutes of screen time. Created by Joshua Safran, whom one might recognize as the former executive producer and writer of the CW television series Gossip Girl, Quantico borrows the former’s cocktail of love, sex and lies. Despite a plot laden with twists and questions that pile on as the show progresses, the answers to these mysteries are very rarely intellectual. Instead they very often parallel the high school drama seen in Gossip Girl.
Quantico seduces audiences with an unrealistically glamorous portrayal of lives in an FBI academy. Assumedly, most of us would have read by now of the plot’s weak substitution for superficialities over wit. However, this is part of the charm of the show. Chopra, who looks nothing less than gorgeous despite being on the run from the FBI, the web of affairs linking the various characters – which only gets progressively complicated as the show advances – and Jake McLaughlin’s portrayal of the brooding lover, Ryan Booth, are nothing less than fascinating to watch.
Unlike regular crime shows such as Criminal Minds, Quantico appeals to the guilty pleasures of its viewers, while the mystery surrounding the terrorist attacks acts as a backdrop for all the personal drama. It conjures a world that is just realistic enough for make-believe, infused with all the glamour and drama to make it just a tad more interesting.
All in all, Quantico is definitely worth a watch – at the least to revise the number of shows one may have currently raked up in their to-watch Netflix list. Tempting as it may be to unwrap the layers of glitz and glamour to mock a weak plot, this critique encourages kicking back and relaxing, while immersing in the illusion the series offers – that life could just be that perfect.