TV Review: “Quantico” – Dramatically Suspenseful

Written by Danielle Sing November 17, 2015

quantico

Welcome to “Quantico”, where we’ll attempt to kill what remains of your sanity and make you question the trust you place in your survival instincts. This sounds grandeur and absolutely unrealistic, but it makes for great television! Wait, television? New television series “Quantico” premiered this September and attempts to change the audiences’ view on terrorism using soap opera tactics and a diverse cast.

In “Quantico” we meet Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) and Ryan Booth (Jake McLaughlin) while they’re on their way to their first day at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. There are 50 candidates at the Academy, and Miranda Shaw (Aunjanue Ellis) and Liam O’Conner (Josh Hopkins), are their troubled mentors. But what should’ve been a fairly predictable period in Alex’s life becomes a nightmare she never expected. You see, Alex will soon be blamed for a terrorist attack (bombing Grand Central Station in New York City). Alex must ask her class mates to help clear name. “Quantico” follows a similar model to “How to Get Away With Murder” in which the mystery unravels as we see both the present and the future side-by-side.

“They started to frame you the day you walked into Quantico.”

Though real FBI training is probably not as psychologically damaging and dangerous as it appears in the show – including a bomb that the recruits are not sure is real or a test – it does emphasize how emotionally and physically tasking training like this could be. It’s described as being both the Olympics and a BAR exam daily in the second episode. While the training does drive some recruits to insanity, as perfectly shown in the first episode, Miranda and Liam always have a reason for what they do and it makes you wonder that maybe the FBI training is like that. Either way, it makes for an entertaining show.

Quantico

What dramatically emphasizes the unrealistic quality of this show is the soap opera tactics that are used. Don’t get me wrong, drama is great, this whole show is based around the drama of a top FBI recruit becoming a wanted terrorist, but the drama that occurs in this series has reached soap opera levels. A woman dating the son and the father, a man faking his sexuality, and twins pretending to be one person – I’m sure most of these are from “The Young and The Restless”. The only good thing about the soap opera levels of drama is that the characters are aware of it and even state how much like a soap opera their situation is. Sometimes the drama goes to far, but there’s a good amount of crime and suspense in attempt to balance that. At least this drama and suspense is effective.

“Information is only worth anything if you trust where it came from.”

“Quantico” has very diverse characters and cast. Of the main characters, six out of ten are of a different race or religion than what’s seen as “traditional American”. This includes: Alex Parrish is Indian; Miranda Shaw is African American; Nimah and Raina Amin (Yasmine Al Massri) are Muslim; Natalie Vazquez (Annabelle Acosta) is Latina; and Simon Asher (Tate Ellington) is Jewish. In the entirety of the show, there are also two characters who are not heterosexual. This diverse cast also helps to break the audience’s opinion of terrorist attacks. Alex even mentions that the FBI blamed the attacks on the “brown girl”. The show does simulate a 9/11 style attack on New York City, but subverts expectations by making absolutely everyone, regardless of culture and religion, a suspect (including the Deputy Director of FBI). “Quantico” makes us suspicious of everyone because each character is hiding something.

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Overall, “Quantico” is a well done show with some skilled writers behind it. The show has drama, suspense, a diverse cast, and is relatively believeable. But please, cut out the soap opera drama. If I wanted to watch soap operas, I would go home and complain as my mom refuses to change the channel from her soap opera marathons. “Quantico” is one of the few shows that started this fall season that pleasantly surprised me. I mean, who knew that the Miss World 2000 pageant winner could act?! Sorry, Priyanka.

My Rating: 8/10

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