Tuesday, September 29, 2015


I just checked out the new drama Quantico.  Some have called it the first Shonda Rhimes show not created by Shonda Rhimes.  It's hard for me to say, since I don't regularly watch Rhimes' shows, but it is full of beautiful young people involved in mysteries and scandals, so perhaps ABC is expanding that franchise.

There'll be spoilers ahead, though they can't be that bad since I've only seen the pilot, designed to pique your interest.

We start with protagonist Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) awakening from a smoldering pile in the middle of New York City.  There's been a major terrorist attack.  Then we cut to nine months earlier.  (It's funny, since the Rick And Morty episode shown the same night discusses scripts that have a teaser followed by a title saying "Three Weeks Earlier." Rick says just start the story where it starts, and gets so annoyed at the screenwriter that he pushes him down the stairs to his death, saying "You like that? You want me to cut to three weeks earlier when you were alive?")

The flashback, which seems to be the main story--at least we spend most of our time there--is Alex and a bunch of others coming to Quantico to become FBI agents.  They're going through boot camp, and many in the class will likely wash out.

It's a diverse group, in every way--race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation.  The only thing that ties them together is they're young and incredibly good-looking.  We get to know several of them, though how many will be regulars I'm still not sure, especially since one shoots himself.  It's that kind of show, where the twists and turns are fast and furious (like a Shonda Rhimes show?).

All the students have secrets. We even get flashbacks (flashbacks within a flashback).  In fact, their first assignment is to discover something secret about a fellow classmate--a chance for plenty of easy exposition, and the cause of that suicide.  We also get to meet the two main instructors, who've got their own problematic history.

But back in the present of the show, Alex is being questioned by the FBI.  It becomes clear to her that she's the main suspect, and soon after that she's being framed.  So she's apparently going to have to spend the rest of the season uncovering who among her class actually did it.

There's a lot to like about the show.  Above all there's Chopra, who is beautiful, of course, but also projects intelligence and resourcefulness. It's easy to believe she could hold the center of the series.  The rest of the cast, so far, is getting lost in the shuffle, but the action is lively and clean, and there's enough mystery to keep it going, at least for a while.

On the negative side, this is essentially a whodunit.  A lot of people like whodunits, but they tire me out.  I don't mind them if I know I'll discover who did it at the end of the play or movie, but to have to wait an entire season or more to discover something that's already happened can get tiresome unless done really well.

Worse is the back and forth in time.  This, along with the whodunit aspect, may be what sold the series, but I like my action in the present.  That way, things can move along and we discover them the same time the characters do. In the Quantico type of set-up, it looks like the main story has already happened, and we'll have to revisit all the pre-ordained action that everyone in the present already knows.

So, in general, a thumbs up.  But Quantico better watch it--I already have a bunch of shows I check out on Sunday, and if they expect me to add one more, they can't afford to slip.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

They lost me with the title

10:19 AM, September 29, 2015  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess you're not going to see Sicario either.

11:30 AM, September 29, 2015  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter