Review of Quantico

60 minutes

A diverse group of recruits has arrived at the FBI Quantico Base for training. They are the best, the brightest and the most vetted, so it seems impossible that one of them is suspected of masterminding the biggest attack on New York City since 9/11.
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Oct 29, 2015 4:44PM EDT
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Quantico
1.01 “Run”
Grade: B

I can usually tell from a pilot if I’m going to be invested in a show. I’m shallow that way. The best pilots (Lost and Supernatural come to mind, but I could easily list Orphan Black or Sleepy Hollow among them) hook me from the first act and convince me this is a show I’ll be excited about watching. The first episode of Quantico is pretty good, but I’m just not that excited about it. Priyanka Chopra is its best asset as protagonist Alex Parrish, the smart and sexy FBI agent (trainee in flashbacks) desperate to uncover the truth about a terrorist plot she’s being framed for. Her epic post-coital takedown of love interest Ryan Booth was a real highlight, but let’s be real—he’s a potato. I do not care about him. Alex has better chemistry with southern belle Shelby (Johanna Braddy, who was great in UnREAL, this summer’s breakout hit). I’m already shipping them, which is a good sign for my investment in the show, but I don’t really care much for anyone else. All the trainees are really attractive (grey henleys make everyone look good), but I find myself unconcerned with their inevitable hookups. I’m not sure why—maybe it’s less fun for me if they’re not teenagers facing a mystical threat, I don’t know. I liked some of the twists (twins!) but hated others (he’s undercover, really?). Some of the lines had me cheering (One trainee walks in on an uncovered Muslim woman: “I’m gay,” he protests; she fires back, “And that makes a difference?” #zsnap), while others made me groan (“Remember, I’m not your partner or your girlfriend anymore…”). I was skeptical of the in media res opening and flashback structure (it’s been done to death in recent years, usually instead of actual development) but Quantico made it work by the end of the episode.

Honestly, I’m still on the fence about this one. It could have easily been a B+ or even an A- if it had hit some of the right notes, but it managed to hit the wrong ones. Do I keep it in my bloated schedule and wait for it to get better? Or cut it now and maybe binge-watch it later? I’m leaning towards the latter. Quantico has a sharp premise, but it’s not one I tend to latch on to. The show isn’t taking itself too seriously, but I didn’t have a whole lot of fun watching it, either. Perhaps I would like it more if it wasn’t pushing one character’s daddy issues so hard. She killed her father, and that somehow explains her bad relationships with men? It’s an idea that makes my stomach turn, and Quantico doesn’t do enough to settle it. Despite some promising drama, a strong lead and a fun soundtrack, Quantico has flaws I can’t overlook. I’m willing to be convinced otherwise, but I just don’t think this is the show for me.

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