TV Review: ‘Quantico’

'Quantico' Tries to Get Away With
Courtesy of ABC

Quantico” isn’t a bad title, especially when one considers how unwieldy “How to Get Away With Murder 2: Terrorism Edition” would look on a billboard. Because peel away a few layers, and that’s really all this new ABC drama is, featuring a group of young, attractive, anything-to-get-ahead go-getters, living and loving (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) at the FBI’s training academy, before a mystery ensues about which of them might be a terrorist. ABC is doubtless hoping for even part of “Murder’s” success, the question being whether it’s possible to do a Shonda Rhimes-like show without her brand of pixie dust.

With an arresting lead in Priyanka Chopra, a former Miss World who was born in India, the show races through a lot of material very quickly, which makes it difficult to get a firm handle on where all of this might settle. But suffice it to say that after a rapid introductory period — complete with raging hormones, secrets and competition — a terrorist act occurs that shakes the bureau to its core. And guess what? The evidence points at Chopra’s Alex Parrish, which means one of her classmates was likely responsible.

ABC did the show no favors with its summer teaser campaign that showed a seemingly naked Chopra draped in an American flag. But on further inspection, what else, really, did they have to promote? Certainly not the tough-as-nails tutelage of her FBI trainer Liam O’Connor (Josh Hopkins, a post-pilot replacement for Dougray Scott), which, like so much here, echoes other TV shows and movies — think Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs” as filtered through a new batch of residents on “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Created by Josh Safran, “Quantico” will air Sunday nights, and its fate may hinge in part on whether ABC can gain any traction with its lead-in from another new serialized drama, “Blood & Oil.” Put another way, while the pilot is subtitled “Run,” it’s hard to imagine much of a stampede in “Quantico’s” direction without a bit of an assist.

That’s not to say there’s not an interest in this sort of material, merely that the bar for such thrillers has been set pretty high by premium series like “Homeland,” while broadcasters have struggled with their versions (a la NBC’s “Allegiance”). Based on first impressions, “Quantico” seems to be stationed in a more mundane realm. The question now is whether the show can get away with it.

TV Review: 'Quantico'

(Series; ABC, Sun. Sept. 27, 10 p.m.)


Produced by ABC Studios.


Executive producers, Joshua Safran, Mark Gordon, Nicholas Pepper, Jake Coburn, Robert Sertner; director, Marx Munden; writer, Safran. 60 MIN.


Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin, Aunjanue Ellis, Josh Hopkins, Yasmine Al Massri, Johanna Braddy, Tate Ellington, Graham Rogers

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  1. Lynne Barner says:

    I think the show is very interesting! And it took a couple of episodes, as with the beginning of any show, to be introduced to the people involved. I, too, could do without all of the music, as I end up using closed captioning to get what people are saying sometimes because of all of the music. But I like the show and am acutally binge watching it on hulu.

  2. Jerry Lang says:

    Ready to give up on Quantico. Too many story lines and timelines combined make it maddening to keep up. Actually plot twists in a show are fine, multiple timelines are okay, multiple story lines are fine too, just not all together. It’s like the creators thought of every thing they could do, like emptying your cupboard into a pot. Sometimes all the ingredients don’t work together.

  3. mark says:

    There are more than enough cop shows on TV, we don’t need another one, especially a bad one. This show has no redeeming features other than the eye candy. It’s overly dramatic rubbish with unrealistic characters and plots that mindlessly pander to public fears of terrorism. Cancel it. How about a show where the cops are all corrupt and ugly instead of always being “the good guys” ….hahah, that might be too realistic.

  4. Faz Faz says:

    i agree on bad dialogues and some of the casts not so good acting, but over all i find this show interesting, yes it’s all over the place and too many characters and the flash backs and all that but Priyanka has done well and some other ones like Miranda and Rayan. i will continue to watch it. it has what keeps me there the entire hour when not many tv shows did. cheers

  5. Jared Bernard says:

    Wth is wrong with u ppl? This show is awesome! Stop trying to be on the bandwagon of criticizing every new thing that comes out. It doesnt make you look cool at all….

  6. James says:

    The portrayal of federal law enforcement is about as realistic as Grey’s is with how hospitals run… fake and politically (in)correct.

    They shouldn’t even air the remaining episodes. Cheap lowest-common-denominator crap. Write a show that actually tackles these issues without all the fluff (and fluffers) and you might have something.

    I couldn’t even finish the second episode, it was so bad.

  7. Syd Cohen says:

    I can only believe the producers of this show feel t is weak in the areas of dialogue and vocal projection because they have to have background music running all the time during the show. It must be frustrating to put on a show and not trust the most important aspects of that show. SHUT OFF the aggravating, superfluous noise.

  8. GM says:

    Too many recruits makes it extremely crowded, In several serious screens, the dialogues between PC’s seniors seems to be very casual and without seriousness – even unnecessary smiling at times, etc. The scenes seems to be disconnected for now which, hopefully, may come together eventualy. I am hoping PC would be a bit more aggressive in scenes in future episodes.

  9. Vito Corleone says:

    I refuse to be force fed network television’s idea of diversity. The networks try to jam as many minorities as they think they can get away with into every possible situation. The result is that their shows don’t represent demographics but rather some Hollywood petri dish. Network television is a waste of time!

  10. Vito Corleone says:

    Ridiculous show with no redeeming qualities. Bad conceptually, bad writing, terrible acting and too f#####g politically correct. Sh#t can this skunk!

  11. Jim W says:

    I find “Quantico” somewhat intriguing, but like many other new shows, the directors, producers and/or creative consultants have yet again decided to overpower the dialogue with loud and intense musical scores and background noise, making understanding the dialogue difficult. This makes following plot points almost impossible. If this production format continues, it will be the first reason that I will discontinue watching the show.

  12. Don says:

    Don’t think this show will last. The scenes are too disconnected and it is difficult to keep up with what is happening. Also, may be too “Politically Correct.”

  13. NUSC says:

    The only reason I even watched this was, as a person of Indian heritage, there was a lot of hype over Priyanka Chopra acting in a Hollywood series…but seriously even with my so called “heritage loyalty” I couldn’t stand it. PC is not the best actor even in Bollywood, but this was absurd and bordering stupidity. Horrible acting, script and screenplay. If the plot turns out to be the Arab girls being the criminals, I will have no words…it is high time Hollywood comes up with something better than this insane Arab terrorist stuff – it has become predictable and stale.

  14. Lewis says:

    Who writes this crap, Justin Beiber?

  15. Walsh says:

    “What’s happening? Why are you arresting me? Where are you taking me? Why are you doing this?!” cries trained FBI agent Alex Parish after just watching video of bombs and dead bodies being recovered in her apartment. Seriously? The writing, the acting, the plot, the absurd portrayal of FBI life and culture, is all just terrible.

  16. NBG says:

    Did anyone else think Chopra’s acting left a lot to be desired? It seemed forced and fake. Pretty sure I won’t be watching again.

  17. Jake says:

    This show was absolutely horrible. CW style highschool drama complete with cool kids, nerdy kids, rich kids, and a jock douche. Totally absurd plot and twists. The FBI does not allow terrorists into its academy so it can investigate them as we are led to believe here. The FBI also does miss things like impregnating and killing a 14 year old girl during background investigations and polygraphs of candidates. And are you seriously telling me that they somehow missed that the one woman has a twin sister and then somehow missed that she is actually living inside the dorms at the academy? Totally absurd. This show is garbage. More fodder for the simple minded.

  18. SBM says:

    I could live with that mate. Can’t live with the overhyping and really bad writing. Nothing wrong with gorgeous people. Plenty wrong with bad writing and dialogue and bad acting. Chopra is gorgeous and has real talent. Just not in this show.

  19. Chris says:

    It’s so funny to watch reality cop procedurals and see what real officers–male and female–look like, then watch these shows peopled by gorgeous young things straight from a modeling agency.

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