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A former Miss World playing a hard-as-nails FBI agent? It’s a testament to Priyanka Chopra’s acting chops that she manages to pull it off, in this unashamedly glossy and relentlessly enjoyable new US drama.
In a nutshell
So it seems that enough time has now officially elapsed since 9/11 to allow for a show that takes a Grey’s Anatomy approach to the War on Terror. Until now, dramas about geopolitical tensions and Islamic radicalisation have been on the gritty side (hello, Homeland), but Quantico dares to turn it into the stuff of pure entertainment, complete with impossibly pretty people (there are abs everywhere), a pop-tastic soundtrack, and a heavy emphasis on people flirting and hooking up.
All of which should be enormously tacky, but actually this opening episode went down a treat, partly because of its ingenious structure. It cut back and forth in time from a bunch of recruits training for the FBI to a major terror attack in New York apparently committed by one of those same recruits. So it’s basically a whodunit on steroids, with each of the recruits hiding secrets and hidden motivations, and the sheer energy and intrigue meant not a minute of this episode was wasted. Plus, we have a genuinely awesome heroine in the form of Alex Parrish, who was framed for the bombing and is now on the run, in the manner of The Fugitive, only unfeasibly gorgeous.
What's the verdict?
It’s tempting to consider Quantico a “guilty pleasure” but it isn’t. It’s so well made and carefully scripted and nicely set out that there’s nothing guilty about it. Of course, it could all go off the rails in episodes to come, but right now it might well be the most easily enjoyable show on the box. And we never thought we’d say that about a show involving hideous terror attacks.