Indian-Origin Actor Priyanka Chopra’s “Quantico” Impresses the World

Actress Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Quantico’ premiered in the United States on Sunday night, Sep 27, and took the country by storm. Seeing an Indian actress nail the role of an American FBI recruit came as a surprise to all.

After the premiere of the pilot episode of ‘Quantico’, the US media took to Twitter to express how much they were impressed by the show.

Quantico, ABC’s new, twist-filled Sunday night drama about a group of FBI trainees, marks the American TV debut of actress and singer Priyanka Chopra. And if it also marks the first time you’ve seen the India-born star in action, prepare to be impressed.

Chopra — who makes good on her goal to make her Alex Parrish a Jason Bourne-level action heroine — is sharp, intense, infinitely watchable, and the main reason Quantico may also become one of your new faves. Alex has always dreamt to join the FBI, but later she finds herself in huge trouble when she is painted as a co-conspirator of one of the biggest terrorist attacks on the States.

Before the airing of the show, Priyanka’s contemporaries close home had tweeted their support.

The Hollywood Reporter had this to say: … you should definitely give Quantico a look if you’re interested in a little mindless eye candy that has enough hooks of a larger mystery to possibly keep you entertained week to week. And by all means, if you’re a fan already of ABC series like How To Get Away With Murder (which Quantico borrows from heavily) and Scandal, you’ll be right at home with Quantico, which, in the future, will likely have plenty of Grey’s Anatomy sexy-time moments as well.

Variety praised Chopra for being an “arresting lead” but wondered whether it was possible to do “a Shonda Rhimes-like show without her brand of pixie dust”…. 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.

People Magazine called it “fun, sexy and twisty” and said: The pilot, at least, is well worth checking out. The story isn’t always plausible — there’s one twist that would blow away every brainstorm that ever disrupted Carrie Mathison’s peace of mind — but it’s complicated, clever and fast enough that you start to wonder if even the most incidental detail may actually have significance in the season.

The Wrap praised Chopra as having “a poise and sexual spark as Alex that suggests a formidable potential FBI agent whose mind and beauty are equally stunning”. However, they didn’t think much of the pilot itself.

That straining to play serious-drama dress-up also can be felt in plotting and action scenes that can be awfully dopey. Alex’s escape from the FBI after she’s accused of orchestrating the attack only works if the bureau is so stunningly incompetent that it literally can’t catch a woman a block away from where she was arrested. Similar narrative conveniences–such as characters stumbling upon important clues just lying around waiting to be discovered–litter this first episode, which wouldn’t be so egregious if these agents and recruits weren’t supposed to be the best of the best.

The AV Club opined that, while flawed, Quantico stands out from its fall drama contemporaries by toting “its bullshit with a sense of wit and style”.

The premiere reveals things about its characters that other shows might hold onto for entire seasons. A lot of it is utter nonsense — violent pasts, unspoken agendas, hidden family members — but it’s utter nonsense that piques curiosity.

Vulture called it “familiar in all the right ways” and said:

Chopra’s a huge star overseas for a reason: She’s very compelling onscreen, and you immediately get why ABC thinks she can anchor a show.

The New York Times called the pilot “competently OK TV” and complained that it “lacks the idiosyncrasy that grounds a show like Scandal through its wildest flights”. However, it had this to say about Chopra:

The strongest human asset in Quantico is Ms. Chopra, a Bollywood superstar and former Miss World who is immediately charismatic and commanding amid the otherwise generic ensemble. If there’s a problem with her casting, it’s that she may come across as too seasoned and assured to be persuasive as a shaky, neophyte recruit.

Grantland said that Chopra plays Alex Parrish “well enough” but tore into the show.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Quantico did quite well in the ratings. But beware anyone who says the show is “well-made.” It is “well-made” in the way frozen hamburgers are “well reheated” at your local fast-food franchise. These are borrowed ingredients. This is processed cheese.

The first episode of Quantico airs in India on October 3. It will be available on the channels Star World and Star World Premiere.

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