Monday, October 12, 2015

TV: Quantico

At one point or another, we've all felt unfairly accused of something.  That's a feeling ABC's latest hit knows how to work.


QUANTICO stars India's Priyanka Chopra as FBI agent Alex Parrish.Parish who is on the scene of a terrorist attack in NYC and is the main suspect.  As she rushes to clear her name, she will learn that the conspiracy to frame her began while she was a recruit in training, possibly even before that.

In the present, she rushes to investigate the immediate past which includes attempting to figure out which of her classmates might be in on it?

It was obvious that Tate Ellinton's Simon Asher was always going to be in on it.  Only on ABC do they bring you 'gay' characters that aren't, in fact, gay.  It's that little 'twist' that helped run viewers away from the sitcom MALIBU COUNTRY.  In QUANTICO, it's only slightly less grating -- possibly because, from the first episode when he kissed a stranger for a photograph (which he then passed off as a picture of him and his boyfriend), it was clear Simon was a liar.

There was also his lack of serious interest in seeing his roommate Ryan in a towel or various stages of undress.  Ryan's played by Jake McLaughlin who was excellent as Bo's father in NBC's too quickly cancelled Believe.  He's excellent here too as the recruit with a secret.  He's not a recruit.  He's an agent.  And he's been ordered to spy on Alex.  Watching her, from the start, only makes him attracted to her and the two end up having sex in a car after their initial airplane meet.

The spying is ordered by Liam O'Connor (Josh Hopkins, COUGAR TOWN's Grayson) -- Ryan's spying on Alex is ordered by Liam -- who partnered with Alex's father years ago and who also has a secret from those long ago days.

The spying Simon's doing is ordered by FBI Director Clayton (THE TOMORROW PEOPLE's Mark Pellegrino).  Pellegrino's the kind of actor who can be arresting in a one episode guest role (and was, see his work PERSON OF INTEREST's "Til Death" episode) and equally effective in a long term role.

The casting is one smart decision after another including Aunjanue Ellis' strong performance as one of the few people who know Alex is interest, someone who even attempts to talk Alex's mother (Anna Khaja) from turning on her.

About the only one playing it dumb is the ABC network which chose to pair this show with BLOOD & OIL as a lead-in.

We noted BLOOD & OIL was the worst soap opera ABC had ever done and that its ratings were only going to get worse.  It's time to pull that waste of an hour off the air.

Monday, Rick Kissel (VARIETY) noted that "ABC's hot rookie QUANTICO saw its first week-to-week decline on Sunday behind a fading BLOOD & OIL [. . .]."  THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Michael O'Connell also noted BLOOD & OIL's ratings problems.

The show is a flop.

There is no come back for it at this point without seriously revising the central premise (such as bringing on Melanie Griffith to play a villain on the show -- a sorely needed woman who does something -- anything).

It never should have been aired and that someone gave it a greenlight should result in firings in the executive suite.

In 2015, no one wanted to see a dull soap about an elderly man (Don Johnson) and his son and want-to-be son doing this or that while the gals pined on the sidelines, too weak apparently to even carry a subplot.

This is the sort of crap REVENGE was cancelled to make room for?

BLOOD & OIL never should have made it to the airwaves.  The fact that it's now threatening the hit that is QUANTICO means the bad program may get the axe just a little bit sooner.

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