Lenny Henry will be mighty peeved.
American TV network ABC have released the full-length trailer of ‘Quantico’ a new action drama which features an Indian in the lead role.
Former Miss World and Bollywood starlet Priyanka Chopra stars as FBI agent Alex Parrish – pout-perfect and hair exceedingly well-coiffed. Agent Parrish is among a group of young FBI recruits, all with specific reasons for joining the Bureau, who battle their way through training at the FBI’s Quantico base in Virginia.
One of those recruits goes on to launch a devastating terror attack – “the worst on American soil since 9/11” – and Agent Parrish is framed for the attack.
Parrish, of course, has nothing to do with it and embarks on a mission to clear her name and protect the country she loves.
The premise itself is promising. Producers have described ‘Quantico’ as ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ meets ‘Homeland’: two of the finest shows to come out of America in recent years.
However, the trailer itself doesn’t suggest that ‘Quantico’ will have any of the darkness – or even the subtlety – that made Homeland and Grey’s Anatomy so entertaining.
There’s plenty of ‘Bollywood’ on show as well – tiresome one-liners, lots of melancholic stares, stating the blooming obvious and a surprising lack of the kind of authenticity that has made American TV so wildly popular around the world.
For goodness sake, she’s just been at the epicentre of a terror attack. Her hair SHOULD NOT look like that! Comparing notes on a smartphone at the Quantico shooting range??!! Seriously?
“We know you have done it Agent Parrish”! Well of course you do. Haven’t these guys learnt ANYTHING from ‘Homeland’?
In addition, there’s a strange ‘Box-Ticking’ vibe to it all as well.
Kudos to the producers and ABC for taking a risk on a show with a non-White female lead but the diversity thing seems to extend to the rest of the cast as well. Buff gay recruit? Check. Hijab-clad recruit? Check. Taylor Swift-lookalike recruit? Check.
The Diversity manager at the FBI must be going ‘Whoop!’, ‘Whoop!’
On the positive side, it is fantastic that American TV is moving away from the stereotypical Indian characters.
For once an Indian’s fighting the bad guys rather than masquerading as one.
Have a look at the trailer: