Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Oh Quantico, How You Disturb Me So

I must admit I was very excited when it was announced Priyanka Chopra was going to be the main character in a prime time US TV show. (Those of you who don't know, our "prime time" are the evening hours when most people are home, have eaten and are now glued to their TV sets. It's the most viewed 3 hours on TV here.)

I anxiously awaited seeing how they were going to develop her character and where the plot of the show was going. When it came out, I was a bit disappointed they made her the scapegoat for a terrorist attack. Not only is that perpetuating a racist theme that Americans are going to be quick to point out the brown person but it was absurd because she's Indian and not even of the nationality that they were trying to perpetuate the stereotype for. Ugh.

I got over that thinking that the portrayal of criminal innocence and her drive to survive would still make it a good show. They were quick to shoot that down too. Right in the beginning they make her out to be a sexually free-spirited slut who picks up strangers to have sex with for fun. *barf* I know, I know... India does this same sexualization to white women, it's wrong then too. It just had no place in the story at all and did not need to be there.

Time goes on and the first season did reel me in. I liked the twists and the turns. Towards the end it got a bit too much, almost to the point of just being plain ridiculous.

Still, I came back for season 2. Now we have Priyanka, aka Alex Parrish, still working for the FBI but now she's undercover in the CIA and is being inducted into an elite unit - if she can keep make it. Of course no one would ever know or suspect she's faking her role in the CIA right? Her actions are impulsive and at times reminiscent of the proverbial dumb blonde in American horror movies. She's the idiot who does first and thinks later under the guise of trying to protect her friends.

The very friends she gets killed routinely, lies to, hides from, manipulates and worse. I don't know who thought this show up but it's fast becoming mundane and silly.

Even Archie Punjabi's role on Blindspot really isn't written well. Her character is much better overall but it's still just irritating in small ways. She's an over-the-top big shot NSA secret agent who's willing to bend some guidelines if her subordinate team demands it.

American TV is going way down hill when it comes to their endeavors into more culturally diverse programming.

Do you watch Quantico or Blindspot? What are your thoughts on the characters they have portrayed by famous Indian actresses? 


  1. Hollywood has never been kind to Indian talent. I have seen great Indian actors who are legends in their own right given bit roles in Hollywood movies, you blink and you miss him kind of roles. Now, it is slowly changing with the movies like “Life of Pie”. Mostly males actors with a few females actors from the art cinema. No top bollywood hero/heroine has ever ventured into this alien territory until now for obvious reasons.

    So, it was quiet a pioneering effort for Priyanka Chopra to act in a American series at the top of her career. Now, another bollywood heroine Deepika Padukone is acting in a Hollywood movie. Let’s see how her role shapes up and may be it will open more avenues for other desi actors.

    About Quantico, there was such publicity about it. People were proud that our girl has made it big in America. It is as if she has conquered America. I could not understand this smoke and noise was all about, guess it is our nature. Most people were disappointed like you due to the way her character has been shaped but there was ample evidence in the trailer which pointed in that direction. This was never a surprise.

    I have seen that Americans portrayal of certain nationalities are more layered may be because of their prolonged interaction with them but about others, they have some very vague ideas. I have always felt that they just know certain races and cultures much better than others. I have never been to America but seen American serials /films. My opinion is based on them.


  2. Sometimes they get it right, but just not this time.