This Week in #POCtv: Quantico

See Also

ABC confuses Priyanka Chopra with another Indian actress

Oh, you know I've been waiting for something like this.  Priyanka Chopra, go on and get yours even if mainstream American media has trouble telling you apart from other Indian actresses.

I'm really digging the WOC cast of Quantico.  Judging by the pilot, I'm guessing that for brown folks, this is going to be one of the big ones to watch.  Chopra, a Bollywood goddess in her own right, is a comfortable and confident as the lead, and she actually has an interesting storyline.

Chopra stars as Alex Parrish, a federal agent-in-training who harbors the secret of having killed her abusive father in defense of her mother (she plays a mixie: white father, brown mother).  The pilot flashes back and forth between the time Alex spent at Quantico and the aftermath of a massive terrorist attack.

Apparently, one of Alex's fellow trainees has infiltrated the FBI, and over the course of this season (hopefully it doesn't take the whole series), we're going to find out whodunnit.  But in the meantime, the Feds either can't figure out who did or don't want to hold the right person accountable, so the end of the episode shows Alex being blamed.

Enter Miranda Shaw.

Forty-six-year-old actress Aunjanue Ellis portrays Miranda Shaw, Alex's director of training.  Shaw is tasked with finding out which one of her trainees is the sleeper agent.  She already knows it's not Alex, so when the FBI decide to pin the attack on Alex, Shaw busts her student of custody and sends on her the run, reminding Alex to comb her memories and figure out which one of her classmates was the terrorist.

Shaw is also the ex of a white dude on the show; it's brought up a few times and I rolled my eyes each and every time.  Like, we get it already.  According to White TV World, if you're going to pair brown women up, pair them up with a white dude onscreen if they're young, or make them some white guy's ex if they're older.

Palestinian actress Yasmine al Massri gets two pictures because somehow, unbeknownst to the FBI, her character and her character's twin sister are taking turns playing the bad-ass, no-fucks-given Nimah Amin, one of Alex's fellow trainees.  And they're pulling it off at Quantico.  The way al Massri just lounges back in a chair, smoothly rocking a hijab and giving a death stare which just dares anyone to say something...*shivers*.  Not to mention, I'm thrilled to have an unapologetic Muslim character delivering deadpan snark and cynicism.  In one of the earliest scenes, the students are whispering during Miranda Shaw's welcome speech.  Blonde Girl remarks that Shaw seems "warm", which insinuates that she's seeing Shaw through Mammy Goggles.  Nimah promptly disagrees, pointing out that Shaw can't be warm, like...for obvious reasons.

So while I'm rooting for Alex and I love that Director's willing to break a bitch outta jail...Nimah is totally my favorite bae on the show.


The show has potential, but it needs more brown people, namely another sista who's not playing the matronly mentor role.  Also...I'm not digging the whole we-can-only-have-a-WOC-lead-if-she's-paired-with-a-mediocre-white-dude trope.  First off, not all of us brown girls dream about hooking a white lover, male or female.  The majority of us are not dropping our panties on sight for them (per the pilot), and it's really irritating how a show about an empowering brown-skinned lead quickly devolves to white fantasy.



  1. I got to see at least 20 mins of Quantico thanks to an errand I had to run,but it does have lots of promise and Priyanka impresses me with her acting. I looked at her being interviewed on another show and seen her once or twice on AVS( Asian Variety Show) and she pictured me as a woman whose her own person and the way she acted on TV is the way she is in person. Priyanka pure is a what-you-see- is what-you -get- get kind of woman.

    " Also...I'm not digging the whole we-can-only-be-paired-with-a-mediocre-white-dude-trope.."

    Yes Lord" It's really getting too old.

    Man..are White men they only race of men that Black/WOC are married/date/divorced from/to? I get that they think that they are trying to bring in the ratings by doing this but there are Black women who are also in situations with Black/MOC . I know I've seen them. My mom's Black friend is married to a sexy Palestinian guy. I know when I go to on work ,my eyes be stuck on those good looking Asian Indian and Persian men.. I around I'm surprised I still have a job because of! I think about poor Amaya being around all of those good looking Arab/Middle Eastern men in Saudi. I know it's beyond tempting not to look at all of that!

    SeriousIy,I can think of several non-White actors who could have been Priyanka Chopra and the other WOC love/former love interests and even if they are White, I don't know what make the staff of Quantico and other shows think that just because he's White you said..we'll all be dropping our panties for them? It's like they're saying. " he don't have to look too much like anything. As long as he's White, everything will be alright" WRONG! Even if the WOC is paired with a White man, he should be a sexy looking White man and/or one with swag. You're not going to always bring in ratings because of his race. look at what happened to Deception.If that was the case, the show would still be on the air.Just like you recently said in another post, Black/WOC want quality shows and actors from the top to the bottom.

    1. Man..are White men they only race of men that Black/WOC are married/date/divorced from/to?

      According to American TV, men and women of color aren't allowed to inhabit the same universe at the same time unless they're siblings or something.

    2. And I am watching the second episode and now Parrish and Vasquez, a Latina, are both in love with the white male apparently. For once I would like to see two WOC fall in love.

      I feel like this is more about the white male ego, this idea that women are competing over them.

    3. " According to American TV, men and women of color aren't allowed to inhabit the same universe at the same time unless they're siblings or something.."

      ..And the White man's TV universe is about to put me in a deep coma because of it.

    4. @ llama

      and now Parrish and Vasquez, a Latina, are both in love with the white male apparently

      *twitches* Don't even remind me about that.

  2. I have been to this blog for awhile because I basically I had stopped watching TV to the dearth of color on TV. But this season has me back tuning in. I like quantico. And Nimah is also my favorite. Her character has the most fire and mystery. And yes it is very annoying that continue to primarily have white men as the love interest. I personally prefer me with some type of color (indian, arabetc). But that would destroy their attempts at mass mind-control that white is desirable all ruling presence on the earth.

  3. Not totally unrelated but I went to high school with that mediocre white dude. It still is funny to me to see him on TV even though his career has been pretty consistent for the last 2 decades. And yes, Aunjanue Ellis is way too fine to have ever been his off screen black boo.


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