The series premiere of ABC’s heavily promoted FBI drama "Quantico" accomplishes the near-impossible—it hits harder than the hype prophesized, and it may very well be the best new show of the season.
Taking a narrative and style points from ABC’s sudsy predecessors, “How To Get Away With Murder” and “Revenge,” “Quantico” pulls double-duty by sweeping from a current storyline in which heroine Alex Parrish (Indian-born Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra) is framed for a September 11-esque terrorist attack to past arcs FBI training that casts her fellow Quantico recruits in a suspicious light.
The pilot does countless things right, particularly the characterization of Alex. She is a tough, capable woman but doesn’t sacrifice emotion to be so. When she’s scared, she shakes and pleads. When she’s upset, she cries. When she wants to have sex with a man she just met, she does so and isn’t ashamed to admit it. When terrifying things happen, she acts, even if that includes killing her father as a teenager or escaping FBI custody to figure out who framed her.
And the list could be endless as her fellow Quantico recruits all have secrets running the gambit from tragic—Shelby’s parents died in during September 11 terrorist attacks—to horrific—Eric raped and impregnated a 14-year-old Malawian girl who died after getting an illegal abortion—to mundane—Caleb’s parents are both FBI agents and pulled major strings to get him into Quantico—to so jaw-droppingly awesome I wouldn’t dream of spoiling it.
“Quantico” doesn’t just walk the line between primetime soap and genuine drama, it moonwalks across it, thanks to nimble writing and acting from creator Josh Safran (“Smash”) and a varied and diverse cast that includes Johanna Braddy (“UnReal”), Aunjanue Ellis (“The Book Of Negroes”) and Jake McLaughlin (“Believe”). It also effortlessly transitions between past and present while incorporating enough breadcrumbs to lead to future bombshells without being too obvious or too subtle.
Admittedly, if “Quantico” burns through recruits as quickly as it does in the pilot, viewers will have difficulty rooting or caring about anyone. Caleb, the resident “gold-plated boy" with the self-deprecating one-liners, disappeared just as he became likable.
If “Quantico” can maintain their sexy-suspense “Homeland”-meets-“Grey’s Anatomy” vibe, Parrish and Co. will be thwarting terrorist attacks for years to come. Grade: A
What did you think of "Quantico"? Share your thoughts below.
Photo Credit: EW.com
I am a dogged television viewer. It takes a lot to get to abandon a show mid-run, like killing off an awesome main character just for shock value—I’m looking at you, “Person of Interest”—or a nauseating abundance righteous, tone-deaf speechifying and ignorant storylines (“Bluebloods”) or jumping so many sharks that they near metaphorical extinction (“Homeland’s” third season…almost).
By the end of last season, CBS’ “Hawaii Five-0” is nearing said threshold. Luckily, I have harnessed the power of an entertainment genie, and have convinced him to give him three more wishes. Here are my wishes of a Small Screen Girl for “Hawaii Five-0” season 6.
Utilize the cast. I fell in love with H50 for two reasons: the impressive cast—particularly Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, and the recently added Chi McBride—and those imaginative, near-cinematic action sequences. I wish the writers knew how lucky they are to have such a capable cast that can transition from bawling to badass in a blink of an eye, and elevate the material while keeping the silly and time-wasting storylines to a minimum. Sorry, Kamekona and Jerry! More bromance! More Danno tears! More carguments! More of the team sympathizing with the plight of the victim in the case of the week! Did I mention more bromance?!
Continuity, please! The main problem with last season stems from uninspired writing and major lack of continuity. A high point in season 5 was the milestone 100th episode in which Steve McGarrett was kidnapped by his archenemy Wo Fat (Matt Dacascos) and finally learned the root of their vendetta. The gut-wrenching ordeal, which included McG getting shot in the head, displayed star Alex O’Loughlin’s impressive chops and abs was never mentioned again. And it wasn’t a one-off. Later in the same season, Danny found out his rarely seen girlfriend had lied about her entire identity to escape an abusive spouse. He only discovered that information when said husband was stabbing in him the gut. The storyline, which could have been deliciously suspenseful and entertaining if better executed, ended there.
I wish as hard as I can for “Hawaii Five-0” employ continuity. If you are going to go so far to torture, drug and maim the main characters, there needs to be some kind of emotional fallout. It has to have an effect. Otherwise the people we’re supposed to care about are nothing more than live-action cartoon characters falling off the cliff over and over again. Clearly, “Hawaii Five-0” is not a "True Detectives" (and no one wants it to be) but traumatic events at least need to be referenced again between explosions and helicopter chases.
Limit traumatic events. I wish there were less mythology episodes. I know that sounds crazy. As a television fanatic, there’s nothing more I love than a juicy episode that shakes an episode out of the spot-the-hair doldrums of a cop procedural. However, too many character-centered catastrophes can become just as tedious, especially when there is little to no aftermath. Unfortunately, the upcoming synopsis of the season premiere hints that newlyweds Kono and Adam will spend their honeymoon tied up, and not in a good way. Everybody knows that abduction and torture is for your second anniversary!
Don’t mind me, I have a genie to pummel.
H50 is back on tonight at 9/8c on CBS. Until then, check out this sneak peek below!
Photo Credits: CBS.com
I watch pilots with a cool detachment, because new shows are like looking at puppies on an adoption website. They’re all fluffy, adorable things wanting to bring you love and entertain you, and yet they can be ripped away at any second. I’m still grieving over the cancellation of “Battle Creek” and missing out on that adorable Char-Pei-Lab mix. However, I cannot contain my almost aggressive glee over Fox’s “Minority Report” starring Meagan Good, Wilmer Valderrama and Stark Sands.
It’s been 10 years since Tom Cruise shutdown the Precrime Division in the 2002 film of the same name, which was powered by a group of psychic siblings who could stop murders before they happened. They have since dropped out of society to live in anonymity.
Good plays Lara Vega, a homicide detective who’s weary of the carnage, and wishes they could go back to preventing murders.
Enter Dash, a now fully-grown, socially-impaired, emotionally-raw Precog. He’s still consumed with death and the need to help people, but he can only identify faces and smaller details. His brother, Arthur (Nick Zano), can hone in on identities. He is stoic and stony, the shark to his twin brother's desperate heroism.
Lara and Dash secretly unite to prevent the murders of a do-gooding politician and dozens of supporters. “Minority Report” has clearly learned from its many predecessors, and by the end of the hour there was already a sprouting bond between cop and Precog. Vega is a dedicated detective, but hasn’t sacrificed her soul to rise in the ranks. Even though Dash is a means-to-an-end, she cares for him as a person, not a thing. And it’s nearly impossible not to.
His visions hit like a freight train, and reverberate through him like a grand mal. Even my guarded heart begins to manufacture serious feels when it clicks that is how Dash spent his formative years—writhing from visions of constant murders and the physical pain of seizures. Since regaining his freedom, he doesn’t know how to live yet he’s dedicated to saving others from death. He’s a martyr, a futuristic Sam Winchester minus the mane. Their partnership is reminiscent of the best of “Sleepy Hollow’s” Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane collaboration before Katrina swooped in to ruin everything.
The rest is pure, imaginative fun. The pilot completely immerses you in the futuristic world that Spielberg built, and updates it. It’s still sleek and silver, lively and completely realized. There are colorful little touches—teleprompter glasses, healthy fries and flying selfie drones. There's suspense, humor and more than enough badassery, thanks to Good leaping off buildings and ziplining into warehouses without a flicker of hesitation. Even more, Dash's sister, Agatha, has been having a recurring vision that Precog program will be reinstated, and they will once again be imprisoned.
Unlike Starks, Good—an industry veteran despite her babyface—doesn’t have the chance to stretch her acting muscles as much as her physical ones. Knowing the shelf-life of sci-fi shows on Fox (R.I.P. “Almost Human”), it is crucial that she gets the opportunities to show her range—her humor, rage and sadness—in the next few episodes. To carry the show, Good has to be more than the straight-laced cop or the hot girl with a gun, she has to be a fully-drawn person, and she's not yet. If Report trims the slightly indulgent scenes with the fancy CSI tools, they’ll have more time to invest into the cases, the action and the drama.
Ultimately, “Minority Report" is not reinventing the wheel, but it definitely makes it more fun to play with. Its ability to play with linear time, burgeoning mythology arc and refreshingly diverse cast is a pretty slick way to solve the worst case of the Mondays. Grade: A-
“Minority Report” airs every Monday on Fox at 8/7c.
What did you think of "Minority Report"? Share your thoughts below.
Photo Credits: Fox.com
It has been a long and joyless summer without the shady shenanigans from force-of-nature, Lucious and Cookie Lyon (Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson respectively) and Co. from Fox’s juggernaut mid-season hit, “Empire.” Thankfully, I can already smell the cookies baking as the musical drama is slated to return for a second season in just a matter of hours. If you need to satiate your craving now, don’t worry, I come with spoilers! Click here for 5 spoilers you need to know for “Empire" season 2!
Photo Credit: EW.com
As I clear out my DVR of ever-improving summer shows for the start of the new TV season, I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d wish for the upcoming seasons of my favorite shows. Luckily, I happened upon a genie, who will only grant me 3 wishes for entertainment purposes only, and having a romantic dinner with Chris Pratt and Jesse Williams isn’t one of them. So I am forced to use them on one of my favorite shows, The CW's "Supernatural."
Despite its low-budget, nearly-cancelled-three-times beginnings, "Supernatural" has continued on to become the longest running sci-fi show on broadcast television, bolstered by an incredible cast of Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins, risk-taking writing, and a dogged group of fans that affectionately call themselves a family. However, the lengthy and muddled Mark of Cain made for a head-scratching and frustrating season 10 that didn't quite capitalize on the dark magic of previous seasons.
Here are my wishes for “Supernatural” season 11…
DIVERSITY. For a show that’s taken scary through multiple dimensions, alternate universes and thwarted an apocalypse or two, it’s inexcusable that 99.9% of the regular and recurring cast is white and male. The women—who are also almost always white—have briskly entered and almost always tragically exited. The latest of which was Felicia Day’s Charlie Bradbury, who after a series of uncharacteristically stupid decisions, was slaughtered off-screen and dumped in a bathtub.
I desperately wish that “Supernatural” would normalize to reflect the real world in racial and gender casting. This season, the small sci-fi show with the big cult following will face its toughest competition yet when it airs in the same timeslot as the Emmy-nominated, ratings record-breaker “Empire,” 2014’s critically-acclaimed and Emmy-nominated comedy “black-ish” and Emmy-magnet, “Modern Family”—all of which feature primarily diverse casts. Racial normalization may be a necessity if “Supernatural” wants to make it to season 12.
More BAMF Sam Winchester. Many fans, including yours truly, have been frustrated with the uneven and sometimes baffling characterization of “Supernatural's” tallest cast member. The show began by telling the story of Sam, a college kid who returned to the family business of saving people, hunting things to avenge his girlfriend’s death has since turned into a show about a wayward group of thankless heroes led by Dean Winchester and his unstoppable BAMFness. I am and have always been an equal opportunity Winchester-lover, however, Sam has been long overdue for some deeper exploration and better characterization.
Also, Sam's doppleganger Jared Padalecki is 6'5'', and spends time between takes flipping 500lb tractor tires. With the trials far behind him, it's time for Sam to save the puppy eyes for the ladies and kick some monster ass.
Expand The Hunting Universe. It’s been nearly a decade since The Roadhouse, a popular bar for hunters to have share lore and spookily clean their guns in a shadowed corner, burned down. In the seasons since, the hunting universe has shrunk when it should have been expanded. Thanks to Sam and Dean’s affinity for making deals and kick-starting the end of days, the Winchesters already have a nefarious reputation. But after watching “Supernatural” for years, I'm often left wondering if other hunters gossip about the Winchesters? Do they text each other when Dean was turned into a demon, like "Guess who has black eyes and smells like sulfur?! LMAO!” I need answers!
Thus, I wish upon the feathers of an ice-eyed angel and my TV genie that “Supernatural” will explore more of the hunting universe.
After they accidentally opening the devil’s gate, freeing the devil and unleashing The Darkness, it would also be refreshing to find Sam and Dean coming to the rescue of other hunters who have unwittingly released some big nasty into the world. It would be a tsunami of cucumber water if all of said hunters weren’t white dudes.
Let’s see if any of these wishes come true when “Supernatural” premieres on October 7 at 9/8c on The CW.
Judging by the promo, the show will be intensely, scary and gory, which would have been by fourth wish if the genie hadn’t been so greedy. Check it out below!
What are your wishes for "Supernatural's" upcoming season?"
Photo Credits: cwtvsource.com
Hi, welcome to my blog!
My name is Kira—Small Screen Girl if you’re nasty—and this is television and pop culture blog! Before you bookmark my little corner of the Internetz, I suppose I should introduce myself...
Before Small Screen Girl
I have always been infatuated with television. One of my earliest memories of television was in daycare, I had to be three or four. After lunch, my daycare teacher, Ms. Smith, would tell us that we could watch TV as long as we were quiet, but if we talked or misbehaved we had to take a nap. One-by-one kids were sent back to their cots, and I remained cross-legged and transfixed on “Sharon, Louis’ and Bram’s Elephant Show” or “Reading Rainbow.” I know, I totally dated myself.
My first memory of specific entertainment was falling into hysterics when Michael Jackson turned into a werewolf in “Thriller.”
When I couldn’t sleep, I would replay my favorite TV shows or imagine inventing about inventing a television that I could watch in bed. Now, I just roll over and watch Netflix on my phone. What a time to be alive!
Becoming a Small Screen Girl
My journey to becoming an entertainment writer truly started in high school. I had always expressed myself through writing, and my inspiration to write has always been rooted in television shows. In high school, I was selected by my journalism teacher to write a movie review that was published in the young talent section of my city’s newspaper. Normally, they kept the opportunities open to different students in schools throughout the district, however, the editor liked my writing so much she continued to ask me to write other articles, including a feature on director Spike Lee.
I had already dreamed of becoming a director, actor or a writer, and this was proof that I could actually do it.
Around the same time, “MTV’s TRL” and *NSYNC’s rising popularity was the gateway to my discovery of the awesome power of the Internet, the fascinating intricacies of celebrity and the magic of fan fiction. And through it all, I always carved out room for television. My friends celebrated my birthday by decorating my locker with “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” scripts. “Felicity” ignited my love affair with New York City. “Dawson’s Creek” sparked my life-long crush on Joshua Jackson.
Fast forward a few years, some crazy celebrity-centric vacations (more on that later) and one recession, and my dreams of moving to New York City were backburnered for post-college survival. I swapped my English major for a Journalism degree with a marketing and advertising focus. I took the first job I was offered out of college, which involved creating marketing plans for clients in the Yellow Pages. It was even more tedious and soul-crushingly boring than it sounds. I was eventually downsized—thanks recession!—and that led to an aggravating string of temporary jobs and bouts of unemployment.
With little money and too much time on my hands, I started cooking insanely elaborate meals to stave off insanity. Who doesn’t want braised short ribs with roasted vegetables and a sweet potato cake on a Tuesday night? I indulged my restlessness and my creative spirit by starting a food blog, which led to blogging for Starpulse.com, an entertainment website. I’ve since parlayed that into a gig as a freelance food writer for the same newspaper that published my movie reviews a decade earlier.
My articles have been featured on Google Entertainment, and even commented on and retweeted by EPs of “Hawaii Five-0,” “The Mindy Project” and “Supernatural.”
What is a Small Screen Girl (Or Boy or Person)?
A Small Screen Girl (Or Boy Or Person) is anyone who unabashedly and wholeheartedly loves television. It’s not just regularly watching TV shows; it’s the fan who parses the nine-second preview of next week’s episode for the tiniest spoilers, who reads or writes episode recaps, who may even fix problematic canon by imagining or writing a solution. It’s the person who may cry over a death; fire off angry tweets after shark-jumping arc; or hosts viewing parties for their favorite shows.
It’s the person whose DVR is constantly recording, and their idea of a sublime Sunday afternoon involves emptying out said DVR and/or reblogging gifs of their favorite shows. It includes following your favorite actors/celebrities on social media, and even attending conventions (or being upset that you can’t afford to attend said conventions). It encompasses all of the wonderful, fanatical actions of someone pathologically obsessed with television.
A Small Screen Girl (Or Boy Or Person) is an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans of ever seeking treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes. There’s no judgment here, just camaraderie and support.
On this blog, you will find my musings on television, movies and pop culture. Expect haikus about my new and old celebrity crushes—Chris Pratt and Justin Timberlake, respectively—in-depth analysis of the state of Jared Padalecki’s hair in the latest season of “Supernatural”; listicles of why I wasn’t remotely upset by McDreamy’s death, and invitations to live-tweet shows with me.
You will also find recaps, reviews and gripes about all the television shows I regularly watch, which are (in no particular order): Outlander, Supernatural, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Empire, Black-Ish, The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, most things Bravo!, General Hospital, Jane The Virgin, Arrow, The Flash, Sleepy Hollow, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and more!
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.