Tag Archives: Alex Parrish

A Female Indian TV Critic takes a look at Quantico

When I am watching a show that features a minority character, I often wonder how members of that minority feel as they watch the same show. Do they watch the show and think, “Wow, that’s me up there!” or do they cringe and wish the show had never seen the light of day? Is any representation good or does the type of representation matter?

Sonia Saraiya is the TV critic at Salon.com. She is also a woman who is a first generation Indian-American. So what does she think of Quantico and Priyanka Chopra’s character? Here’s the title of her piece in Salon this morning:

Priyanka Chopra’s “Quantico”: Cool, charismatic, complex Alex Parrish — the Indian-American heroine I’ve been waiting for
The new ABC show—pitched as “Homeland meets Grey’s Anatomy”—breaks new ground for Indians on American TV

Yup, she likes it. But not just because Alex Parrish is a Indian-Americna woman like her, but because the character breaks the usual mold of Indian characters she sees on TV. While she recognizes that Indians have rather easy compared to other minorities, since Indians are often portrayed as doctors or some other professional, as she says:

“…the subtext is that an Indian-American woman can be an American hero—or an American villain—just as much as the next person. We don’t have to be doctors or in arranged-marriage plots in order to see ourselves on television. “Quantico” is little more than a fantastical sandbox full of gadgets and car crashes, sure; but for once, I feel actually invited to play.”

You can read the entire article here.

Q&A with Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra

Entertainment Weekly has declared that Priyanka Chopra, star of the new Quantico, the breakout star of this upcoming season. During their Q&A with her, she addressed the issue of diversity on TV. Is the US ready for for and Indian woman in the lead role?

You mentioned you wanted to break the stereotype box in this role. How do you see your casting fitting into the larger conversation about diversity on American TV?

You know, I’m very curious to find out, because there’s no reference to say if it’s going to turn out well. It hasn’t happened before. I’m really looking forward to finding out. Is America ready for it? Are we ready for it? Is India ready for it? [Pauses] Am I ready for it? [Laughs] I have no idea, but I think for me, my Indian movies have never been stepping stones. I love what I do, I’m going to divide my time between my Indian movies, whatever work I get and my show and fly across the world wherever work takes me. That’s how I’ve always treated it.

I really see this as an opportunity. When I grew up I never saw anyone looking like me on TV, you know? I’m so glad to see a lot more of us on television, whether it’s Mindy Kaling or it’s Irrfan Khan or Freida Pinto. You know, I hope, like, little girls across the world can just look at me and say, “Ah, I want to be that!” Indian or not, it shouldn’t matter. It’s really cool to see how that will open up.

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