1. IT'S A NEW KIND OF THRILLER
Over the years we've had plenty of TV thrillers about terrorism, espionage and dodgy international politics. And generally they've been dark, gritty affairs, mainly featuring lots of people looking serious and stressed out in dark rooms, in between things exploding. Quantico dares to be different. Yes, it begins with a massive terrorist attack in New York City, but the emphasis of this show is squarely on the men and women of the FBI - their ambitions, their personal secrets, their loves and lusts. It's a thriller about people, not politics. No wonder it's been dubbed by some "Homeland meets Grey's Anatomy" (alternatively, "How to Get Away with Homeland"). Unashamedly glossy, sexy and enjoyable, Quantico is a refreshing change from the usual thriller fare.
2. IT'S A WHODUNIT LIKE NO OTHER
We all love a good whodunit, right? But forget Lewis, Midsomer or Poirot, because Quantico ups the stakes just a tad. It's a whodunit on an epic scale. The crime isn't a simple murder in a country house - it's the catastrophic bombing of Grand Central station in NYC, the worst attack on US soil since 9/11. And our list of suspects is made up of raw young FBI recruits and their often shady handlers higher up in the organization. In true whodunit style, every one of them has skeletons lurking in their pasts, and part of what makes the show so exciting is piecing together the revelations and trying to work out each character's real motivation. Good luck doing it, though, because every episode brings new facts into the mix. Speaking of which...
3. IT'S PACKED WITH TWISTS AND REVELATIONS
If you pride yourself on being able to second-guess TV shows, then brace yourself for Quantico, because even Sherlock wouldn't be able to see some of these twists coming. This show is a maze of mysteries. A swarm of secrets. You get the idea. Some shows have one or two story arcs to string the whole thing together, but Quantico has one for every character, and when you're not wondering who the terrorist is, you'll be busy pondering all the other agendas at play. And just when you think you've got a handle on them, new revelations come to completely change the game all over again. It's all part and parcel of being embedded with the FBI.
4. IT'S FULL OF BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
Let's just be shallow for a moment and say it upfront: the people in Quantico are very, very good looking. And that's fine, because - as we said before - this is more Grey's Anatomy with guns than a hard-edged geopolitical drama. It's only right that pretty much everyone on screen is ravishing to look at. Our main character, FBI newbie Alex Parrish, is played by Priyanka Chopra, a Bollywood goddess and former Miss World, while her main love interest always looks like he's gazing out from the back cover of a glossy magazine (even when he's doing serious stuff like going on undercover missions and getting shot at). The rest of the cast feature flowing, luminous hair, lethal cheekbones and big dreamy eyes, and we can definitely confirm there are gratuitous shots of chiselled guys walking around with towels around their waists. Just to say.
5. IT'S BIG, BOLD STORYTELLING
The very first scene of Quantico shows our heroine Alex Parrish lying in the smoking rubble of a just-exploded building, and the pace doesn't let up for a moment after that. Quantico is not a subtle, slow-burning sort of show - it's an adrenaline-soaked thrill ride. What gives it extra impact is the fact that it's set in two time periods: the early training period at the academy, and the pursuit of the mysterious Grand Central station bomber in the present day. The narrative jolts us back and forth in time, so you barely have a moment to catch your breath before you're being plunged from one big plotline to the next. And you're going to find it utterly addictive.
Watch Quantico Thursdays at 9pm or catch up with the first five episodes this Saturday!