Breakups and Makeups: Quantico

Quantico, How I Loved Thee.

When my sister and I first heard that you were coming to a TV near us, we jumped for joy, then screamed so loud that all the windows in our house shattered. To put it simply, we were excited. We have always loved the intriguing world of spies and detectives, pouring over Nancy Drew and the Boxcar Children series as children. But your creation was even more awesome than all of those, Quantico. All because you starred none other than India’s sweetheart Priyanka Chopra.

I have always had emotional attachment issues with shows. Instead of watching shows like ¨Grey’s Anatomy¨ and ¨Pretty Little Liars,¨ I preferred ones like ¨Modern Family,¨ ¨The Middle,¨ and ¨Black-ish.” Just twenty minutes of pure comedy with a dash of heartbreak (and enough emotional investment). Shows where I could skip episodes, or entire seasons, without bearing any consequences or missing any important revelations. So watching you, Quantico, was a huge step towards making myself open to letting other shows into my life.

For one whole season, I watched every one of your episodes religiously, as dedicated as a soccer mom to her wine. Chopra was the perfect amount of confident and daring. And I guess all the other characters were good too. Every relationship was carefully crafted and kept me simultaneously happy and heartbroken, outlining their stories, while giving me the glimpses into their thoughts.

And then, like every show that starts with greatness, the dreaded season two came. With every good show comes bad things. And, oh dear, how many bad things have happened to you.

Quantico, what happened to you?

You were once a star. And every episode was unique; every cliffhanger leaving me thirsting for more. You made me laugh and gasp as I sat enraptured in your existence. I opened myself up to you, made myself emotionally available for you. Although you came out during the week, I would save you for the weekend, an hour when I would be able to kick back and cherish our time together. And how did you repay me? By doing a complete 180 during the brief period between your first two seasons. Now it seems more appropriate to just watch you while I suffer through the many mountains of homework I have. Why oh why have you done this to me?

Season two was horrible. In season one, the plot centered around Chopra´s character being framed for a terrorist bombing orchestrated by two white men. Initially, it seemed as though you were bringing awareness to an important issue. But in season two, it seems as though you yourself had begun stereotyping. The despised terrorists in season two were African, and the only hijab-wearing character, Nimah, was linked to yet another arabic-speaking terrorist organization. Suddenly, it seemed as though you yourself had begun stereotyping. No longer were you trying to spread the message that terrorism has no color, religion, or nationality. The first season’s views had obviously gotten to your head and elevated you to a status where you thought you were untouchable. Instead of disparaging stereotypes, you went beyond affirming them and began creating them. So I dumped you midseason.

Why you ask? Why would you abandon me my dear Ihsaan? Here’s why: Terrorism has no religion, or color. Although the show is still very diverse, there is such a thing as the wrong type of representation. The type where the Indian character is scapegoated while no one second glances her white coworkers who were actually responsible for it. And the type where all of the terrorist organizations are Middle Eastern or African.

Really, Quantico, I’m better off without you. You are too much for my soul to take, and I feel as though I may explode from frustration if I watch you anymore. Unfortunately, now I know what happens when you become emotionally invested in a show. I should have continued to keep my flings with shows short and casual.

It’s alright though, I’ve learned a very valuable lesson: anything that lasts longer than twenty minutes will break your heart.

Words by Ihsaan Mohamed