Earlier this week, I had a sneak preview of the first episode for two brand new Hollywood TV serials – Quantico and Code Black.
Here are my comments on these highly anticipated TV shows.
Premieres on September 28th 2015, within 12 hours of the US telecast.
Airs every Monday at 9.45pm.
First and exclusively on AXN (StarHub TV channel 511)
As you probably have seen from the AXN trailers, the highly anticipated action thriller Quantico, stars a former Miss World and Indian Bollywood superstar, Priyanka Chopra as the series protagonist, FBI trainee Alex Parish – in her first-ever Hollywood appearance.
Premiering this Monday, September 28, Quantico follows a talented and diverse group of rookies recruited to the FBI and are seen arriving at the FBI training ground at Quantico, Virginia. They are the best, brightest and most vetted, so it seems highly unlikely that one of them is a traitor – who masterminded the worst terrorist attack on the United States since 9/11. But who exactly is the traitor? Stay tuned to find out.
After having been given the opportunity to preview the first episode, what I liked about this show, was the constant flashbacks between the present day when New York’s Grand Central Terminal is in ruins, and the past – that is, nine months beforehand when the trainees first arrived at the FBI. Though the flashback tactic is not a new one, it makes sense in this case, as it is a good way to help the plot unravel and set the tone of the entire series for the viewers on where the series could be leading in future episodes.
However, in the first few minutes of the show though, I must admit that I didn’t really see the relevance of some of the scenes, for example, when two of the to-be FBI recruits were seen meeting each other and subsequently making out in a car. And at that stage, they did not even know that they had been fellow recruits. As well, two gays were also seen kissing each other.
Perhaps though, these scenes had been added, because the producers were trying to depict a little additional drama to the series – and to show how emotional these young recruits are – thus setting up the tone of the rest of the series of the Grand Central Terminal terror attacks as being an inside job.
But as the episode wore on, I found myself getting completely rooted to the screen and was unable to tear my eyes off it. There is plenty of action and drama, as the recruits face all kinds of challenges. Chopra is seen waking up in the middle of the explosion – apparently without any clue of what has just happened. As a result of this, Chopra’s character, Parish, is interviewed as an eye-witness to the terrorist attack.
At the same time, a character is framed for terrorism and some characters work together to pull off a deadly escape in a police car. At the same time, friendships are broken and nobody knows who to trust anymore at the FBI.
The first episode ends in a bit of a cliffhanger, and sets the tone for much more drama to come in the rest of the series.
So far, I think that Quantico has definitely intrigued me – and I am certainly keen to find out what happens to Chopra’s Alex Parish and the other characters.
Quantico stars Priyanka Chopra as Alex, Jake McLaughlin as Ryan, Aunjanue Ellis as Miranda, Yasmine Al Massri as Nimah, Johanna Braddy as Shelby, Tate Ellington as Simon and Graham Rogers as Caleb.
Premieres on October 1st 2015
Airs every Thursday at 8.50pm
First & Exclusively on SONY Channel (StarHub TV ch 510 / SingTel TV ch 316 )
Warning: Due to highly graphic scenes, Code Black is not for the faint-of-heart.
A gritty medical drama documentary that is based on real emergency room situations, Code Black was inspired by Emergency Room (ER) trauma doctor Ryan McGarry.
The name of the show, Code Black, probably comes from when the influx of patients is so great that it overwhelms the hospital staff. So doctors and nurses must balance life and death situations given the limited time and resources that they have available.
In fact, in every episode of this TV series, there is an instance of Code Black.
At the centre of the ER’s controlled chaos in the Code Black TV series, is Residency Director Dr. Leanne Rorish. She is renowned for successfully performing high-risk procedures in Center Stage – this is the trauma area reserved for the most critical cases.
Her four new first-year residents appearing in the show, are Christa Lorenson, Malaya Pineda, Mario Savetti and Angus Leighton. Leanne’s confidante, Jesse Sallander, is an amiable senior nurse who has seen it all. She is also in charge of managing the residents at the hospital.
Also working in the ER is Dr. Neal Hudson. He is an excellent physician who often disagrees with Leanne’s “cowboy” approach. Dr. Rollie Guthrie, the energetic, longest-serving attending physician, is also present.
What I like about Code Black is that it felt true to what doctors and nurses are really facing, and is not hyped up by Hollywood producers. You really get to see, first-hand, about the fearlessness and efficiency of the medical staff and how they are so quick and confident when they operate.
You will quickly realise, when you watch Code Black, that it has no beautiful lighting and no happy endings. Life is measured in seconds and the heroic doctors and nurses must make choices with insanely high levels of speed and skill and must make heartbreaking decisions. Any lapse in concentration or any seconds spent being indecisive can mean the difference between a patient living or dying.
At the same time there are also plenty of dramatic scenes, and you get to see how the doctors and nurses truly feel when for example, they have to break it to loved ones that their family members didn’t make it, as well as the subsequent reaction from the fellow family members.
As a whole, if you are a fan of medical dramas, this is something that you will enjoy too. But don’t say that I didn’t warn you about the graphic nature of the footage first, though.
A LOOK AT AXN’S NEW BRANDING
Besides the two TV shows, we also got a sneak look into AXN Channel’s new branding campaign, which was launched last Tuesday. This new look aligns with the channel’s current programming focus and includes a new logo, graphic elements and marketing campaign.
Said Hui Keng Ang, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Sony Pictures Television, “While AXN continues to be the pay TV destination for action, we are also tapping into an audience seeking content filled with intrigue, passion and heroes. Our new look aligns with that programming sensibility and speaks to today’s viewers, who are connecting with our brand across linear and digital channels, as well as social media.”
The new AXN logo comprises of a custom-built avante-garde typeface and a three-dimensional red pyramid – a classic shape that is linked to mystery and the convergence of energy.
And to complement the new look, Quantico and Code Black are just two of the stellar line-up of mouth-watering TV serial – focusing on intense, intriguing and smart and unexpected stories – that AXN has in store for viewers. Other shows coming up soon, also include The Voice Season 9 as well as The Blacklist Season 3.