Designated Survivor (2016)

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Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member is suddenly appointed President of the United States after a catastrophic attack during the State of the Union kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.

Designated Survivor- A show that has so much potential built into it shouldn’t fail to deliver so consistently. It has a novel, yet terrifying plot, recognizable actors, and a rare two season start up, yet this golden ticket is wasted on a mediocre political soap opera,

This is a show that wants to be too many things; it’s trying to be politically relevant, a series that could exemplify the amazingly resilientency of Americans in the worse of times. It’s also a FBI drama starring a reckless agent whose super power is being able to run down dead leads in heels and take advantage of the computer savant whose crush on her overrides security clearances or reprisals for breaking the law. It’s also a soap opera about a family whose lives change in a manner of minutes. It’s so many things that none of them are ever done well or even followed through on. Plot holes abound, for example, what about Leo, the President’s teenage son? He gets portrayed as a drug dealer, faces the possibility of a paternity scandal and then disappears into his room to create EDM remixes without any real resolution or meaningful parental guidance over either situation, while ‘little pea’, his younger sister is protected and preeened over like a mini Ivanka? In fact the vast difference in parenting and favoritude is…Creepy.

The worst part of Designated Survivor is Keifer Sutherland. His portrayal of President Tom Kirkman is one of a weak spined, over-apologetic and constantly self abasing leader. It would be almost laughable if it wasn’t so frightening to think of what would happen if such a person did in fact come into power. They might have been trying to give us a kinder, more gentler version of Trump, but when President Tom gets mad, his anger also resembles a toddler’s temper tantrum, while actually showing his anger with dignity would show he has some backbone. Sadly, it really just underscores his lack of ability and control, a reacurring theme for him. Obviously, his closest advisors, hair product model/presidental Chief of Staff Aaron and green eyed monster Emily are far too inexperienced and ambitious to help Kirkman do his job.

Let’s put it this way, the best part of Designated Survivor is it’s potential as a drinking game. Take a sip every time he says “Thank you”, “I’m sorry”, “ Yes, you’re right” or any variation of any these to a subordinate. I do mean a sip, because a full gulp each time would put you under the table before the end of a single episode.
One thumbs up- Props to Kal Penn, he plays his character well. He’s relaxed, natural and is the only one who seems to understand his job. I sense a bit of research came into play here and I commend him

TV Status: Canceled

Duration: 42 min


TMDb: 7.2

Networks: ,


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