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Designated Survivor might be the show I have been most looking forward to watching this fall. I like the premise, like Keifer Sutherland, like DC. I like a good political drama and this one has the makings of such. The show has a great look to it and, if they didn’t actually film some if it in the District, they certainly make it seem as though they did. This one has all the trappings of a new, weekly appointment.
But I was a little underwhelmed. Perhaps this is because I wanted – so much – for Designated Survivor to be so good. And it is good. Sutherland is particularly good and in top form as the Housing Secretary who is the so-called “designated survivor” who has to assume the presidency after everyone in the line of succession in front of him is killed in a terrorist attack. The fact that his Tom Kirkland was due to be fired by the president is a great twist (though I do wonder why make him the designated survivor when he’s not going to survive into a second term – seems kind of cruel).
There is intrigue as Maggie Q plays an FBI agent who inserts herself in the case and Kal Penn plays a speech writer who doesn’t think Kirkland is up to the job. There is conflict with Kirkland’s teenage son. There is a question of whether or not the attack is foreign or domestic and if it is over. All of this is grist for the mill. And all of it works and makes me like the show.
I just wanted to love it. I don’t. Yet. But there is much potential.