Kiefer Sutherland is a big deal in Hollywood mostly for his famous role as Jack Bauer in the action packed series and movie “24” but this time he is the lead actor in a political drama “Designated Survivor” as Tom Kirkman.
Tom Kirkman is the Secretary for Urban Development, who seems to be great at his job and a family man. He loves his wife Alex and kids very much, basically your nerdy people person. Tom is the 12th in line of succession to the presidency in the eventuality anything where to happen to the president.
In the pilot which is does well to hype you for the rest of the series, he is chosen to be a designated survivor. A designated survivor is the one member of the United States cabinet chosen to sit out the State of the Union address in case something was to happen at the Capitol building and all present were incapacitated or died.
An explosion does take out the Capitol building and you can see the bellowing smoke from afar, the protocol kicks in and Tom is rushed in ill prepared and in shock to swear in and execute his role as the new president of the United States.
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Kiefer Sutherland nails the role of Tom, acting confused, he doesn’t want the presidency but is conflicted because he has been chosen to represent and lead the American people all this while he battles to keep his family especially the teen son and beautiful daughter.
It is not easy for him especially when a General, presidential speechwriter (Kal Penn) are putting him on pressure and the traumatised masses don’t have faith and trust in him yet. These are for the most part what make this show worth watching especially how the FBI does its best to not give away the group or people responsible since its neither a radical islamist, a country or could even be a disgruntled national.
However that is as far as it goes to being delightful, many who are used to Jack Bauer in 24, might not enjoy him as much as an emotional, clueless and over caring president. Also terrorism on Washington, the main pillar of democracy to Americans maybe too much for some Americans to stomach.
Also when you reach episode 6, season 1 you will start to get disappointed for instance as a suspect is tortured and gives up information in a short time yet he had managed to even use kids as bullet shields. That doesn’t add up and is a poorly edited script.
The show killed what would have been its most prized suspense when it blew up the Capitol building in episode 1 and instated Tom as president. This could have made for stories in other episodes as the show built character on the president, cabinet and intel on potential threats.
Designated Survivor is based on a real-life political protocol in the US. Will you like it? Maybe, but the pilot is worth watching, it is off my series to watch till its complete after a poor episode 6.
Created by: David Guggenheim
Cast: Kiefer Sutherland, Natasha McElhone, Kal Penn, Maggie Q
Airs: Wednesdays at 10 p.m. (ABC)
Genre: Political Drama
Release Dates: September 13, 2016 (TIFF); September 30, 2016 (United States)
Spur Magazine Rating: 7.5/10