Review | ABC airs new political drama series

Courtesy Image.

Ranger Rating



By ELIZABETH MOORE, Ranger Reporter

REVIEW: Not everyone is prepared for a promotion. In the new TV series Designated Survivor, the main character finds himself thrust into the role of president of the United States.

It’s a scary concept: every year at the State of the Union address, one cabinet member does not attend and instead relocates to an undisclosed location. In the case of a catastrophic attack on the White House, that person becomes the president. He is called the designated survivor.

Back on our TV screens after 24, Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman. We start off with Kirkman sitting in a safe room with his wife watching President Richmond give his State of the Union address at the Capitol when the signal cuts out. The Secret Service runs in as the TVs cut to a news report saying there has been an explosion at or around the Capitol Building, which prompts Kirkman to run to the window. Outside he sees a giant ball of flames and smoke rising in the distance, which we can only assume is the Capitol Building. That’s only the beginning of an hourlong ride of yelling, fighting and trying to decide what move to make next as Kirkman struggles to decide what his first move as acting president of the United States of America will be.

We get to see the realizations affect him and his whole family, from his wife to his two children. His wife seems calm about the fact that her husband just became president, and it doesn’t hit her how it affects her as well until she’s called the first lady.

After listening to another White House employee, the president’s speech writer, talk about how “Kirkland should just step down” because he doesn’t believe that he’s cut out for the job or that he’s a memorable person given that he can’t get his name correct, Kirkman seems to get his footing and settles into the position that was thrust upon him not even an hour earlier. From calming down a table, to giving orders, he slowly seems to find his place in the White House before the episode is over. The show has the beginnings of becoming a phenomenal political drama mixed with the added spice of suspense. It’s “The West Wing” meets “Homeland.”

As someone who enjoys learning more about politics, I liked learning a new fact about our government. Before seeing the previews for the show, I never knew about the designated survivor. Tom Kirkman was the secretary of housing and urban development, which is 13th in the presidential line of succession, surprisingly beating out the department of homeland security, at 18.

I’d give this show 4.5/5 stars. It had a few moments that were hard to believe, but it’s easy to just get caught up in the show because of how action-packed it is. You can catch Designated Survivor every Wednesday on ABC at 10/9c.

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