<i>'Designated Survivor'</i>

Thursday, March 01, 2018

'Designated Survivor'


I was a major fan of the post-9/11 Fox show "24," and stuck around for its full, sometimes uneven, eight season run, November 2001 through May 2010, and along the way became a bit of a fan of Kiefer Sutherland.

The series' protagonist, "Jack Bauer," was a direct action, hands-on kinda guy who overcame numerous terrorist plots with merciless approaches that made ACLU members ulcers bleed.

So when I learned Sutherland had an ABC series "Desig­nated Survivor" debuting in Fall 2016, it seemed like it might be worth a try despite my increasing antipathy to­ward broadcast network dramas.

(How ya gonna keep'em down on the farm after three decades of cable TV?)

The premise had Secretary of Housing and Urban Develop­ment "Tom Kirkman" suddenly thrust into the role of President of the United States after a catastrophic bombing of the US Capitol during the State of the Union address, wiping out the Executive, Congressional and Judicial branches of the Government.

Understandably bewildered by the enormous respon­sibilities circumstances have dictated that he assume, it wasn't long before the show took on the aspect of "Jack Baur" moves into "The West Wing," and it was great!

President Tom Kirkman quickly settled in and took ad­mir­ably decisive actions with the wide variety of problems suddenly facing him and an aprehensive nation... this is a President that "TWW" creator Aaron Sorkin could never imagine even in his worst cocaine-induced nightmares.

B-b-but then it all started to go south, with unendurable elements of soap intruding throughout Season Two, cul­mi­nating with the First Lady (Natascha McElhone) being killed in a vehicle accident.

(The actress survived a seven season run as serial adul­terer David Duchovny's on-again/off-again ex-wife in "Californication," but couldn't answer the bell for Season Three of "Desig­nated Survivor.")

Fortunately I stlll have HBO, Showtime (which has recently surpassed HBO in quality original programming) and Starz, and courtesy of my loving niece Laura this past Chrismas, an Amazon Fire Stick!

So, sadly, I'm out!


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