Designated Survivor


I went into this week’s episode with the attitude that this was the show’s last chance to win me over or I’m out. If Maggie Q doesn’t get anywhere in her investigation for yet another episode, I’m out for sure.

So I watched the episode. And I’m not sure if it met my criteria or not. I was reminded again just how fantastic the cast is. Everyone is fantastic. And yet… Maggie Q once again discovered nothing. Until the very end, when we got a hint she might learn something in the future. Does that count?

I think I’m out… but I don’t know for sure.


Is anyone still watching this? My wife and I finished watching The Killing (which is a far better show than this one) and swapped to something we hoped wouldn’t be quite so addictive. Good choice! It started off well enough, but it seems to be turning into 24, so much so that we’re half-expecting to hear the CTU phone melody in the Oval Office (“Oh my, another manufactured setback!”). The writing ranges from fine to facepalm, and the FBI’s portrayal is cartoonish (although, perhaps this is more accurate than we thought!). Keifer started out well, but seems to be turning into Jack Bauer, despite his annoying whispering (seriously, we had to rewind about three times so far to figure out what the hell he actually said).

It’s still quite entertaining and we’ll keep watching for a bit, but I think we were hoping for a bit more.


I am, but mostly for Maggie Q and her ridiculously tight pant suits. I don’t think she could sit for any length of time comfortably in anything they have her wear. :p

The story so far is getting more ridiculous every episode.


The show is exhibiting an all-too-familiar problem with series of this type: Way too many plot lines. If they would stick to the problems that a president in this situation might face and, perhaps, the search for culprits behind the bombing, the show would be a lot better. But, no, we have to also get the FBI director being blackmailed by kidnapping his son and the ridiculous the president’s son is adopted (maybe) plot line and god knows how many others. My interest diminishes with each one.


I guess we were hoping for a bit more realism, fewer caricatures (the general in the first episode should have tipped us off), better writing, but we’ve been watching too much House of Cards / West Wing. That’s not what this show is trying to do, it’s someone saying “What if we kinda did 24, but made Jack Bauer the President instead?”


I’d say that’s a fair assessment. This is an absolute mess of a show if you’re looking for anything resembling realism, but then again the various White House Down/Olympus Has Fallen/government destroyed memes that have been cycling their way through popular culture don’t rely on that too much, either. The concept of the show is great, however.

While it’s not that they did it a heck of a lot better, but Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009) had a very similar dynamic which I found pretty interesting. However, the rest of the show was a lot stronger than what’s going on in Designated Survivor, so it was easier to handwave any oversights.


Ha, I hadn’t thought of that.


I just finished the season. Not bad. The first half of the season was a lot more uneven and crappy. After the midseason break (after the vice president is out of the picture) they got a lot better at the West Wing part of the show, and they got better at the FBI procedural part of the show too.

And it ended with the bad guy getting away at the end, so there is your setup for Season 2. The part that makes me want to keep watching is the fact that they actually are getting better at being West Wing. The dialog isn’t as good, of course, but they got the walk and talk camera work down, and the staff’s relationship and idealism is hitting just the right tones, I thought. Still not an amazing show, just a good show now. So in this time of amazing TV, maybe I shouldn’t really have time for just a good show.


The Supreme Court was actually appointed. In that episode they appointed 8 Supreme Court justices, instead of 9, since they couldn’t agree on the independent they chose would be bi-partisan enough. So in the show’s fiction, the court currently has 8 justices.

And yeah, it’s hard not to think of the show having a very different flavor next season.


Anyone watch the Season 2 premier?

The US has some damn fast construction crews! And Maggie Q’s character found some extra tight clothes for this season as she hunts for the anti-US gov’t guy in Europe. I sorta like the comedy tossed in now with the new political director they hired.


I swear our DVR’s must be in sync @lordkosc, we watch the exact same list of shows, and it’s a long list!

I was pleased to see Designated Survivor return. I didn’t realize it was coming back already. I like that they picked up right where they left off (advancing the timeline only a few months). The show has split more neatly into the action-drama of Maggie Q hunting the shadow government guy and the political drama of Keifer Sutherland’s West Wing. I like it. Looks like the two may merge again soon though from the season previews.

Adding Evan from Royal Pains seems like it will work well. He’s interesting and funny, and the White House team does desperately need someone to run the political image part of the administration. There is a lot of stuff they can do with that aspect that will fit in nicely with the overall feel of the show, and I really liked that actor when he was on Royal Pains (a show I will miss greatly every summer now).


Zoe McLellan was added to the cast this season! :O

So far it remains decent, the office banter is what makes this show enjoyable for me. Her and the guy from Royal Pains are great additions.



Stuff happening in the White House is the best part of this show, sadly anything with Agent Wells I am finding meh.


I found the Suckergate episode hilarious. Not just for the great bits of banter between the staffers, but for the whole idea that when this episode was written and filmed, such a thing seemed completely plausible. Now, the President insults Americans pretty much weekly and there are no serious repercussions for it at all.


OK the year end episode was good right up till the end where Wells decides the best place to confront a potential traitor is on a …bridge over water…where agent Rennett actually compliments her as the bridge is the perfect place to confront him, since he had no where to run. GROAN Ok, I don’t need uber realism, really I don’t, but come on!!! That’s so insanely poorly written you cant even squint and pretend they did something sensible!! Took me right out. Then with Kirkman’s tragedy I just couldn’t except the hamfisted execution of it. I would have normally have squinted and said, oh some idiot ran the roadblocks and just accepted the poorly executed accident, but I was already in ‘full on’ groan mode! They wasted a tragic death that Keifer nailed great, but I couldn’t be with him in the slightest because the writers were insanely/terminally stupid in their writing…


I felt the episode was decent enough aside from her resolution.

1. “Put your team together” doesn’t mean “Go do this on your own like a moron”
2. Since when would you NOT look in the freaking river for the body? “Oh, I looked into the water and didn’t see him, so I’ll go have a drink at the bar.”
3. The whole “I have to…” bit was stupid as hell unless he planned on getting shot (the bullet proof vest potentially meaning he was, I guess)
4. And yeah - a bridge?!? FFS, meet him at that bar and have people at the exits. It’s not like she was trying to trick him into giving up more info (because that would have been smart), as she just came out and told him “I know.”


So the show is back on now 2 weeks, totally didn’t see them going with the wife not returning.


I don’t want to read any spoilers. I watched Season 1, what’s the verdict so far on Season 2? Still worth watching?


The show’s OK. It’s a little bit of wish fulfillment like The West Wing, and they’ve toned down most of the conspiracy stuff. Some fun characters in the white house, the FBI continuing to do their thing.

I was really annoyed that the most recent episode used the whole “IN ENGLISH PLEASE” three times in quick succession. The most obnoxious TV trope out there.


Not just TV. I watched The Martian the other night and there it was again. Edit: It was especially bad in that context, since the people listening to the supposed techno babble were top NASA officials and scientists.