We’ve seen a lot of political thrillers in our day. Some were gripping and nail-biters, while others may have just put you to sleep out of predictable boredom. ABC takes another crack at a political thriller in the show Designated Survivor
, which Netflix bought the rights to for international distribution. So if you’re watching this on Netflix, it really isn’t a Netflix original. However, we can commend the streaming giants for providing us with such a great show. When the show originally airs in the States, Netflix will provide the streaming the day after.
We’ve also seen actor Kiefer Sutherland take on a variety of roles through his film and television career. From being a super agent on the show 24 to now being the President of the United States in Designated Survivor.
The term itself refers to an individual who takes over as the president when the current reigning cabinet is no longer able to run the country. Now, Tom Kirkman (Sutherland) is next in the line of succession. The odds of this happening real life are quite slim. But of course, we’re talking about a fictional story here, and what an entertaining one at that.
There’s this sudden urge to compare Sutherland’s character to House of Cards’ Frank Underwood played by the brilliant Kevin Spacey. There’s a huge contrast between the latter and Kirkman. Both politicians find themselves in the presidential hot seat during a crisis. However, that’s where the similarities stop. Kirkman is a straight shooter, unlike the ruthless Underwood. And watching someone like Sutherland, who has played an antagonist a few times before, the audience will find themselves pleasantly surprised how convincing he is as an incorruptible president of the free world.
The biggest difference between this presidential tenure is that Kirkman takes the role of the most powerful man on earth because of a tragedy, and not through scandal and intrigue. What makes this portrayal challenging is how this low-level Cabinet member will defend the country from a mysterious terrorist attack. This is a true political thriller from the perspective of both the Oval Office and on the field by the FBI agent Hannah Wells played by the stunning Maggie Q.
Alongside Sutherland, there’s a very impressive supporting cast that includes the talented and beautiful Natascha McElhone (Californication), Maggie Q (Nikita), Kal Penn (Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle) and many more. That’s only a hint to how wonderful the performances are from the actors so far. This will keep the audience wanting more week after week, you can bet on that. There are plenty of episodes to come so only time will tell if this show has enough steam to last for the entire season.