Let’s Watch: Designated Survivor

Dalin McCully, Feature Reporter

Designated Survivor created by David Guggenheim is an action packed drama that airs on ABC.
The show aired on September 21, 2016 and immediately rose to fame and is currently ranked number 2 as the most popular fall TV show of 2016 on E News.
It features Kiefer Sutherland as Tom Kirkman, Natascha McElhone as Alex Kirkman, Maggie Q as Hannah Wells, Italia Ricci as Emily Rhodes, Kal Penn as Seth Wright, and Adan Canto as Aaron Shore.
A designated survivor is a member of the Presidential cabinet that remains in a distant and secure location, while the President and other leaders of the nation are gathered at a single location such as the the State of the Union Address.
This is done to ensure the continuity of the government should the President, Vice President, and members in line for succession parish during a catastrophic event.
The pilot episode began with a normal evening at an undisclosed location in Washington, DC, where Tom Kirkman the Housing and Urban Development secretary, was appointed the Designated Survivor on the night of the State of the Union. While chatting with his wife Alex about their daughter’s bedtime and the President’s failure to address the issues with the Housing and Urban Development issues, their television screens and phones go blank. After security professionals storm into the room to secure Kirkman’s safety, it becomes clear to him that something went tragically wrong. Aftering opening a closed curtain Tom is welcomed by the sight of a nearby explosion at the Capitol.
That very night Tom and his family are rushed to the White House where he is controversially appointed The President of the United States after everyone at the Capitol has been confirmed dead. Tom’s appointment is complemented by criticism from his speech writer, Seth Wright, the generals, and his new staff of workers who all question the legitimacy of his sudden presidency. Not only must he struggle with leading the free nation, but he must also identify the terrorists who carried out the attack and keep his family from falling apart.
FBI agent Hannah Wells works tirelessly to investigate the attack and seems to disagree with the discovery that terrorist group, Al-Sakar, was behind the attack.
Tensions stir through the first season as a member of the House fakes his survival of the attack, Michigan’s governor allows uncontrolled violence at the hands of law enforcement in Muslim Communities, the revelation that Tom was fired by the president on the day of the address, while keeping his family from falling apart.

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