Last night we watched the first episode of Designated Survivor, the new series starring Kiefer Sutherland. During the State of the Union address the Capitol is bombed, killing everyone attending the speech except for the one member of the Cabinet who is parked in a safe location for just this event.
Sutherland plays the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a position with little glory and in this representation, even less respect. After everyone in the government is wiped out, he’s hustled off to the White House and plunged into a war room with trigger happy generals and officials who are making little attempt to mask their dismay at this new head of the government.
It’s a compelling premise and I think Designated Survivor has found a place in our DVR line-up.
However, a warning bell went off as I thought about it. Sutherland’s character begins as someone with few skills for the bump-um cars of political life. It’s easy to see where this will likely go. He’ll fumble and fall occasionally, but will ultimately rise above the backbiting, and with his Everyman integrity, he’ll be a success.
Granted Sutherland’s unassuming academic bears little resemblance to one of our candidates, but is there a possibility this a certain segment of the American voting public might thump the arm of their Lazyboy, gesture at the TV with the remote and say, “Well there ya go! He’s no politician and look how swell he’s doing!”