Designated Survivor provides a thrilling DC drama

Designated Survivor is played Wednesdays on ABC at 10 p.m.


Abby Scutch, Editor in Chief

It all began with a promotional video, which led to watching the first episode, which led to binge watching all of the episodes that were available to me. My new obsession is also my new favorite television show, Designated Survivor, a new series on ABC, that begins with the State of the Union Address in Washington DC.

Each year, during the State of the Union, one cabinet member does not attend and is taken to a disclosed location. In the event of a catastrophic attack on the government in which both the President and Vice President are pronounced dead, this cabinet member steps up as the President of the United States, who is also an unelected leader of the nation. This is what happens to Tom Kirkman, the Housing and Urban Development secretary, played by Keifer Sutherland.

When the Capital undergoes an attack and all of the House of Representatives, Cabinet Members, and Congress dies, he is immediately rushed into the role as President. Unprepared, unequipped, and unpresentable, he is thrown into the White House wearing jeans, glasses, and a Cornell University sweatjacket.

Emily Rhodes, President Kirkman’s Chief of Staff of House and Urban Development and family friend, assists the new President in anything he needs to be successful as a leader for the United States. Aaron Shore, the White House Chief of Staff of the previous president, also assists Kirkman in his decisions and actions in the White House. The first few episodes consist of disputes between both Emily and Aaron in competition of the role as President Kirkman’s Chief of Staff.

Meanwhile, FBI investigators are putting in effort day and night to solve the mystery as to who blew up the Capitol while on site of the scene. Several theories have been put into play, but they have yet to have a complete, full answer to give to the White House.

In Michigan, several law enforcers have been attacking the Muslim community because it is believed that they know who bombed the Capitol. The Governor of Michigan does not respect President Kirkman and refuses to grant his wishes to release those who have been put in prison after the attack. After several quarrels, Kirkman threatens to put the Governor under FBI investigation if he does enforce the ending of the abuse, which leads to the end of the situation.

Although many theories have been made as to who is responsible to the bombing of the Capitol, President Kirkman is pressured to declare war on Middle East countries, but consistently refuses to do so as Commander in Chief until the FBI has full belief in who destroyed the Capitol.  

As President Kirkman struggles to be viewed as a respected President, build a new government consisting of new members, and have a normal family life, his story of becoming the Commander in Chief is truly enticing.

In all, I highly recommend Designated Survivor for those who enjoy political science, drama, action, and mystery. There is not a better television show that combines several genres the way Designated Survivor does.