Designated Survivor (ABC)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    Nelson has gone all X-Files on us. :P
     
  2. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Just watched the last two episodes tonight.

    I realize that it doesn't make sense to say that a show as unbelievable as this is too unbelievable...but it's as if the writers just keep introducing new characters as they try to sort things out. That guy who was traced that Johnny posits is the Head of Homeland Security. Have we seen him before? To think that Jason was able to hear their indoor conversation so perfectly from such a distance with that little audio receiver is nuts. As an audience member I hate learning that the entire plot hinges on someone who we either haven't met yet or know very little about. (Personally, I'm still holding out hope that Kirkman's wife is the linchpin of the entire thing.)

    But the worst thing for me is having NEA Funding for the arts used as a bargaining chip in order to save a grant for some school kids in New Orleans. C'mon...

    And then there's a serious attempt at negotiating international nuclear decommissioning. C'mon...

    It's all boring. It's all ridiculous.

    But...I'll watch the season finale. Doesn't look like the conspiracy will be resolved though.
     
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  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yes, that was one of the biggest disappointments of the series thus far that the perpetrators of the conspiracy were not people we had met until they were introduced late in the season.

    Like you, I'll hang on for the rest of the season, but I'll do serious thinking over the summer whether I'll continue. It'll be completely dependent on what new shows I plan to sample and/or add to my already overloaded viewing roster.
     
  4. GlennF

    GlennF Second Unit

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    Agree with Mike and Matt. The show has just gotten too stupid. They put Hannah on a ship and then bring her back. Why? So many silly plot holes. I know they are getting show runner number 4 this summer, but unless it gets some damn fine reviews next season I am done.
     
  5. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    This might be familiar to some of you. Watching any series and I see a guy I don't
    recognize, I ask my wife who he/she is and she remembers and explains it to me. Happens often, she remembers this stuff. In this case I did remember him, but not who he was.

    Anyway, "She Who Must be Obeyed" has spoken.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I bailed on this show back when I thought it was getting too silly so it appears others are finally at that crossroad too.
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    It's too bad.

    Its potential was great.
     
  8. SamT

    SamT Cinematographer

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    I have a new theory. What about the ex-president? They are showing him too much and I'm thinking maybe he is behind all this. Isn't he the next successor in case of an accident?
     
  9. SamT

    SamT Cinematographer

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    With all these crazy stories a question comes to my mind. Is there any authority that can arrest a sitting president? What happens if he kills an innocent person for no reason with his own hands?
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Sure. No one is above the law. That's an important concept in the American democracy.

    I would suspect the FBI could take him into custody at which point the next in line in succession would take over until charges are dropped or cleared.
     
  11. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    He's Secretary of State I believe. Next-in-line after the VP (and there isn't one) is the Speaker of the House.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Offhand I think he's a security advisor, possibly the National Security Advisor (NSA). i think he was in the situation room when Kirkman had his showdown with the insubordinate general who was fired (and was just consulted by Aaron), and later briefed Kirkman in the situation room individually. So he's not a new character out of the blue.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Maybe not. But I had the same question. I think that says quite a lot of about the writer's inability to satisfy the audience if we are left wondering who major players are at the end of an entire season.

    I also think its telling that no one ran here after the broadcast of the season finale to sound off about how great (or how bad) things went.

    It was so underwhelming.

    There was very little I cared about involving any of the main characters. The machinations involving Maggie Q's character were laughable (the scene in which she broke down at her boss's old desk was horrible. The flashback of the meeting between the two? Really?) It all became very comic book-like. Panel after panel of disjointed events...with the quickest accounting of the "end" of the conspiracy ever done in episodic television. I think the scene of Hannah Wells sobbing at the desk was longer than the explanation of how the conspirators were rounded up.

    The missed opportunity to flesh out the thinking/motivations of the conspirators was huge.

    Remember, this was an event arguably larger than 9-11-01. The mass homicide of nearly the entire federal government...putting at risk the very fabric of our nation. Instead of focusing on the gravity of that, we get a protracted scene of an accomplished government agent sobbing over the death of her boss. I don't remember Jack Bauer stopping to break down over some of the horrible things that happened to him. Maybe it did. But if it did, it must have seemed appropriate in the context of the plotline.

    I gotta think the writers thought the audience was really vested in the character of Jason. But why would we be? Because of the death of his son? Instead of drawing me closer to him as a fictional character I am left to try and remember why the conspirators kidnapped his son in the first place. Too much plot-twisting. Not enough logical plot and character development.

    :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:

    it's really too bad this wasn't better. I think I'm out for season 2.
     
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  14. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    I'm out for season 2, for all the reasons Mike wrote, plus the simple fact that this show just isn't good enough. This was my early criticism of Timeless (see that show's thread in which I got things completely wrong by predicting that Designated Survivor would be a quality show). There are too many good shows on right now--virtually none of which are on the main American networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX).

    After jettisoning Designated Survivor, the only non-reality shows we watch on the main for American networks (which up here we still call "cable," even though down there you all seem to use that term for premium channels like HBO), are The Blacklist (NBC), Agents of SHIELD (ABC), and Fresh Off the Boat (ABC). Additionally, we watched and enjoyed Taken (NBC), and will likely tune in next season.

    Everything else (again, outside reality shows like The Amazing Race [CBS] and So You Think You Can Dance [FOX]), our shows are on the premium channels (or at least what is premium up here): HBO, Starz, USA, AMC, FX, etc., plus subscription services like Netflix). Broadcast/network shows simply aren't good enough. Broadcast shows just don't tell original stories in interesting ways, the with few exceptions, the stories they do tell are crippled such that they aren't the "best version" they could be. I made this argument in the Timeless thread, but I think it bears repeating. Take a breakout hit show like Legion. If that show was on ABC (say, paired with Agents of SHIELD and the incoming Inhumans), would it be as good? Ignore effects and other expensive stuff like music rights. Legion on a broadcast network would be a shadow of itself. Same with Mr. Robot or Westworld or The Americans. Those shows (and others like them) would be entirely pedestrian on broadcast TV.

    Of course not every broadcast show can have the budget and scope of, say, an episode of Black Sails (Starz). But there is no reason why a lot of broadcast shows can't have the story telling quality of The Americans or Mr. Robot.

    Premium television has reached a point where the quality is so high that a broadcast show has to truly do something special to get me watching. Designated Survivor did not do anything.
     
  15. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I watched the finale. I thought it was a cracking episode, bang, bang, bang. Saturday morning serial story telling! :).

    I didn't post a reaction right away because I was curious if anyone else would as I see the lack of enthusiasm here.

    I don't have any premium TV services at my home by choice. When good buzz for a show is out, I wait for the blu rays like I did for Galactica and Mad Men. But my time is really limited. I'll be curious to pick up WestWorld and Handmaids Tale. And I'll sign up for CBS All Access for Star Trek Discovery.

    For now I find the broadcast TV fine and I see it as it as Junk food. What's with Scandal? I gave up on that after the first season, that show is nuts. But we like certain junk food I guess. I for some reason find Designated Survivor fun. Maybe because of the times we are living in. Kirkman is so polite to people who come to see him. Welles is such a tough agent whose like the energizer bunny. I like the Press Secretary. Aaron I see is back on staff.

    And I like the cast. I never watched 24. I saw a few episodes. It's interesting to see Sutherland as the reluctant president. And I like Maggie Q.

    I would like to see if the conspiracy is really concluded. I'll be checking out the series next season. Let's see if another show runner can stablize the series. If the conspiracy is over, what will the prime directive of the show be about? Maybe the point is to explore what happens after the government is decimated.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    The thought crossed my mind this afternoon: but what about the grant funding via the National Endowment for the Arts for those school musicians?!?

    Maybe THAT will be the linchpin of the story arc for season 2! :laugh:

    I can't think of any reason preventing it.
     
  17. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    She did the best she had to work with, for sure and acquitted herself nicely. The guys in my office were impressed with her and hadn't seen her in anything else. I told them to check out that awesome fight sequence with Bruce Willis in Live Free or Die Hard! :D
     
  18. Josh Dial

    Josh Dial Cinematographer

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    That's my point: there is no genuine reason for the lazy and often boring story telling on broadcast television; yet, that's basically all we get.
     
  19. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Yes, I was not thrilled with the season finale, and I will think long and hard about staying with the show next season. They will have a new showrunner (the fourth one for the show), and maybe this summer, there will be some articles about what they're going to do differently for the second season. That may very well make or break my decision about continuing with the program.
     
  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Yeah...I was totally agreeing with you Josh. But I guess my snark didn't come through! :D I forgot my eyeroll smiley.
     
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