Other TV Shows Discussion Forum -- March 2018

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Submitted by: Mr. Mike
From: Vancouver

Another thing that drives me up the wall about Designated Survivor is the fact that they must have a special contract with the company which makes the Steadicam. I know there is a very elaborate set for the show which virtually duplicates the Oval Office, among other things (this is discussed in a featurette in the season one DVD set). But you can bet there are going to be several reverse tracking shots in every show as the characters walk down hallways, probably to show off this set!

Added: March 17 2018 08:51:17 AM

Submitted by: ringfire211

Mike, I agree with you that as the season went on I liked it less and less. I think it was around the mid-point after the assassination attempt on President Kirkman, or maybe after the bad guy VP is found out and ends up killing himself, that the season started slowly losing my interest. It got pretty dumb with tracking down some rich patriot dude who's trying to take back America (and I guess who's behind it all) and then something about some underground bunkers in the middle of Wyoming (or wherever) with some old Soviet nukes or something. It got really weird and convoluted pretty quickly. The rest was just the usual DC politics which I don't care about.

Not that I was really drawn into the show from the start to begin with. I have to admit that I tuned into the very first episode because it's another Kiefer show, plus the premise sort of sounded like 24 and the idea of the destruction of the Capitol and the "designated survivor" was pretty intriguing, which I think it was for maybe 2 or 3 episodes. But after that I quickly realized that this wasn't going to be anywhere near as exciting or suspenseful as 24. As for the cliffhangers at the end of the episodes, unlike on 24 where you could be assured that there would be a great payoff at the start of the next episode, this is not the case with this show. It's just a cheap trick because the next episode begins and it's as if nothing major happened at the end of the previous episode. Yawn!

As for Kiefer it's just not the same watching him play this very courteous and civil "nice guy". To me he will always be the ultimate TV badass Jack Bauer. You'll note, however, that he still has a lot of those same facial ticks and expressions that he had as Bauer. I'm not even sure if that's a Kiefer thing or not. Seems more like a Bauer thing. I guess that character is just so ingrained in him that it's hard to shed it now. As for the Seth Wright character yes his quirkiness can get annoying after a while (they added an even more quirky and sarcastic character in the second season, who's basically a super genius) but unfortunately that's how they write a lot of characters these days. We fans of older show tend to get annoyed by characters like these because we're not used to them. I'm sure real people at the White House don't act this way. Seth is played by Kal Penn who you might recall played the "friendly" terrorist neighbor Ahmed in season 6 of "24".

Added: March 13 2018 09:14:08 PM

Submitted by: Mr. Mike
From: Vancouver

I got the first season of Designated Survivor from the library and binge-watched it. Technically it is very interesting, because the show is made in Toronto, and a lot of the views of Washington, D.C., like the buildings, the destroyed Capitol, etc., were done with CGI. In one episode, the president goes to a NATO meeting which "just happens" to be in Toronto, so they actually get to use real landmarks in the city during that show.

This show is like a primer for people who don't know anything about how the American government works, especially behind the scenes. I found I liked it less as the season went on. In every episode there is some BIG CRISIS, usually leading to a cliffhanger, which got to be too much like "24" and similar shows.

I liked the secondary story about the conspiracy by right-wing crackpots, and Maggie Q (whose last name is the same as mine) provided some ass-kicking action. Too bad she couldn't be on Five-Zero! There seem to be several thinly-veiled references to the current political scene in the USA, including the "motto" of the right-wingers ("We Will Take America Back"), as well as issues like gun control and Syrian refugees.

It is difficult to take Kiefer Sutherland as the president in this show seriously after "24," because in that series, he was just MAD (i.e., angry) about 95% of the time playing Jack Bauer. In DS, he is far too "nice," and gets really MAD very infrequently. Aside from the crises, there are only governmental issues for him to freak out about, i.e., negotiating to get his way, etc. His big speech in the final first season episode was silly. The way the part of the press secretary Seth Wright is written also got on my nerves after a while.

The ratings for the second season are VERY BAD, by the way. In fact, after the first few shows of the first season, the ratings dropped quite a bit.

Added: March 13 2018 08:25:18 AM

Submitted by: ringfire211
From: Philadelphia

I thought DESIGNATED SURVIVOR had potential and I did watch the first season but towards the end it got too convoluted and nonsensical. I also find all the political stuff to be pretty dull. I loved all the political stuff on 24 because there was great suspense mixed in which often connected to Jacks storyline. But on this show its just typical political stuff like passing bills, forming various coalitions, stepping on toes, and stuff like that. Its what I imagine THE WEST WING was like, a show which I never really cared to watch.

I agree that season 7 was the last great season of 24. Great villains - Jon Voight, Tony Todd, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, etc. Season 8 first half was pretty dull and unfocused (lots of rehashing from previous seasons) but once Logan slithers back into the picture the season picks up exponentially! But I agree that the overkill of favorite characters has been a pet peeve of mine, especially Audrey in season 9.

My seasons, ranked:
3 (the first half is a bit slow, second half is awesome)
8 (same as above)

Added: March 04 2018 07:28:28 PM

Submitted by: Jeff
From: USA

Speaking more of "24," my favorite seasons were actually #3 and #5. Season 3 had riveting moments when Jack Bauer got revenge for his wife Terri's murder when he finally killed Nina Meyers only moments after she could have killed Kim, Jack's daughter. Jack's famous line was "You don't have any more meaningful information for me, do you Nina"? as she lay on the ground after being shot initially by Jack. Nina was simultaneously trying to reach for her weapon to shoot Jack when he took matters into his own hands and shot her 3 times right in the chest.

The other riveting moments for me during Season 3 were when Jack, under orders from President David Palmer who in turn was being blackmailed by former MI6 agent Steven Saunders, brutally killed Ryan Chapelle, who technically was Jack's boss, and later when Sherry Palmer got shot dead by Senator Milliken's widow hours after the two were complicent in his death. At the time, even though Sherry technically was never the First Lady I probably wondered if it actually had been real, the ex-wife of a sitting President having a hand in murdering another human being would have been the biggest scandal to have ever occurred in the history of this country.

In season 5 the riveting moments occurred very early in episode 1 when ex-President David Palmer was assassinated in his hotel suite, a bullet fired across the street from a hitman going straight through his forehead as he looked outside while standing near a window. The other moment occurred when it was revealed that President Logan was complicit in not only being in cohoots with a rogue Russian team who were attempting to pull off terrorist acts against the U.S. but furthermore he was also involved in the assassination of former President Palmer, (because Palmer knew that Logan was in bed with this Russian terrorist team).

For me, Season 6 was terrible. The producers/writers/directors were even to admit later that everything that occured that season was just plain garbage added to the fact that so many events that occurred were never to be fully revealed. I recall that starting around Season 5, "24" did not begin airing episodes here in the U.S. until January in order to run consecutively through the end of the television season in mid/late May. There then was a writers' strike that then stopped all productions of television shows in the country. For essentially one full year, there were hardly any new shows that aired in the U.S.

After that was settled, then "24" aired its season 7, one year after it normally would have appeared on television. The entire season which was meant to be a vast improvement of Season 6 according to the scripts, in addition to which there was a special 2 hour episode that bridged Season 6 to Season 7 with an explanation as to what happened to Jack Bauer. Upset with his role in a lot of things that took place over the years, (including the fact that his own brother had a role in what took place in Season 5, essentially controlling President Logan and his father's complicity with what took place in Season 6) Jack left the country ending up in Africa.

For me, Season 7 was a vast improvement over Season 6 with for the first time a woman (played by Broadway actress Cherry Jones) being the POTUS. That season should have been the last one. But, as much as was the case with the original H 5-0, along with my other all-time favorite television shows "Perry Mason" from the late 50s/through the mid-60s, and the original Law and Order, "24" went a few seasons too long. The show drastically went downhill during Seasons 8 and 9, (which was really only 11 episodes with an 11 and a half hour jump in the final episode to make it appear as if events did take place over a 24 hour length in time.

Also BTW, Audrey's father Senator Heller who had become President during Season 9 was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. Sadly, at the very last moments of the final episode, he had no clue or cognitive, rational thought that his own daugher Audrey had been brutally murdered.

As I've thought about it, there was one excellent moment that occurred in Season 8. Jack, having been coerced to get involved by Chloe instead of going back to California with his daughter, was trying to locate some key witnesses. The entire season was set around the NYC area. Well, Jack was in some neighborhood and a bunch of black kids were playing basketball. The kids, acting as if they were the baddest-acting gang in the history of this planet stopped their basketball game and questioned why Jack, obviously being Caucasian was in their neighborhood as he simply did not belong. Jack started to ask the kids, quite politely, if any of them had seen the couple that had gone missing. Several of the toughest gangbangers approached Jack as if they were about to seriously inflict physical harm on him. Jack, opened his jacket a little to reveal the nastiest looking semi-automatic weapons seen in the world. The not-so-tough members suddenly had their mouths drop to the ground as they realized that messing with Jack would have ended up being quite harmful to their very lives. For a fact Jack, who through many previous seasons had murdered some much tougher acting guys then those street punks, would have blown them away without a seconds' thought. It was funny that in asking for their cooperation, one of the kids told Jack that he had seen the couple, even pointing out the house in that neighborhood were they might be located. Jack ended up giving him some money for his cooperation . Those young punks obviously had no idea who they were messing with and would have ended up being seriously hurt or dead had they chosen to take on Jack Bauer.

I also have no comments about last season's reboot of "24". I believe that I watched one episode for about 3 minutes, thought it to be absolute junk and then switched to another channel. The Fox broadcasting company must have thought that the reboot of "24" during last season was a mistake as well. They did not bother to renew it this season as probably no one could accept last season's reboot as having anything to do with the original premise of "24." The character, a young African-American actor thought of as being similar to Jack Bauer obviously did a poor job in his role.

Added: March 04 2018 01:37:23 PM

Submitted by: Jeff
From: USA

Mike, I know you have mentioned a handful of times to me that you were a regular viewer of "24" back when it aired between 2001 - 2013 or so.

Of course, the underlying theme to Jack Bauer's character was that after his wife Terri was brutally murdered just before the end of Season 1 by Nina Meyers, basically from that point forward any other woman that he got romantically involved with, especially FBI agent Renee Walker and Audrey Raines, were eventually murdered. In both instances it set off Bauer's fury to great heights.

Well, in a bit of an irony for the past two seasons Kiefer Sutherland has starred in the ABC show "Designated Survivor" playing the POTUS, Tom Kirkman. Kirkman only became the President as a result of a terrorist act during the President's State of the Union Address, practically all of Congress, Supreme Court branch, as well as both the President and Vice-President were all killed when a horrific bomb went off inside the Capitol Building. Kirkman, as is the actual case in the U.S. by law, was appointed as the "Designated Survivor" although up to that point it has never been needed in the history of this country.


Anyway, just before the show went on a hiatus partially due to the Olympics when shows on the competing networks up against NBC all did the same thing (including H 5-0), Kirkman's wife was cruelly killed by a man who was driving and texting as it ran a red line and plowed broadside into her limousine as she was heading back to the White House.

Then after this week's episode in previewing what will be upcoming the rest of the season I nearly fell out of my chair when there appeared Kim Raver who eventually will play a new role as some sort of advisor to Sutherland's Tom Kirkman. I was like WTH???

Please -- I sincerely hope as obviously Sutherland, who is co-producer of "Designated Survivor," and Kim Raver are apparently good friends in real life that in future episodes the two do not get involved in a relationship once he gets past his grieving for his wife. Viewers of the show who remember "24" would instaneously remember the tortured relationship that never reached fruition in marriage between Jack Bauer and Raver's Audrey Raines.

BTW, I always felt that "24" should have ended at the beginning of Season 8, perhaps a short carryover from Season 7 which I felt was the last great season of that series. Jack's daughter Kim, very much against Jack's wishes, ended up saving his life through a blood transfusion after he had been poisoned by the effects of chemical radiation.

I always felt that with his life saved, Jack should have just walked away from his job to instead go into retirement and be near his daughter Kim, her husband and their young baby boy. However if you know what happened, Jack could not help himself when asked to "help out" by Chloe O'Brian which led to that ridiculous entirety of Season 8 and later Season 9 [a shorter season also known as Live Another Day].

Season 8 had Renee Walker eventually shot to death by a Russian assassin moments after she made love for the first time after being reunited with Jack Bauer. Of course this royally pissed off Jack and led him to do what he did for the rest of that absurd season.

Season 9, if possible worse than Season 8, had Chloe in a rogue capacity and extremely pissed off following the murders of her husband Morris and young son. The actual terrorist for that season, some British woman and her daughter/son-in-law was stupid. Jack tossing this woman off of a balcony and her dying instantaneously when her head struck the concrete pavement was the only great moment of that season.

Audrey Raines, although now married to some guy who was in her father's cabinet (the father being the POTUS and the husband later branded a traitor to his country), gets murdered on orders from the same Chinese official who had been after both Jack and Audrey since Season 4. Jack is so enraged by Audrey's death that in a final fight he takes a monster-sized and very sharp sword. Jack completely decapitates the Chinese official, severing his head right off his body. Jack in exchange for Chloe who had been captured by the Russians, eventually agrees to surrender to them based on his actions in Season 8 and that's the last you hear of Mr. Bauer. That is until he is reincarnated as Tom Kirkman and becomes the POTUS last season, LOL!

"Designated Survivor" is an excellent show, IMO -- much better than the mess that is the current version of H 5-0. However, if Kiefer Sutherland and Kim Raver's characters, with him now being a widower, somehow slowly get involved in a romantic relationship, that would be absurd -- along the lines of Steve McGarrett and Danny Williams actually opening their Italian restaurant.

Added: March 04 2018 01:27:18 PM

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