What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 27, 2017

I'm Wondering If The Writers Had A Not-So-Hidden Message In Mind (ABC's Designated Survivor)

This season on TV I've been watching, Designated Survivor pretty faithfully. It's not a bad show (though not one of my favorites) and at this point I am watching it to see how it ends.

Here's how ABC describes the show:
Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, a lower-level cabinet member who is suddenly appointed President of the United States after a catastrophic attack on the US Capitol during the State of the Union. Kirkman will struggle to keep the country and his family from falling apart, while navigating the highly-volatile political arena and leading the search to find who is responsible for the attack.
As far as I can see there are three basic narratives; Kirkman deals with his family issues, Kirkman rebuilds the entire government, and Kirkman investigates the conspiracy.

For me, the first two are far more interesting though as time goes in this post-Jack Bauer TV universe, ABC is weighing more on the somewhat absurd plot of a sitting president investigating what amounts to a politically motivated mass murder.

But what's the production to do once the conspiracy is unearthed?  What do they do then?  That's my problem.

On the other hand, if the investigation were to be wrapped up rather quickly, a bigger ongoing narrative could take center stage: a non-politician rebuilding a demolished political structure - but this time done right!

Sound familiar?

Perhaps I am projecting too much.

I am curious, though, about a speech to the nation that Kirkman gave this past week and whether the show's writers were using their platform to tell us something.  Here's the important text:
My fellow Americans, due to recent events we live in a time of uncertainty, leaving us with more questions than answers.
Tonight, I hope to put us back on the path to confidence and strength.
I do not believe that we can survive as a nation without transparency.
Without truth, there can be no trust.
As your President, I assure you that I and my administration will be honest and open on all matters, regardless of how the truth reflects upon me.
[...]
In times of crisis, we must not succumb to cynicism and mistrust.
Instead, we must maintain faith while embracing reason and truth not speculation and rumor.
Again, we can only attain this through transparency.
Believe me, I know what the American people have been feeling.
I know that there is confusion and fear.
I know that some do not even feel safe leaving their homes.
President Lincoln prophetically cautioned, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." We are at a similar crossroads.
But Lincoln did not expect his house to fall and neither do I.
The American people must now make the most important decision they've had to make in generations.
Will we be united in the pursuit of truth and reason? Or break apart because of conjecture and suspicion?
I trust this nation, my nation To make the right choice.
Thank you, good night, and God bless America.
Perhaps I am projecting too much but hot damn it seems like the writers didn't write that speech for Tom Kirkman to deliver to his fictional USA but for Kiefer Sutherland to deliver it to us.

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