Designated Survivor: Season 1 Reviews

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November 10, 2016
The show is flawed, cynical fiction, but it's setting up a timely tale about a democracy in chaos and an embattled leader trying to rebuild the government and people's trust in it.
Full Review | Original Score: B
September 23, 2016
The problem comes in the second episode, along with a suddenly increased capacity to resist everything about Designated Survivor.
September 22, 2016
Kirkman is a fantasy that allows us to wonder what it might be like if an actual decent person was put in charge (stupid Washington fat cats, you go boom!).
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 22, 2016
Even though this first episode feels more like a sanitized TV version of that scenario, it draws you in enough to make you continue wanting to see what happens next. If nothing else, there is something satisfying about seeing Sutherland as our president.
September 22, 2016
If Designated Survivor can get audiences to stomach the utter bleakness of its core premise, it could be the kind of gripping political make-believe viewers are looking for.
September 21, 2016
One episode into "Designated Survivor" may not convince "24" fans that their beloved Kiefer Sutherland is now a deskbound, rookie POTUS. But once you're over that hump, the show certainly makes a compelling case for its premise.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 6, 2018
If you get to the end of the currently available first batch [of episodes], it's likely that you'll be sufficiently hooked to want to find out what happens next.
June 27, 2018
[It] shows a lot of promise in several categories.
May 17, 2018
If any actor knows firsthand what it means to step into big shoes, it's Sutherland... who has made himself really, really good, shining in everything from 24 to art movies by Lars von Trier. He's great here, too.
December 20, 2017
[Keifer] Sutherland feels at home in this well-paced pilot - he's playing a different kind of hero than we've seen him play before, and it's exciting to see him take the reins here.
October 21, 2016
Happily, there's not a skerrick of Jack Bauer on display.
September 30, 2016
There's a lot of great potential here and the series premiere provides a sturdy start for this new drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
September 23, 2016
The first episode moves quickly and reveals little tidbits as it unfolds that deepen the mystery and add context, and to be honest, you could do a lot worse from a first hour of a series.
September 22, 2016
There's not enough family tension for it to be a domestic drama, not enough government intrigue to make it a political show, and not enough investigation to make it a procedural.
September 22, 2016
He's nothing like Jack Bauer, dammit. Which is what makes this series interesting.
September 22, 2016
The Designated Survivor Pilot Premiere was a solid hour of tension-wielding drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
September 22, 2016
Gripping and intriguing, I'm excited to see Sutherland's new term get off to such an epic start.
September 21, 2016
It has plenty of promise, largely hinged upon an interesting concept and Kiefer Sutherland's performance.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
September 21, 2016
Too flashy for its own good, Designated Survivor aims high and falls short.
September 21, 2016
Too many shows fizzle out after their logline is finished, but all three components of Designated Survivor work seamlessly in tandem for an adult drama that could be around for a while.
September 21, 2016
Kiefer Sutherland takes his rightful place as President Kick-Ass in this deliciously absurd ABC thriller.
September 21, 2016
Happily, Designated Survivor is even better on screen than it is on paper.
September 21, 2016
Kirkman, mild-mannered but firm, evenhanded but paternalistic to the women and children in his life, is a perfect role for Mr. Sutherland, and tuning in to see him save the country each week may be one of the new TV season's prime guilty pleasures.
September 21, 2016
Designated Survivor must still demonstrate that it can grow into the job, even if first impressions say it has the right guy -- at the right time -- to weather the primetime rat race.
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