Designated Survivor (Netflix) must have been easy to pitch: “It’s Homeland meets House of Cards.”

“Sounds good.”

“Plus we add Jack Bauer from 24.”


“And get this … Jack’s the president.”

“I love it! But is Kiefer Sutherland happy to be hated by everyone?”

It’s the most cynical bit of rehashing since Police Academy 12: Retire Already – and yet it’s an absolute joy. Someone’s blown up Congress and killed almost everyone in it. Cabinet member Tom Kirkman (24’s Kiefer Sutherland) is the designated survivor who has to step up to the plate and take over. Moral lesson of every week: it’s tough at the top. He has to choose who to believe, who to have shot and who to have as his vice president – the final award going to the only man to walk out of the Capitol Building alive with his good looks suspiciously intact.

It’s not giving anything away to say that the new Veep is up to something. A shadowy conspiracy of rich, powerful white people is poised to strike. But why didn’t they just run for election?

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