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Waiting for House of Cards? This Show Will Tide You Over

Like most great shows, House of Cards makes us wait a whole year before the next season; here is a show to hold you over.

By Abdullah MasoodPublished 7 years ago 3 min read
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The president of the United States has always been a subject of many great action films, docudramas and t.v shows. However, none has been so interesting nor so intriguing as House of Cards. This show involves the sly Frank Underwood, a character most Machiavellian in nature, and his beloved wife Claire as they climb their way to the top of the political ladder, one evil step at a time. But like most great shows and sexy housewives, it makes us wait a whole year before the next season. Season five won't be available till the 30th May, so here is a show to satisfy your urges of a similar nature. *Spoilers will be minor and it is in mid season break but you will get a gist of the show.

I was browsing through Netflix's remarkable list of shows when I came upon the name of Kiefer Sutherland(of 24 fame). Being somewhat curious, especially since I hadn't seen anything of the actor for quite some years, I opened it. And I was not disappointed. American viewers can watch this on ABC, although by now it will be reruns since half of the season has ended. Now, be warned, Designated Survivor is not House of Cards. The whole dark, grim experience that has defined the show is not present here. To understand the show, one must first understand what Designated Survivor is:

In the United States, a designated survivor (or designated successor) is an individual in the presidential line of succession, usually a member of the United States Cabinet, who is arranged to be at a physically distant, secure, and undisclosed location when the President and the country's other top leaders (e.g., Vice President and Cabinet members) are gathered at a single location, such as during State of the Union addresses and presidential inaugurations. This is intended to guarantee continuity of government in the event of a catastrophic occurrence that kills the President and many officials in the presidential line of succession, such as a mass shooting or bombing. If such an event occurred, killing both the President and Vice President, the surviving official highest in the line, possibly the designated survivor, would become the Acting President of the United States under the Presidential Succession Act.[courtesy Wikipedia]

In this show, Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherlad) is the secretary of housing and urban development who is forced to undergo an exile in Canada as he is no longer considered a vital part of the existing president's cabinet. Cue the State of the Union address, and on Kirkman's last day is as the designated survivor. One major attack and the obscure constitutional rule is enacted and Kirkman becomes president.

Dude, is the new prez a mature student?

Kirkman is not Frank. Frank spends the entirety of the first and second seasons creating the foundations of becoming president without actually being elected. Kirkman becomes president similarly but he is a simple man, with no political ambitions trying to achieve goodness in the work he has been committed to. While Frank is a big believer in whatever means necessary to achieve his goals, Kirkman is a believer of peace and righteous justice. The lack of moral ambiguity in his character is astounding, and to be honest somewhat dated considering how most shows these days have no goody two shoes characters. But you can't help but admire that spirit, something I believe we should see more on tv.

Becoming president is not the be all and end all however. Kirkman is faced constantly by threats both at home and abroad. Who carried out the attack? Is there the risk of a new civil war? What about the Syrian refugees and Iran? Many issues at the forefront of today's American politics are part and parcel of the show. Ideas about freedom and democracy, civil rights and cyber warfare are all packaged together. But where there is the macro, there is also the micro. Kirkman's family is brought to the White House but unlike Claire, Alex (played by the vivacious Natascha McElhone) has no political ambitions except for a righteous liberal democratic streak and a thirst for justice. As part of the side story, we also get to see the FBI's special agent Wells (Maggie Q) investigate the attack. There is unravelling of a conspiracy unlike anything you have ever seen before. Action, drama and secrecy are the lifeblood of this show. However, the first family itself proves to be a symbol of hope and goodness for an uncertain world. Kal Penn as the press secretary Seth Wright provides witty humor and serious messages that are sure to keep you interested.

Is this show a House of Cards clone? I would have to say no because in it's own right it espouses a message that is not only necessary but truthful in these troubling times. While yes, one does enjoy the tawdry affairs and shady deals in there; all the same this show should be looked into just for the superb acting and suspenseful story that will, at the end, leave you begging for more. Watch it for Penn spoofing Kellyanne Conway, if for no other reason (on the set after the mid season break)

If she can do it so can I!

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About the Creator

Abdullah Masood

Hi I'm a young guy looking to write on stuff I find interesting and fun so hello and enjoy!

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