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Designated Survivor (ABC>Netflix)

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Adam Lenhardt, Sep 21, 2016.

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  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I visited the Tower of London and saw the Crown Jewels. They can afford it! :D
     
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  2. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    I hear it; it just doesn't bother me as much. I suppose because I live in a PAL-land, I have to get used to it?
     
  3. Message #303 of 329 Sep 30, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    And, effective now, those two ABC seasons have now moved over their streaming exclusively to Netflix in the US and Canada (previously on Hulu) as well, so they now have the whole back catalog of episodes available worldwide.

    I think you're right, but I also think that's probably why the season order is so much shorter than it was on ABC. Making new deals for 10 episodes will have been much less money than new deals for 22 (or even a more standard 13.) But also, the cast will probably need to find other work to supplement the money they're getting from Netflix in order to total the same amount of money they would've gotten if it were a 22-episode season like what they were making when the show aired on ABC.
     
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  4. holtge

    holtge Supporting Actor

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    I just hope the shorter episode count will improve the overall quality of the show. Season Two was nothing like the roller coaster that Season One was.
     
  5. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    I don't think that has as much to do with episode count as it does with the extremely high rate of turnover on the show. The Netflix season will welcome its fifth showrunner since the beginning, and that's bound to cause creative whiplash.
     
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  6. holtge

    holtge Supporting Actor

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    Meaning whatever we get "may" or "may not" be true to the origins of that first season. At this point I'm just hoping it's better than Season Two was...
     
  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    When I can fit it in, I'll be watching season two. I didn't see any of the season two episodes on the network broadcasts since I dropped the show over the summer after its first season.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Do yourself a favor, Matt. Do something more fun with your time...like scheduling a root canal.

    Watch anything else.
     
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  9. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    My gosh, it must have been a deadly season!
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    That's when I'd normally reply, "well, you need to see for yourself." But I cannot bring myself to say that in this case.

    Everything that made the premise of season 1 SO compelling is cast aside in season 2. And it becomes nothing more than a pale shadow of The West Wing with crisis-of-the-day story lines for Kirkman (clumsily resolved within the hour) surrounded by dumb, fluffy stuff involving the other characters in that universe.

    But if you're the type of guy who seeks out train wrecks... :D
     
  11. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    Huh? They went through five head writers in two seasons because the show could never figure out what it wanted to be and there were conflicting ideas on how to go forward. They have no intention of being true to the first season because it's not like the first season knew what it was doing. This is not a situation where you've got a creator with a strong vision of exactly how they want the show to go and how long it is going to last and what they want to say. It's a jumbled mess and always has been. It was a great pilot episode, but never lived up to that again.
     
  12. holtge

    holtge Supporting Actor

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    True. I only meant that the pilot was incredible and the whole conspiracy they introduced afterwards in Season One continued on that premise. But once the conspiracy thread resolved itself towards the end of Season One, the show just floundered.

    I realize there were several showrunners at various stages of the show's existence. But it just seemed to me that whoever was responsible for running the show in the first season did a much better job of doing so than whoever ran it in Season Two.
     
  13. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    In some respects, the problem is that the entire premise of the show to begin with, a conspiracy that eliminated most of the top levels of the US government and left one particular person, the titular "Designated Survivor" as POTUS, would have to be a one-time plot line. Once that was resolved, the entire premise was finished, and you'd be left with a paint-by-numbers political show, and those will always be compared to the West Wing, the giant of the genre.

    The said plot line (the conspiracy) could be resolved within a season, or could be dragged out longer, but that always risks the audience losing interest. But: once resolved, the show no longer has any raison d'être.

    Hence: such plot lines are better suited as being the premise to a limited series, rather than a network show. My usual go-to example is Prison Break: the creator has been quoted as saying he always had a finite 2-season story arc to tell, first season being getting out of the prison and the second being their getaway outside. And those two seasons worked incredibly well. But then the network wanted more, so a third was written and that story arc was flimsy, and never mind the fourth...
     
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  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I totally agree.

    I would have liked to have seen the show's creators extend the threat from the domestic terrorism group that was trying to overthrow the US government. To my mind, it took an impressive organization to pull off the destruction of the capitol during a State of the Union. This is an organization that, even if it's head was cut off, wouldn't have just quickly whithered into nothingness.

    That continued threat could have been mined for ongoing intrigue...as opposed to plots which left us to ponder if a couple of West Wing employees were ever going to knock boots.

    And, in fact, the aftermath of the incident which began the story could have been spread out with numerous sub-plots over two or three seasons. They really screwed the pooch when they had the government and country recover so quickly from such a disastrous event.
     
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  15. holtge

    holtge Supporting Actor

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    If only that were the show we had gotten, I'm sure it would still be airing on ABC.
     
  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    There were definitely moments when it was clear that ABC wanted this to be Shondaland-esque.

    Being a civics nerd, I would have liked more time spent on the mechanics of stitching the country back together. The Constitution speaks to a lot of it, but with an attack of that magnitude there would be plenty of gray area.

    It would also be a massive reset of federal governance at a time of great vulnerability in the American consciousness, a moment in which the current ideological and political allegiances would crumble, and something new -- maybe better, maybe far worse -- would develop to take their place.

    You look at events like the defeat of Napoleon and the conclusion of the War of 1812, which ended the First Party System; the Civil War and the secession of the South, which ended the Second Party System; the Panic of 1893, which ended the Third Party System; and the Great Depression, which ended the Fourth Party System.

    They could have taken it in a utopian direction or a dystopian direction, and either would have been interesting to me.

    They could have also had the decapitation of the American government trigger rippling instability across the globe, so that Kirkman gets elected in his own right in 2020 or 2024 (assuming the show is near-future) just in time for World War III to break out.

    By making the attack relatively self-contained, the show robbed itself of much of its oxygen.
     
  17. Jake Lipson

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    That's a great idea. Shame it didn't occur to them. Apparently, season 3 will deal with Kirkman campaigning, so they're going to get to an election. But I also kind of wonder how they make that dramatically interesting because the name of the show is in reference to his character (even if the show has moved beyond the bombing plot that made him the designated survivor.) If he were to lose the election, there would be no show. Neither eOne nor Netflix are indicating that this will be a final season, and I doubt eOne would go through the trouble of trying to find a new home for the show if all they wanted was 10 more episodes. Therefore, it seems safe to assume that Kirkman must win the election in season 3 because if he doesn't, the show would end.

    Agreed.

    It's also worth noting that ABC's replacement for Designated Survivor does not appear to be working out in a substantially bigger way. From TV Line in regards to ratings for this week's second episode:

    http://tvline.com/2018/10/04/criminal-minds-ratings-season-14-premiere/

    And, given the network move, should the thread title be changed to designate Netflix as its new home?
     
  18. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    "Shondaland"--There's a phrase I could never hear again and be quite happy about. It is one of the reasons (among several others) why I canceled my subscription to Entertainment Weekly. They were obsessed with Shonda and all that she hath wrought.

    Done!

    I agree with this, Adam...there's NO WAY the entrenched power interests in DC (and the rest of the world) would let the American government reconstitute itself (no pun intended) so easily--despite the clarity of the Constitution. They really missed the boat in not mining the aftermath of the attack for all it was worth--both on the political side, the government side and the terror threat (and investigation), too.

    For me this will always be one of the great "missed opportunities" in network TV.
     
  19. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Producer

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    I love the Shonda Rhimes' work personally. But I think you're right that the decision by ABC to make Designated Survivor like one of her programs was to its detriment. When I was watching it, I felt like it couldn't decide if it wanted to be a serious political show like The West Wing or a thriller like 24 or an over-the-top crazy train like Scandal, so they put in elements of all three and mixed them together and the combination was not as effective as if they could have chosen one style and stuck to it. The extreme turnover in showrunners probably didn't help this identity crissis.
     
  20. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    Agreed. Great concept, poor execution. This is a property ripe for a remake 10 or 20 years down the line, with a better creative team.
     
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