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marinw

Compare & Contrast: Designated Survivor and Other Shows

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I don't know where to post this so I started a new topic. Be gentle with me, mods!

While we are waiting until March 8, what other political dramas are resonating with us?

I just finished bingeing a Norwegian series called Occupied (or Okkupert) which I  found on Netflix Canada. The show is about Russia taking over Norway when that country decides to stop extracting and processing fossil fuels. I think Occupied is worth mentioning because its far-fetched yet theoretically possible premise requires almost exactly the same degree of suspension of disbelief as Designated Survivor. Also, actor Henrik Mestad as the put-open Prime Minister with a Green Energy agenda is a soulmate to Tom in the shear amount of sh*t he has to put up with. The show is also half in English for some reason.

In 2017, TV showrunners of political dramas can't compete with reality. Particular American reality. But they can try.

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Occupied was a pretty good, if underplayed, show.  I think it probably appealed more to Europeans for the characterizations of the principals in the show.  We're so insulated here in the US that tv really has to struggle to convincingly show how the rest of the world thinks, because we get so many two dimensional portrayals.  That being said, I found it difficult to believe that the rest of NATO, even without the US, would not somehow come to Norway's aid during the invasion.  They should be able to see the imminent danger.

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Maybe it's because both shows have a lot of interior White House scenes, deal with politics and threats of violence, and are currently airing, but sometimes I find myself expecting to see characters from Madam Secretary on Designated Survivor and vice versa. I was trying to think of a way to have crossover episodes and thought maybe the DS characters could be watching MS on TV and remark to one another on being surprised it was still airing after the government had been wiped out, and speculating that it gave the audience a sense of comfort and hope that things could be "normal" again. Conversely, MS characters could be watching DS on TV and be glad that hadn't happened IRL.

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17 hours ago, Dowel Jones said:

Occupied was a pretty good, if underplayed, show.  I think it probably appealed more to Europeans for the characterizations of the principals in the show.  We're so insulated here in the US that tv really has to struggle to convincingly show how the rest of the world thinks.. That being said, I found it difficult to believe that the rest of NATO, even without the US, would not somehow come to Norway's aid during the invasion.  They should be able to see the imminent danger.

The show has been renewed for a second season, and the finale was pretty epic, so. I agree with you about the underplayed part, that may be a feature of the show's budget, although this may have been one of the most expensive shows to ever come out of Norway.

Tom and Jesper need to get together for a beer or three.

14 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Maybe it's because both shows have a lot of interior White House scenes, deal with politics and threats of violence, and are currently airing, but sometimes I find myself expecting to see characters from Madam Secretary on Designated Survivor and vice versa. I was trying to think of a way to have crossover episodes and thought maybe the DS characters could be watching MS on TV and remark to one another on being surprised it was still airing after the government had been wiped out, and speculating that it gave the audience a sense of comfort and hope that things could be "normal" again. Conversely, MS characters could be watching DS on TV and be glad that hadn't happened IRL.

I keep imagining  A Man In The High Castle scenario where the people in MS and DS watch a show about OUR current reality.

I think Bess would be a great Secretary of State or VEEP for Tom. 

Edited by marinw
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I am looking forward to the latest adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, which airs in Canada this Sunday. According to Salon:

As laid out in Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the events leading to America’s transformation into the Christian fundamentalist-governed Gilead are believable enough. First Congress and the president are slaughtered, and this mass tragedy is blamed on “Islamic fanatics.” Martial law is declared. The Constitution is suspended; the newspapers, censored. Soon Identipasses are required for moving about.

http://www.salon.com/2017/04/25/the-handmaids-tale-a-dystopian-tale-of-female-subjugation-that-hits-close-to-home/

Huh. Sound like another show? The fact that the United States of the DS universe hasn’t completely collapsed is weirdly optimistic.

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This show reminds me of "The Event", which had a slumping audience and a mid-season hiatus while it was re-edited, resulting in little improvement.

Like "The Event", Designated Survivor feels overblown and incoherent, with two dimensional characters, horribly clichéd plots and dialogue, and juvenile moral dilemmas. Also, like "The Event", it is pleasingly cheesy and almost in the realms of car crash TV, which means I can't stop watching.

I am in shock that it has been renewed.

Edited by Chinspinner

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I liked The Event, but I am in the moniroty. One season of that show was enough for me, however.

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