In addition to other TV presidents, Designated Survivor also has our Trump-powered reality to contend with. All the shows from this fall's TV season must do battle with the reality-show-like antics of the current election, but Designated Survivor, even with its far-fetched Tom Clancy conspiracy elements, is in more in direct conflict with cable news than some of the frothier shows served up by the networks this season. It's primed to serve as the perfect dose of escapism from the headache-inducing 24-hour news cycle.
As voters express distrust in both major party candidates, whether it's about their taxes or their emails, there's comfort to be found in the moral certainty of Kiefer Sutherland's voice. Though his Cornell sweatshirt and glasses from the pilot projected a nerdy, unsure quality, every episode since has shown President Kirkman emerge as righteous badass, like a modern-day Jimmy Stewart who can repair your laptop, recommend a good podcast, and kick your ass if he wanted to.