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Saturday, October 1, 2016

DESIGNATED SURVIVOR

Two Wednesdays ago, when I saw the first installment of Designated Survivor on ABC, I said, wow, this will be a big hit.  If you missed #1 and #2, Netflix can be accessed.

To summarize:
  • When there is a State of the Union Address every January, one of the cabinet members and/or anyone who can legally succeed the President is selected as the designated survivor and kept for the evening well-guarded in an unannounced location.
    • this past January, for the first time in a decade, there were two:  Orrin Hatch (R-Ut) and Jeh Johnson (D), Secretary of Homeland Security
      • in 2005 there were five, and they might have enjoyed a pizza party
      • now, after 9/11, this assignment is taken with considerable seriousness
      • there is no official designated person specifically for the other party, as was the case for this series
    • did you know that the current succession line is:
      •   #1  Vice President Joe Biden (D)
      •   #2  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R)
      •   #3  President pro tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch (R)
      •   #4  Secretary of State John Kerry (D)
      •   #5  Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew (D)
      • #12  Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro (D)
      • #16  Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald (R)
      • #17 and last, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson (D)
  • While the name of this person is not released until that night, this is known weeks ahead of time and that individual is given some training in case the worst happens.
  • Since the early 60's when the Cold War became a serious issue, someone has served in this role:
    • they tend to choose a lower level cabinet member, as the Secretaries of State and Treasury have never served in this capacity
    • Secretary of State Sally Jewell never made this list because she was born in London (you need to be born in the USA to become president
So in this series, the #12 guy is ensconced with his wife when the Capitol is destroyed by a bomb, killing everybody.  There is that jerk of a military hawk who wants to immediately strike back, the governor of Michigan who refuses to even take the call of the new President and total chaos for the USA. How to restore order in the homeland while fending off the threats of "terror" nations will occupy each of the 22 42-minute episodes.  Clearly, Designated Survivor will be renewed and renewed.

While I might have identified with this series because of Keifer Sutherland, who I followed as Jack Bauer on 24,  acting president (yes, acting) Tom Kirkman is a different kind of individual, being uncertain and initially quite meek.  But, of course, it is how he will grow into the most powerful person in the world that will keep the audience returning.

Okay, I'm biased, but Maggie Q, playing a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, looms like the key character who will make that difference for Kirkman.  Born Margaret Denise Quigley in Hawaii, her mother is a Vietnamese immigrant.  MQ graduated from Mililani High School, and you've seen her in versions of Mission Impossible, Die Hard, Rush Hour and Divergent.  Watch for her in three future films:  Jekyll Island (where she plays a white collar criminal recruited to thwart a cyber attack), The Brits are Coming (as a notorious gangster) and Slumber (a sleep doctor in a supernatural thriller).  Next year she has the lead role in another TV series, Red Flag (as a Chinese prostitute who goes on to become one of  history's most powerful pirates and head a successful crime syndicate in Canton, now Guangzhou).

Yes, Designated Survivor is the network hit of this Fall.  Watch it!  Wednesday nights on ABC.

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Matthew flirted with super hurricane status and is now "only" a Category 4 hurricane at 140 MPH, but will wreak havoc over Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, Nassau, Bahamas and all the islands in his path:


In the West Pacific, Typhoon Chaba at 75 MPH will roll right over the main island of Okinawa and attain Category 3 strength.  The current track has the eye of Chaba over Kyushu, then Osaka:


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