Pilot: When Jack Bauer meets Clark Kent, you get Tom Kirkman. A by-the-numbers, political-thriller that seemed, at first glance, to be yet another variation of 24 or Homeland, but without the hook. Yes, the scenario is intriguing but a lot of what was shown in the pilot failed to address the potential fallout from such a scenario. Instead, we were revolving around Kiefer Sutherland who despite attempts to make himself seemed mousey and nerdy and non-intimidating - those glasses! - is undeniably very Jack Bauer still. The supporting casts all seemed bland, the child actors bring horrible flashbacks to Homeland's Chris and Dana Brody - remember them? Shudders! - and the plot itself does not seem capable to go beyond a limited series. And perhaps it is that last point that may keep the audience tuning in, because although Sutherland has charisma, but seeing how the show can sustain itself for a full season and beyond might be interesting.
Episode #2 The First Day: I'm bored. Designated Survivor has one of the clunkiest dialogue and it is just a mish-mash of possibilities and storylines. It seemed as if the showrunners are just throwing a bunch of ideas out there and see which sticks: political thriller? Political drama? Espionage thriller? The cast still do not have their beats in sync and only Sutherland looked comfortable in the role he is playing, and even then, it still looked like most times he wants to hulk out into Jack Bauer.