I feel alone, without a show. P.S. May contain some spoilers*
I know TV series are make-believe. They have the ability to take us to places where we can only dream. I’m not one to watch a forensics drama and often the over simplification of the science behind them makes it a little far fetched for my liking.
One show that pulled off the epitome of what it would mean to have extraordinary leadership though is Designated Survivor by ABC, streamed via Netflix.
Had you of told me Kiefer Sutherland was the main actor before I clicked play, honestly, I wouldn’t have watched it. Not because of him, but because his series 24 never gelled with me, albeit me not ever giving it a breathing chance. I tend to be dramatic like that.
I watched all seasons of the series, two in total, of which Sutherland was also Executive Producer. Categorised in the genre of political drama/thriller, the premise of the show is set around a single individual within the American government that gets moved to an undisclosed location at the time of a State of the Union meeting. In the event of a government wide catastrophe, the Designated Survivor would assume the role of presidency.
Here are some stats
- 43 episodes across 2 seasons
- 8/10 score on IMDb
- 96% of google users who rated the series gave it a thumbs up
- I loved the series
- I miss the series
Why then will I never watch another series?
Because it resonated with me. Because watching the show inspired me. Because for the first time in a while I saw what it looked like for a world to be led by someone with humility and compassion, making it their duty to truly serve. And then it ended with only two seasons (kind of…).
Never before in my life have I valued the need for great leadership as much as I have lately. The last few months I have dedicated myself to bringing a sense of leadership within my slowing growing community, within my work and within my family.
Sutherland, whom plays President Tom Kirkman in the series is really thrown into the deep end, taking on a job both him and his family didn’t envision nor feel they were prepared for. Not uncommon in real life, right? Maybe sounding a little too familiar? But when one lives by morals, values and humility, one steps up to the challenge, particularly when it requires truly selfless leadership.
Kirman is faced with challenge after challenge. Both by the very people whom which he dedicates himself to serve as well as the world looking to destroy his great nation, and, his reputation. Each time, against all odds, and usually by surrendering to his own integrity, he wins the hearts of those whom stood in his way, bringing his nation and government one step closer to being united.
In politics, and, life in general, we often find people spending more time putting others down in the hopes they will lift themselves up. Rather than focusing on the people we ought to be serving and listening to them, we all too often see politicians, leaders of organisations, parents and those alike bickering, invading, suppressing, faulting and challenging each other to the point of destruction.
To my point, after the last season finale I was left feeling alone and misguided. The hopes of great leadership that, although fictional, as displayed in the show, seemed a little distant again. Whom was I to watch each night now? I committed to the series and felt left on a cliff hanger without any sight of a series return (*update* see below). It dawned upon me recently when I picked up the book Radical Candor that it is now my time to really step up my game as a leader, as a boss, as a writer and leader of a small online community. I think the lessons displayed in Designated Survivor can really teach us all a lot about serving.
Each of us, in our own ways, can be a Tom Kirkman, stepping up to any challenge that presents itself, no matter how much we feel the odds are against us.
To say I won’t watch another series again is likely, in all honesty, a lie. At first I didn’t want to get attached to something new only to see it end after a few weeks. But I’ve found a new task to fill my time that Designated Survivor once did — the blog. So here I am. Rather than watching Tom Kirkman and his admirable leadership, I am writing about it. Hoping to bring inspiration to you.
Watch the series. Be proud. Be inspired.
Just as I was about to hit publish I have since learned via news.com.au that a third season will be coming to Netflix, with 10 planned episodes! People, we have light!
Featured image linked via IMDb.