Who is a fan of political dramas? Not me. I can honestly say I’ve passed over plenty of shows with such premises, especially American ones. I absolutely can’t stand when I have to sit through American propaganda on how they’re amazing and the rest of the world is just evil. Now one drama has made me into a believer.
Designated Survivor: 60 days, does the name sound familiar? It might because it’s an adaptation of the American show “Designated Survivor”. I didn’t watch that show but even I can say the premise does sound interesting; a terror attack causes the death of the president and the entire cabinet leaving an inexperienced minister to take over the reins. Sounds good right? It is
I was bored at work one morning and gave the Korean version a shot, forward the next day and I’m on episode 10. This show is sooooo good! I wish I had watched the American one to give a fair comparison however from what Google has to say the Korean version outdid its predecessor.
The show stars Ji Jin hee (Dong Yi) as the quite, honest, and uncertain yet genius Minister of Environment. Professionally he’s a Chemistry researcher, formerly a professor at a prestigious university. Politician he definitely isn’t but he believed in the value of this job and worked bloody hard to care for the environment be it fine dust or polluted waters.
His morality costs him and he ends up being fired from his post as Minister of Environment by the president. This takes place on the morning of the terror attack that will kill the entire cabinet and change this man’s life. Next thing you know he’s being sworn in as acting president of the Republic of South Korea for 60 days…until the election of a president. His term is a roller coaster ride comprised of fending off nefarious opposition leaders vying for the presidential seat, winning over the public and a race to find the responsible party who’s plans seem more calculated and scarier the further we go in.
The main story takes place within the Blue House ranging from North Korean problems, national chaos, leaking of confidential news. While the side story which eventually ties up is commandeered by NIS (National Intelligence Service) agent who makes it her mission to find terror mastermind; for her it’s personal as she lost her fiancé in the attack. The two stories eventually catch up together as we get closer to unveiling the evil mastermind.
To tell you the truth I didn’t expect to be this invested going in as I reiterate politics isn’t my thing but damn does this show do it well. Ji Jinhee is impeccable as the unsure amateur with the heart of gold who slowly gets the hang of the whole political thing without compromising his integrity but not without the help of the amazing presidential staff who guide, advice and reprimand him throughout his entire presidency.
Rivals for the presidency as also a big headache for our poor acting president intent on ruining him to prevent him from possibly running for presidency. Our acting president intends to give up the presidency once his 60 days are up but with the way things are going who knows how that will turn up, the taste of power can change a man.
60 days that feel like eternity, you get over one hurdle and jump into the next. The show sort of reminds me of the US show “24” in that we have a countdown. The events that happen in each episode take such a toll on you and the entire cast only to realize it’s just been a day and we still have 40 days left. My faint heart suffers through each episode, the journey is a roller coaster but the small wins throughout. being a South Koream show they do inject some side humour which im gratefu for inorder to catch a break from yelling at the screen and cowering in fetal position.
If you’re tired of the horrible real life politics and corrupt leaders we have now watch this show. If you want to be wrecked by political drama that somehow tugs at your heartstrings, watch this show, if you want to see how a “good person “ would run a country watch this show, just watch this show.
*The show is currently on netflix