Designated Survivor: 60 Days (60일, 지정생존자) (TV-2019) - South Korea
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
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Season 1: 16 episodes (1 hour each)
Riding on the back of the American successful TV series “Designated Survivor”, we get a rehash of sorts with everything Korean, from White House to Blue House, from Middle East threats to North Korea to a story that rhymes with the Korean general public. To say that this series succeeded is an understatement as it manages to stay fresh, despite many elements being inspired by the original and at the same time with enough Korean touch to it to make it an excellent Netflix’s Korean political thriller similar in the reins of the recent “Chief of Staff”.
Ji Jin-hee takes centre stage as the “designated survivor” sacked by the very President just before the bombing of the Legislature council resulting in the death of all members of the government with the exception of one other survivor played by Lee Joon Hyuk. Jin-hee eludes the nerdy scientist and good person with honest intentions. It is interesting to see how one can react in face of power, politics and decision making that affects life and death and the future of South Korea. With a wonderful ensemble cast of veteran Heo Jun-ho playing experienced political advisor, Kang Han-na as the NIS special agent, Choi Yoon Young as the acting president’s trusted confide and Son Seo-kgu is full of tricks as the chief presidential secretary.
All in all, “Designated Survivors: 60 Days” works because in time of increasing risk and scrutiny, we need a good hearted and nature human being to lead us out of these conflicts within good and honest intentions. Good man / woman in politics is difficult to find and everything just happened in Season 1 shows it’s a dream and a fairytale than actual reality. With all the collusion, personal vested interests, satisfying the elites and of course, “Power tends to corrupt” concept, we get more impossibility than ever. Still, for a good 16 episodes and 60 days, we manage to witness how idealism works if it can ever be politically executed in the ever more complex world we live in today.
I rated it 8/10