For a show called Designated Survivor, it's had a hard time surviving these last two years.
As irritating as it may be, sometimes great TV shows come and go. Perhaps the best example would be David Lynch and Mark Frost's cult phenomenon Twin Peaks. Season 2 arguably ended on one of the greatest cliffhangers in television history, and yet, the show was cancelled in 1992, followed by a film which refused to conventionally tie anything up. However, it returned after a twenty-five-year hiatus, leaving some fans still scratching their heads.
Designated Survivor was cancelled by ABC after its second season too, but in this day and age, streaming services can easily take a gamble on shows like this; no twenty-five year wait this time. Netflix picked it up for a third season, much to the delight of fans. However, since its arrival, it's proven far more divisive than it used to be.
When we talk about divide, we mean there are lots of viewers out there who declared Netflix the show's rightful home, over the moon with the freedom it offered. On the other hand, certain changes struck many as unnecessary.
Designated Survivor: Season 3 controversy
One of the biggest adjustments to the show has been the onslaught of swearing in each episode. The first two seasons were relatively bad language-free, but season 3 drops so many F-bombs you'd think it was in competition with Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street.
Lots of fans took to Twitter to offer their thoughts, claiming it to be unnecessarily excessive. You know there's been a big jump when so many people single that out, among all things.
Another issue for people was the misuse of characters, with some former fan-favourites feeling relegated within the narrative. Then, there were some particularly bold ways of concluding certain character arcs, which, if you've seen it, you'll know exactly what moment we're talking about.
Overall though, fans and followers of the show were really happy to have it back on screens, feeling that Netflix would provide the show more security than it's former home. Yet, just like that, it's been cancelled... again.
Why has Designated Survivor been cancelled?
As reported by Digital Spy, Netflix's statement reads: "We are proud to have offered fans a third season of Designated Survivor, and will continue to carry all three seasons for years to come. We’re especially thankful to star and executive producer Kiefer Sutherland, who brought passion, dedication and an unforgettable performance as President Kirkman.
"We’re also grateful to showrunner/executive producer Neal Bear for his guiding vision and steady hand, creator/executive producer David Guggenheim and EPs Mark Gordon, Suzan Bymel, Simon Kinberg, Aditya Sood and Peter Noah along with the cast and crew who crafted a compelling and satisfying final season."
It's hard to determine exactly why, but the same source notes a pretty glaring indication. While speaking with Simon Mayo on Scala Radio, Kiefer Sutherland opened up regarding his doubts of season 4, saying that their place on Netflix had surfaced a number of contractual complications. He added; "I think it's time for all of us to go and find something new to do."
It sounds like contract issues and a lot of pressure may have disheartened the crew to continue, encouraging them to pursue other avenues. Whatever these happen to be, we'll be there to watch.
Of course, we've seen the show hop from one home to the next since it started. Arguably though, if anyone was able to make it work, it was Netflix.
With so many titles on their agenda, perhaps they were just more focused on other things to channel much more time into its continuation; at least they gave it a go. It would be good to see it picked up elsewhere, but judging from Netflix's statement and Kiefer Sutherland's words on it all, it looks like season 3 is the end of Designated Survivor.
It was a fun ride while it lasted!
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