With more and more people the world over in self-isolation in order to help slow the spread of coronavirus, streaming has become a popular way to pass the time. So much so that some services have even lowered their video quality to help meet increased demand. However, as more people plow through their Netflix queues, some have pointed out an unnerving similarity between current events and a storyline from Designated Survivor.
As The Sun noted, the storyline in question happens in Season 3 of the political thriller when the president-by-default Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland) is told about a new virus sweeping the U.S. When approached by his aids, one tells Kirkman that there have "been 32 cases in the past 24 hours, 12 fatalities." Another then chimes in to add that this "means thousands are infected." After being told that The CDC's position is that it's "worse than influenza," Kirkman asks "Could this be the superbug you’ve been worried about?"
The president is then shown a simulation and reacts with absolute horror and disbelief as to what could be facing the nation. Which, of course, hits a little too close to home given the ongoing concerns and resulting disruptions that have resulted from coronavirus concerns. Obviously, it did not go unnoticed by Twitter users everywhere.
Season 3 episode 8 of #DesignatedSurvivor is pretty much what we're going through now— Goldie (@G0ldie_Mack) March 24, 2020
All I know is that I’m watching #DesignatedSurvivor, an episode that aired last year, and it’s preeeety similar to what’s going on now and the coronavirus. This is wild 😳— Alexandra Donati (@DJAlexD_) March 9, 2020
Designated Survivor first premiered in September of 2016 and ran for the first two seasons on ABC. By May of 2018, the network canceled the series after two seasons, though it was picked up by Netflix the following September.
The third season of Designated Survivor premiered globally on Netflix in June of 2017. However, the streamer canceled the series a month later.
Somehow #DesignatedSurvivor season 2 episode 3 has a pretty up to date topic. Unfortunately the current POTUS is more concerned about the economy and not too much about the people.— Bernhard Kau (@2ndKauBoy) March 25, 2020
It didn't take long for fans of the show to compare the fictional administration's reaction to the current one, which has been consistently criticized over its handling of the pandemic.
The difference being the outbreak in Designated Survivor turned out to be an elaborate bioterrorism plot, whereas the coronavirus is not.
We need Tom Kirkman to save us from the coronavirus #designatedsurvivor— Riddhi Patel (@riddhi413) March 17, 2020
It's not the first time comparisons like this have been made. After Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson announced they'd tested positive on March 12, a number of people pointed out some vague similarities between that and Hanks' cameo in The Simpsons Movie.
Keifer Sutherland trending
"YES - new season of Designated Survivor" my brain says instantly.
Nope - some shite about who will run the UK Govt should Boris et all croak of Coronavirus and why Keifer would do a better job 🙄#DesignatedSurvivor— S a v a g e (@Keith_Sav) March 22, 2020
After news broke that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also tested positive for coronavirus, the question of who his designated survivor began to circulate, which also drew some inevitable comparisons.