This review of the 2023 Netflix series The Diplomat Season 1 does not contain spoilers.
It is true that The Diplomat portrays a less-than-flattering view of British and American politics. The show highlights the corrupt and self-serving actions of some politicians, as well as the impact of their decisions on ordinary people.
However, it is important to note that the show is a work of fiction and should not be taken as an accurate portrayal of real-life politics in either country.
The Diplomat Season 1 Review
Kate finds herself in a bureaucratic and political nightmare in the U.K. where she is met with hostility and skepticism from her British colleagues.
She quickly discovers that her job is to manage the fallout of a nuclear submarine disaster that has caused an international crisis.
As Kate navigates through the crisis, she finds herself caught up in a web of deceit and corruption that goes all the way to the Prime Minister, Alec Trowbridge (played by Toby Stephens), and his advisor, the enigmatic and manipulative Lady Jane Oliver (played by Harriet Walter).
As the plot thickens, we see the characters embroiled in a game of political chess, with each side trying to outmaneuver the other.
The show uses this central plot to explore a variety of themes, including the nature of power, the role of diplomacy in modern society, and the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Despite its serious subject matter, the show often injects humor and satire into the mix, making it an enjoyable and entertaining watch.
As Kate delves deeper into the mystery behind the attack on the HMS Courageous, she discovers that the situation is far more complicated than it appears. She teams up with her trusted colleague, the sharp-tongued but capable political analyst, Jack Snyder (played by actor Luke Jenner), to uncover a web of lies, deceit, and political maneuvering that goes all the way to the top.
Meanwhile, her personal life is in shambles. Her husband Hal is struggling with addiction and refuses to seek help, leading to strain on their marriage. Kate finds herself drawn to her British counterpart, Peter Westcott, but is conflicted about pursuing a relationship while on the job.
As the stakes get higher and the conspiracy widens, Kate must use all her skills and intuition to prevent a catastrophic war and uncover the truth. Along the way, she must also navigate the complex world of international diplomacy and the machinations of powerful political figures.
Is The Diplomat good or bad?
The Diplomat is a great show, with impressive performances from its cast, and sharp writing that seamlessly blends genres and tones.
The series effectively portrays a relationship drama and political thriller, with touches of comedy, drawing comparisons to the popular shows Homeland and The West Wing.
Keri Russell delivers an outstanding performance as a diplomat trying to navigate a high-stakes crisis while managing her personal life, but Rufus Sewell’s portrayal of her husband, Hal, steals every scene he’s in with his witty and charming presence. The show is a must-watch for fans of political dramas with a touch of humor.
It’s impressive how The Diplomat manages to maintain its momentum throughout all eight episodes, with each episode clocking in at 45 minutes or more. The show skillfully balances plot twists, set-pieces, and character development, resulting in a fast-paced viewing experience. Despite this, the show is unlikely to receive the credit it deserves for its pacing, but it’s certainly worth acknowledging.
Is The Diplomat worth watching?
The show’s contemptuous approach toward politics can appeal to those who feel disillusioned with contemporary politics. It’s particularly enjoyable for those who find it amusing to see Rory Kinnear play a spineless British Prime Minister who tries to appear as a no-nonsense Churchillian orator amidst a geopolitical crisis.
The show, however, may not have a long-lasting appeal, despite the finale’s indication of such an outcome. It is off-putting initially, as it throws viewers into a world of character introductions, political jargon, and references to real and imaginary events at a rapid pace, expecting them to possess a cursory understanding of geopolitics.
While it doesn’t require a degree, keeping up with current affairs and observing the world around them would help the viewers comprehend the show better, which is asking a lot from contemporary audiences used to consuming media at high speeds with their phone in hand, a trend encouraged ironically by platforms like Netflix.
The Diplomat is definitely worth the investment, even if it requires some effort to get into at the beginning.
It’s a clever and well-crafted show that will likely become even more impressive once you’ve seen it all. The level of detail and subtlety is impressive, but it requires close attention and full engagement from the viewer. Don’t let the initial challenge put you off, as the payoff is ultimately worth it.
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