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“The Diplomat” with Keri Russell is a wild and slightly over the top series.
Netflix has put a lot of resources behind the political thriller. You can’t log on without seeing it all over the streaming site.
Given the fact it stars Keri Russell, there was never a doubt people were going to watch. She’s an incredibly talented actress and was amazing for years in “The Americans.”
There’s a serious argument to be made her performance as Elizabeth Jennings for six seasons on the FX series was among the best performances of the past 25 years.
Is “The Diplomat” worth watching?
It’s very easy to understand why Netflix chose her to lead “The Diplomat.” The series follows American ambassador to England Kate Wyler (Russell) as she attempts to navigate the response to an attack on a British ship that left 41 dead. With her husband Hal (played by the great Rufus Sewell) by her side, Kate must do her best to stop WWIII from starting.
The premise is pretty engaging and fun. There are many suspects who could have pulled off the attack, and America feels compelled to back up its greatest ally in whatever the response might be.
There’s just one problem. Nothing is as it seems. Nothing can be trusted, including those closest to Kate Wyler.
The show is shockingly accurate when it comes to the geopolitical issues at play when an attack from an unidentified culprit is carried out. Do you strike the country you think sponsored it? Do you strike mercenaries? Are sanctions the only option? Is WWIII a real option? The series was also filmed after the invasion of Ukraine. That means the information in it is impressively up to date when it comes to what’s happening around the world.
For political junkies, there’s plenty in “The Diplomat” to keep you interested and engaged.
It’s not all positives when it comes to the series.
While there are a lot of positives for “The Diplomat,” there are also some clear negatives. Specifically, it’s unbelievably cringe at times.
Early in the series, a main theme is how Kate Wyler can’t get any proper respect because she’s a woman married to a man much more successful by all metrics. It’s an unbelievably forced narrative at times.
Nobody cares if you’re a man or woman. Can you get the job done? In matters of life and death, people just want to make sure the apocalypse doesn’t happen.
As I said to someone Thursday night while watching the finale, “The Diplomat” is similar enough to “The Americans” for Keri Russell, but it’s injected with completely unnecessary preaching at times. Viewers got none of that in the FX spy series. I have no idea why it had to be injected into the Netflix show.
It’s definitely not enough to make you turn it off, but there are more than a few moments when I found myself rolling my eyes.
Overall, “The Diplomat” is definitely worth watching if you’re a fan of political thrillers or Keri Russell’s work. She’s outrageously talented. The show is definitely not nearly as good as “The Americans,” but she still shines more than enough to justify your attention. It’s just a damn shame the writers couldn’t chill out with some of the cringe moments. If all those had been cut, the series would really be fire. It’s still worth watching, but be warned there are some moments you have to suffer through. Now, we sit and wait for season two. Let’s hope the positives remain and the bad gets left on the cutting room floor!