The Diplomat


The Diplomat
Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer.

Release Date: 2023-04-20
Original Language: English
User Score: 7.430/10 (186 votes)
Popularity: 71.235
Genres: Drama, War & Politics
Where to watch: US US / United States:Netflix, Netflix basic with AdsNetflix basic with Ads

Overview: In the midst of an international crisis, a career diplomat lands in a high-profile job she’s unsuited for, with tectonic implications for her marriage and her political future.

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A Review by jw
Written on 2023-04-25

**Watch it now** "The Diplomat" is the best thing to watch in April 2023; and I'm being specific about the when, because this is one of the very rare cases in which the political situation _today_ is both correctly presented and an important part of the plot. An ambassador couple for arabic-and-middle-east-fuss is pulled in to current dramatic developments, and must do their best, and then some, to keep the situation from escalating even further. The mix of real-life politics, power dynamics, couple dynamics, quick dialogues, cunning trickery and intrigues, psychological games and the instable balances of everything in between work really well. I have rarely seen an couple like the Wylers since the Powell/Loy 1930's Thin Man movies. And should there be a second season, I'm very curious about Hal's dark secret. Yes, it is a fantasy; but the real-world context adds a lot of spice. The serious topics are peppered with dry humour, wrangling, moments of vivid characterizations; and most of all: it is quick. It moves fast, as the real actors in real life must do in crises. You don't have time for perfection, but you must achieve success, or else lots of people die. The tone keeps the balance between the pressure, and the human side. I strongly recommend this series, with two caveats. One, the core character is annoying and highly unrealistic, but that is the setup of the entire thing: she is a misfit in this environment. Two, "diversity". Ronnie is a pleasant part of the cast, and although I'm afraid someone did a "representation casting" here - the character and performance work really well. But when it came to colour of skin, the casting department was overzealous, and that bothers. It makes perfect sense individually - siblings having the same colour of skin, and the Park/Hayford couple is a nice counter to the Wyler couple. A black Foreign Secretary, any time - David Gyasi brings all the right bearing and demeanor, it is entirely convincing. But a PoC running for PM in the UK? Which party? With ~3% of population, that's not "representation"; it sticks out, and would've been a bigger issue than the series allows it to be. And the moment the core characters are together in the same room, half of them are black. That's not representation, far from it - that is a visualization of the right-wing fears of being overrun. Not helpful. (Asians? Indian heritage? UK got many qualified people of those ethnicities. If "diversity" is to be achieved by colour of skin, there was a solid alternative.) The small bit of PC nonsense aside, this is a good series. It is intelligent, well-written, contemporary, dramatic, with some realism to it, beautiful locations, nimble and clever dialogue. Watch it while it's fresh!

A Review by Peter McGinn
Written on 2023-04-30

When I started watching this Netflix series, I thought I was watching the 2023 British series with the exact same title. I quickly realized I was wrong, as that series involves a more regional story of a diplomat who assists British citizens who get into trouble in Barcelona. This version, of course, involves world politics at the highest echelons. In any case, this series grabbed me and hung on for dear life. It’s rapid fire dialogue and conflict reminded me of The West Wing, and that is not a bad thing. There are a lot of balls in the air here, plot wise, so you shouldn’t watch it too close to nap time, if such a thing exists for you. The fifty minutes episodes seem about fifteen minutes long, so don’t be shocked if you binge-watch it. It felt to me like they saved too much for the final cliffhanger scene, considering that Netflix still hasn’t announced a second season. But it seems likely there will be ione, since the streaming g service indicates this was the favorite program of views right now, I will look forward to seeing it.



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