The Diplomat: Full Season
April 22, 2023 9:30 PM - Season 1 (Full Season) - Subscribe

In the midst of an international crisis, Kate Wyler a career diplomat lands in a high-profile job for which she was not suited, with tectonic implications for her marriage and her political future.

I'm not one to worry about spoilers but if you haven't seen this, the twists are so much fun, well just close this window now. Full season on Netflix.
posted by sammyo (44 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Just a fun, snarky, international romp in the Court of St James. I'm impatient for S2 already. There are transparent representation of folks in office now with quite opinionated plot points, character deconstructionisn destruction, oh so funny power politics, insane arrogance about being the smartest gal in the room, justifiably, sexual innuendos blatantly delivering pheromones via subversive digital smellovision. Good fun all around.
posted by sammyo at 9:39 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]

Much as I love The Americans, it was fun seeing Keri Russell play a lighter character.
posted by kingless at 5:45 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]

With all the comparisons being made to the West Wing, Veep, and even Homeland, I'm surprised the reviews I've read never mentioned Madame Secretary, which is an even closer parallel. But maybe that show just came and went with very little cultural impact.

Keri Russell was definitely the highlight of the show, but it was a solid well-paced eight episode season and I enjoyed it for what it was.
posted by Pryde at 8:58 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]

So many walk and talks!
posted by ltl at 12:54 PM on April 23 [4 favorites]

Just finished episode three and damn, I want another eight episodes in production NOW! Keri and Rufus are just so much fun. It doesn't have the gravitas of The Americans and that's OK. There were moments in ep 3 that had me howling.
posted by Ber at 1:03 PM on April 23 [3 favorites]

For all the mentions of Ukraine and Russia during the season, the conflict didn't feel immediate or present though it's explicit that it's about a year after the invasion started.

On a meta level that's totally understandable since it was filmed between April and September, and the writers would have no way to know where things would stand by the time it was released, but it felt awkwardly tied to ongoing events while needing to keep details that would be very relevant to the plot so vague.
posted by Pryde at 1:36 PM on April 23

I've found the dialogue a bit off. And too hard to work out what qualities put her in line to be VP. They addressed that to some extent in episode 3 but not totally convincingly. And they balanced that out with some domestic violence for laughs.
posted by biffa at 4:24 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed it. I liked that the writers clearly consulted with actual Foreign Service Officers and therefore diplomatic culture was on point.

The lingo was mostly right - RSO, wife, tandem couple, trailing spouse, DCM. Kate wouldn't ask for CIA, there's a different term, but that's a nitpick.

And there are definitely cultural differences between career and appointed Ambassadors, and there are FSOs like Kate who seek out dangerous posts to really dig in to policy and those who seek the more stereotypical life of events and speeches.

(I was a trailing spouse for a few years. Yes, I loathed the term. )
posted by champers at 4:04 AM on April 24 [8 favorites]

(Up to episode 4) It is tight, twisty, clever, funny, surprising: wholly enjoyable if you like this kind of thing. I especially like the psycho-narcissist husband, a great bad-guy - and how she warns everyone from the git-go that he's trouble and then his shitty-ness gets developed further and further and we see more and more clearly what a P.o.S. he is and the many ways he is.
posted by From Bklyn at 7:50 AM on April 24

Okay, I just got a chance to watch the first episode. I can't believe how terrible that dress is that they chose for the photo shoot. I get that she's not a fussy, dress person, but Pipa (or whoever) should have taken one look at the way that was rolling over her stomach and nixed it right on the spot. It defeats the whole purpose of dressing the ambassador up to look an elegant princess. Not to mention, the way the sleeves attached to the bodice--those aren't waving sleeves. And the shoes she took off weren't block heels, even though she said she was going to change into chunkier heels. Major fail all around on the style front.

Fashion critique aside, I'm looking forward to the next episode and the rest of the series and all kinds of political backstabbing and machinations.
posted by sardonyx at 9:06 PM on April 24 [2 favorites]

That's interesting, Bklyn. I didn't finish the series with the impression that Hal was a psychopath, although I may be carrying biases.

Kate and Hal are clearly both smart and competent, but he's far more pragmatic, charismatic, gregarious and duplicitous: much more likely to act on impulse, far less heedful of consequences, and blunt to the point of brutality. But it's also clear that he sincerely loves his wife, and wants her to succeed. I can see how they would have made a great team (and still do, when they're not working at cross-purposes).

Kate is far more empathetic: she shows deep concern for the Afghans left behind after the US withdrawal, and continues to work on getting them out while she's stationed in London, while Hal has left the situation behind him. But without Hal's improvisations, it's probable that the intelligence on Iran might never have started to unravel.

I see Hal as making the necessary but risky moves that Kate is unwilling or unable to execute. I also think that Kate's suspicions of her husband in the last episode were probably misplaced.

I really liked the diversity in the series, and the locations were great. I'm a little surprised that Netflix didn't add "Comedy" to the "Drama / Thriller" categorization of The Diplomat: some of the scenes were laugh-out-loud funny, reminding me very much of In the Loop. Most of the episodes were written by women: not surprisingly, showrunner Debora Cahn was a writer/producer on both Homeland and The West Wing.

I thought the final twist at the end was clearly telegraphed from at least the second episode, and that Kate kept making unforced errors that any experienced diplomat would have instinctively avoided, but overall I enjoyed the series a great deal, binging it in two days. I really hope they make the second season with the same writers!
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:53 PM on April 24 [3 favorites]

I'm a little surprised that Netflix didn't add "Comedy" to the "Drama / Thriller" categorization of The Diplomat

Agreed. I'd took took the series as primarily comic in a similar way to The Recruit. Both hilarious absurdist comedy.
posted by juiceCake at 8:02 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]

(Having watched to the end, now)
Yeah, he's a jerk. I understand: I also think that Kate's suspicions of her husband in the last episode were probably misplaced. And that is a point on which the next season could turn. I think I associate the character of Hal with any of a number of other 'high- power' people who are terrible to the people nearest to them and, well, I'm not on their side.

A super satisfying show, though. I very much look forward to season 2.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:32 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

I very much enjoyed this and I kinda bounced off of The Americans.

This was fun, pretty tight ("Oh competency porn is Tight!!"), and kept moving. If I had a nickel for every time the Americans either
  1. abandoned the narrative and failed to fill a plot hole but had another sex scene instead or
  2. seemed to forget that the main characters have kids for an extended period of time
Well I'd have a lot of nickels and didn't get past season 2.

Don't get me wrong - I have nothing against sex, violence or other commonly objectionable material when I'm watching tv... just wtf keeps happening to the narrative? It's clear the production team want there to be an engaging narrative... but just don't seem capable of keeping the thread from breaking.

I dunno - this was very much in my wheelhouse, The Americans was not.
posted by mce at 7:35 PM on April 30 [1 favorite]

As of watching the first two episodes:

Wow, Hal is like, a walking drama bomb. Like, good lord, is he helping or hurting or who the hell knows what?! She talks about having him gone and you can tell somehow that everyone knows that she's never gonna leave him, especially when she was all snuggly after his kidnapping/"pull aside" in episode 2. Hal sounds like he's utterly charming and drives everyone butt-ass-crazy, acts like he's doing the job still even though he seems to have been fired, and he literally sniffs his wife's crotch on television. What the heck is this?!

And meanwhile Kate is frazzled AF, not at all interested in dressing up (lying around in her slip with her sexy bare legs on the stairs, though?), her hair just looks .... like she's tired, I guess? Like she gets around to washing it weekly? Has a no-makeup look even when supposedly made up for Vogue, and also, since when does anyone put an ambassador on Vogue?
You also get the feeling even though most of these people are new to her, everyone has that feeling of "she's never gonna leave him" (I laughed at that one lady on the phone being "good for you!") already. She seems good at her job, if her damn husband wasn't stealing a cop car and making the media and whatever else he's doing.

...I have no clue on the politics of what is going on here. But I'm in tech week for a show now and thus my brains are gonna fly out the window and I'm not sure why I chose to start watching this now with my last few hours of time off :P

"Shooting the shit with Nicol fucking Trickle." *snerk*
"I've been floated for VP. There are a lot of bad fucking ideas floating around today."

Yeah, since when is some diplomat/diplomat's wife being floated for vice president? How do they know they are dumping the VP in six months? This is also weird.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:20 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

I did not expect discussions of "floss" and "ass-thong" and panty lines on the VP to be a Thing here, and yet they are. Like... I.just get thicker clothes?! Or boxer shorts?! Or a slip?!
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:46 PM on April 30

And now she's literally beating him up in the bushes while two guys watch with binoculars wondering if they should bother to do something. "We're her detail, not his." "Not going well for him, is it?" "THIS MARRIAGE IS KILLING ME!!!!!!!" Oh, could you please speak to the president right now?!?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:52 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

Episode 4: "You're a grown up foreign relations officer and you're spending a LOT of time on my marriage, and my clothes." TRUE DAT.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:37 PM on April 30 [4 favorites]

I chortled at the "marriage and clothes" line, but yes, it rang true. (Note: My ex-husband is a diplomat.)

Diplomats, particularly ambassadors, are public figures, and they're fairly heavily scrutinized. As are their spouses.

I remember at my second posting, the Ambassador was having his Residence remodeled, and it was indeed a tizzy.

There was rampant discussion and speculation about curtains, what his "houseguest' (domestic partner) thought of the curtains, and discussion of how we the community would discuss the curtains with outsiders in case they found the curtains too ostentatious.

And this wasn't a large, high profile post like London.

Essentially, diplomatic circles are kinda like Hollywood, only with more rules and less money.
posted by champers at 7:30 AM on May 1 [4 favorites]

Despite some ridiculous, over-the-top moments, I loved it. Good insights into the intimacies of marriage (who do you trust to sniff your pits and tell you the truth? And he eats a muffin and leaves half of it because she'll eat that, whereas she won't eat a fresh one herself) in its many permutations over time. A grownup show! When the assistant brings a hairbrush and just leaves it on the desk, hah. But I loved it that Kate has real brains, and knows how to use 'em. Looking forward to Season 2 ASAP.
posted by tizzie at 1:18 PM on May 2 [5 favorites]

It's no The Americans, but it's entertaining enough.

I kinda get why one might keep the awful husband around - he's a loose cannon who gets results, an asset as much as a liability. And while she often disagrees with him about the means, they do seem to be on the same side regarding the ends, which does matter, after all. You do get the sense that they share certain core values. So keeping him around is a high risk, high reward strategy.

It also seems like she's living a bit vicariously through him - she's so very restrained (as signified for instance by the eating disorder), and in a way he's a permission mechanism, sabotaging the restaint, and at the same time a cautionary tale, justifying the restraint. Maybe he's her Jungian shadow, doing what she doesn't allow herself to do. I also kinda get how you might love someone while not at all trusting them, and that always makes for an interesting dynamic.

He still has to go - I'm on episode four - at least for a while, because I ship Kate with the State secretary.

Competence porn, for sure, but I'm so jaded about politics at this point that it's starting to break my suspension of disbelief. People are all so professional, focussed on the task at hand. Sure, there may be some personal vanity involved on occasion, but the show does a good job showing how seemingly frivolous things can be valid concerns when you're in the business of reputation management. (Kate acknowledges that the presidend is right to worry about looking old and weak - there's an undeniable cost to it, it's just that the cost of a show of strength would be higher in this particular case). And sure, people fuck up, but so far all the fuck ups are the sort you easily might make when you have to make quick decisions based on insufficient information, and it's often easy to see how every alternative option could have led to something disastrous just as well. It want to see some unforced errors!

But unforced errors are made at one's leisure, which no one has in this show and that brings me to my main issue: pacing and stakes. Which are too fast, and the high, respectively, for my taste. I tend to prefer the sort of character study, where characters get some room to breathe (and rope to hang themselves with; for that, you gotta cut them some slack). That's what I really loved about the Americans, where the pace could ramp up to nail-biting degrees at the drop of a hat, but also linger, allow for a slow, downright torturous build-up of tension, for treacherous lulls in the action, a temptation to succumb to the lure of mundanity, the American dream in suburbia, a false sense of security. You might easily lose track of something, that would later come back to bite you in the ass, which added to the suspense, and made the sudden eruptions of violence, always simmering below the surface, seem more shocking and at the same time more inevitable, less contrived. I always kinda had to steel myself to watch the Americans and would be left reeling for a while after a lot of episodes.

Well, this is more of a comedy, but the pace for me is is too constant, I guess.

I'm also not sure that I buy into the central thesis as formulated by the awful husband, that the person most suited for power is the one being thrust into it by circumstances instead of actively seeking it out. It's a very popular sentiment (why the hero first has to refuse the call), but a bit too romantic for my taste. I mean, obviously you'd want someone in power who sees power only as a means to an end - to protect, to promote - and not as an end in itself. But that's seems less about "wanting power" vs "not wanting power" and more about what precisely one might want the power for. And personally, I do actually feel more comfortable with someone in power who does care enough about power to study it, to find out how it works and how it doesn't work in any given situation, and can hold onto it long enough to actually implement an actual reform. Being naive about power has never helped any cause.

For what it's worth, I do think that both Hal and Kate actually care very much about power in this way. But right now, they both would rather be the power behind the throne, and that's not gonna work, because someone also has to sit on it. I mean, Kate would argueably still be a power behind the throne as a VP, but one suspects that Hal's idea is more about Kate pulling the president's strings, and Hal pulling Kate's. It's a good conflict!

Anyways, I would have always watched this for Kerri Russel no matter what, and would certainly watch another season as well.
posted by sohalt at 4:30 AM on May 4 [3 favorites]

I'm also not sure that I buy into the central thesis as formulated by the awful husband, that the person most suited for power is the one being thrust into it by circumstances instead of actively seeking it out.

Douglas Adams: “The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

I actually kinda agree with Douglas Adams on this one: those who want the power, control and authority are probably going to be terrible/assholes/powermongering, etc. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. You'd probably get better leadership from people who categorically don't want to lead, except for the part where they don't wanna lead and are being forced into a job they hate. Also a concern of mine, having had "absolute power corrupts" DRILLED INTO MY HEAD WITH ANVILS DROPPED ON IT throughout high school, is that if you take a good person and give them big shot power, how long do they stay a good person? Or do they become an asshole? It's why I've always avoided even a tiny taste of yummy yummy power in my life, I'm afraid I'd become a corrupted asshole if I could actually get people to listen to me and do what I say. (That and also people wouldn't listen to me if I had a gun to their heads, so it probably would not work out. I don't have the right packaging for people to listen to me.)

VP's don't really have power behind the throne unless the president dies/allows them to have more power. I dunno if Kate would really be "in power" in more than name only unless that happens. VP's complain that the job is pointless for a reason.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:43 PM on May 4 [2 favorites]

You'd probably get better leadership from people who categorically don't want to lead, except for the part where they don't wanna lead and are being forced into a job they hate

Sure, that's the idea, that's how the stories always go, but do we actually have an empirical evidence for this? in my career, people who ended up in leadership roles quasi by default, because there was just no one else who wanted it, were not always more competent and accountable. For me, not wanting power often reads like not wanting responsibility. If you take responsiblity, you should want it, I think.

VP's don't really have power behind the throne unless the president dies/allows them to have more power.

Yeah, I definitely think that VEEP is more realistic in that regard, but I can accept that as a bit of poetic licencse taken by the show. I think the show wants us to believe that VP could be an influential position.
posted by sohalt at 1:11 PM on May 5 [2 favorites]

I just finished ep8 this morning and this is the worst kind of cliffhanger — it’s not just that I don’t know what happened next, I also do not understand what just happened.

A wild thing about this show is how much human messiness is on display. And I mean that in a literal, biological sense. Sweat, peeing, menstrual blood, there aren’t visuals but it makes its way into dialogue and I’m having a hard time of thinking of other places in television where I’ve seen that, outside of gross-out comedies.

In general I think the engine that drove this show for me was contradiction. I wanted to see more to understand this disheveled woman and her complicated marriage, obviously crumbling on very unusual fault lines while holding steady on the usual ones, and to learn why people in a famously buttoned-up sector think she is someone they might need. Sometimes contradiction just looks like sloppy writing, but here it somehow gives the show a texture I found just totally delightful.

Another thing I loved is the easy diversity of the cast. There’s a tiny dapper enby! A black DCM as tall as a Dutchman! An extremely snarky Asian spy! I’m sort of mentally comparing this to the West Wing and feeling retrospectively embarrassed by its whiteness.

More please, Netflix!
posted by eirias at 4:34 AM on May 6 [11 favorites]

I’m only three episodes in, so avoided reading most of the posts here for fear of spoilers. So far this is probably the worst programme I have seen for a while. (Since whenever I watched Anatomy Of A Scandal basically).

Daft politics, an annoying main character, and stuffed full of unintentional silliness. The scene in episode three where she assaults her husband, rolls around in the dirt as she tries to bash him with a branch, then goes to see the president with leaves and mud on her and everyone is “well, we are losing the vice-president as her husband is dodgy, and your husband is the dodgiest man in Washington and you’ve just domestically abused him, that’s the sort of moxy we like, no notes” is just terrible. The military funeral with the ranks of coffins felt incredibly off, as the programme is so cartoonishly broad that it hasn’t earned the right to try and generate the emotional response it was going for. Real Jerry Lewis The Day The Clown Cried stuff.

I’ll probably carry on for a bit as I suffer from completionism but yeesh.
posted by Hartster at 6:11 AM on May 6

Just from a writing standpoint, that first episode is an absolute masterclass in how to write a pilot. There's SO much information we need to come up to speed on quickly so we can keep up with the pace. We need to understand what various schemes are in play, who of the sprawling cast is involved in which ones, who does and doesn't know what, what their various agendas are, how those agendas and their knowledge or lack of knowledge influence their actions. It should be bewildering. And yet it isn't, and somehow it's all done through characterization and conflict and you never feel like you're being spoonfed backstory, even when you are. Absolutely brilliantly done.

Add to that, the first three episodes at least are a hell of a lot of fun into the bargain, and I'm very impressed.
posted by Naberius at 11:09 AM on May 7 [6 favorites]

I really enjoyed this. Very entertaining. Someone on my social media just described it as “fascinating” AS IF IT WERE REAL. Terrifying, but not the fault of the show.
posted by snofoam at 12:57 PM on May 7 [1 favorite]

Just finished this and yeah, I really enjoyed it. These types of shows aren't really my bag, but this one moved at a nice pace, had enough comic relief and yet was tautly suspenseful, all while being plausible in 2023. I'm excited for a second season, let's just hope that shows like this don't get eaten by the writers' strike.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:12 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]

Episode 5: if Kate doesn't get laid, she gets surly and that's bad for America! Meanwhile, British hottie is single....Yes, that is the hubby suggesting consensual polyamory, I think.

Also, husband strips naked and swims with someone's sister. Hey Kate, you wanted him to cheat on you....wish granted!...sorta....he says "everything but." Why?

"I'm tragically devoted to my wife" and "the machinery doesn't really function with anyone else."

Then he TELLS HIS WIFE, "I got my dick handled by a nubile thing." She responds to this by talking about work.

Back at work: "It sounds like you wanna bomb something. Why don't we do that?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:19 PM on May 10 [3 favorites]

Episode six: Kate drinks old booze, barges into Austin's room late at night asking him to partner and that we make a great team, he thinks it's a sexual come-on, she wants him to call somebody on business.

"Did you hurl yourself down a staircase to avoid doing a three-minute oral presentation?"
"We need to bomb something that smells like herring."
"Go on, be a darling, let me crash your car."
"I didn't fly nine hours to play lawn croquet with Nicol Trickle while Kate Wyler does the real work."
"...and I said, Mr. Secretary, what the oozing fuck is that?"
"That means, this is the one time you get to break shit."
"So Stuart will lubricate."
"Well, you hate me, I'm still sitting on your bed."
"The document you got five minutes ago is out of date."
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:54 PM on May 11 [5 favorites]

Episode 7: Kate goes back to the US and stains her pants.

"What happened with Ganon?" "He's a fuck face."
"Sweetheart, it's fucking classified."
"Don't look at me like I'm being a shit."
"Now we're getting dry-buggered and told it's love."
"I didn't tell him I stood there in the Oval Office like a fucking MORON while Ganon drove a tractor over my face."

I do not understand a lick of the politics--I'm reading Wikipedia summaries and I still don't get it--but they sure do have fun lines on this show. And sex.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:43 PM on May 11 [2 favorites]

Episode 8:

"Staff learns to talk fast, reduce complexity into a phrase someone can memorize while they're peeing.... Nobody wants to be briefed. You have to chase them into the toilet."
"Look, I'm not fucking anyone, I'm a trophy wife."
"I'm not walking on the Seine and bitching to you about my marriage."
"A dead Lenkov is only good for the people who hired him."

I'm annoyed that all dialogue is cut out by music at the end.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:26 AM on May 12 [2 favorites]

It's not really relevant to the plot (or is it?), but casting Rory Kinnear as the PM when he's played the role of PM previously in the 1st episode of Black Mirror (where he has sex with a pig), is one hell of a choice.
posted by LionIndex at 9:18 AM on May 12 [9 favorites]

‘Preposterous’ but ‘loved’ it: A guide to Netflix’s ‘The Diplomat’

We fact checked the first episode of @netflix's The Diplomat and the amount they got right might surprise you.

NYT: A popular show on Netflix is about the glamorous job of a U.S. ambassador. But is it true to reality?

A Vogue photo shoot: Multiple former ambassadors said the racks of outfits in the show were unrealistic. “Who’s paying for all these clothes?” wondered Vicki Huddleston, a former U.S. ambassador to Mali and Madagascar. Huddleston did once pose for a photo shoot — for The Times. In the photograph that accompanies the article, Huddleston said, she wore her own dress.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:13 AM on May 15 [2 favorites]

I like that the writer clearly spent a lot of time doing the research: that clearly covers the language, events and concerns of the US diplomatic service in London - and the position of the UK in terms of its constituent nations and post-Brexit international politics... but then they put in all the comedy, relationship drama, and action on top of this. So the show is sort of silly and fun - but also can sound spot on in terms of political points it references. That won't appeal to somebody who likes a pure show of one sort or another - but it is great if you are willing to go with it.

I liked Trowbridge's role here. Competency porn for sure in comparison with any recent incumbents to the PM role. Also the scene with the Russian ambassador who talks while passing Kate notes.
posted by rongorongo at 11:35 PM on May 15 [6 favorites]

This show was a lot of fun. Glad we're likely getting a 2nd season. It is a bonkers soap opera with fun casting and a nice dash of international scheming and competence porn.

Kinda hoping Hal got exploded, because he's tedious and foreign minister is hot, but I'm sure he'll pull through because a soap opera loves a love triangle.

My favorite part is how we know Kate is a no nonsense salt of the earth type because they let Keri Russell's famously amazing hair look slightly greasy.

I find it hilarious that post Americans Keri Russell gets type cast as competent figure of international intrigue with a troubled but passionate marriage, while Matthew Rhys is over in Perry Mason being typecast as disillusioned sad sack. I enjoy all these shows, to be clear.

It took me a couple episodes to remember what I'd seen Rory Kinnear in recently, but once I did I would quite like Bonnet and Blackbeard to come murder him.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:45 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]

Wow, I LOVED this. It filled a Succession-sized hole in my life with people who aren’t horrible. As Naberius points out, it grabs you right away, throws you into this chaotic, fast-paced story and yet we always know who everybody is and immediately get what’s going on when plot reveals happen. The two main couples’ relationships and how they negotiate working together is fascinating. The Foreign Secretary distractingly reminds me of Denzil Washington.

So, Kate’s been Ambassador for what, two weeks?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:59 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]

Just finished watching ep8 last night. Loved it. The cast is great all the way down the line—perhaps I still associate Micheal McKean too strongly with David St Hubbins to take him seriously as president—but that's not on him. The dialog is great. The script printouts must be huge, because this show seems to have half again as many lines as most. The attention to detail with little stuff like the muffin halves is great. I did laugh a little at the studiously disheveled hair that both Kate and Eidra were always sporting, to drive home "I'm a busy woman with more important things to do than drag a brush through my hair."

The competing agendas and the contortions that Kate goes through to try to reconcile them may or may not be realistic but seems believable and definitely keeps things interesting; they did a good job of setting up the boffo season finale with the PM's apparent capriciousness and headstrong attitude. They start off with a lot of balls in the air and keep adding to them, which feels unrealistic, but does keep the story moving along.
posted by adamrice at 9:02 AM on July 22

> perhaps I still associate Micheal McKean too strongly with David St Hubbins to take him seriously as president

I thought "President Lenny?!?" because I am old. But I appreciated that, because I hadn't realized it was a comedy and that clued me in.

I loved this show so much! I don't care how unrealistic it is, e.g. a career diplomat being the Ambassador to the UK, or how clean and minimalist everyone's apartments are, or the complete lack of children. In fact, I like all those qualities about the show.

I can't handle the ending, though! Who died? Is it anyone I care about?
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:18 PM on July 25

Who died? Is it anyone I care about?

Cliffhanger, tune in to season 2: The Diplomat's Revenge.
posted by sammyo at 5:36 AM on July 26 [1 favorite]

Diplomat 2: Diplo Matter
posted by Etrigan at 7:50 AM on July 26 [3 favorites]

Just finished this and gotta say it was a bit tough watching it slow. Hard to follow if you're not bingeing it. I like complicated TV and this show is too complicated for its own good. There's so many major plots going on: the Russian attack on the British military and the British response, British internal political drama, American political drama, Kate's job as diplomat, Kate's relationships with Hal and Dennison, Kate's being groomed as VP, Hal and the Secretary of State job, Hayford and Park's relationship, ... I think if I were cutting some things I'd cut all the American stuff, the VP and the Secretary of State, leave that as some vague potential prize that ups the stakes for Kate and Hal without details.

The dialog is sure snappy though and the characters are fun. I really liked Kate and Hal's relationship, Hal's awfulness yet she can't quit him.

As for Michael McKean, President McGill makes perfect sense. Can't wait for the inevitable Billy Carter reference with his no good brother Saul.
posted by Nelson at 1:45 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

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