By Melanie Mayberry, programming editor
Netflix tomorrow (April 20) will debut a new political drama, The Diplomat, starring Keri Russell of The Americans. The show will put Russell back in the political/espionage arena where she flourished during her six-year run as a Russian spy in FX’s The Americans. Netflix has released the first trailer for The Diplomat and it shows Russell’s character, the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, dealing with both international and martial crises. Looks good, but what are the critics saying? According to the early reviews, the show will be a big hit.
Here’s a summary of some of the top reviews. Click on each link to read more of the review.
“It’s good, smart, well-built, well-acted, well-written television. It isn’t what you’d call cinematic; it’s far more interested in its story than its form. But episode by episode, it builds that story into something exciting and suspenseful — and thoughtful, too. It’s a thriller that’s both a good yarn and an examination of the capacity of good and careful work to actually solve problems. And if that’s not thrilling, what is?” — NPR.
“Everything in The Diplomat gives the impression of being thoroughly researched and accurately reproduced — production designer Chris Roope’s re-creation of locations like ambassadorial residence Winfield House and the American embassy in London is exceptional — without ever letting accuracy supersede entertainment.: — The Hollywood Reporter.
“Sometime during episode 3 of “The Diplomat,” a character puts the show’s entire premise in the proverbial nutshell: “Can you imagine hiring someone for a key governing position just because you think they’d be good at it?” What could possibly go wrong? Plenty” is the answer to the second question in what is a mischievously clever, amusing and absorbing eight-part Netflix series created by Debora Cahn (“Fosse/Verdon”).” — The Wall Street Journal.
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“The Diplomat does a tremendous job of juggling highly political insider jargon with just enough episodic character building, so as to not show all of its cards at once. Instead, Russell, Cahn, and company keep viewers hanging on to see which hand it will deal next. The series is a tough nut to crack at first, and many will find that exterior completely impenetrable. This is not a 1.5x speed background watch. But once you remember that every line in an esoteric drama like this isn’t supposed to make sense the moment it falls out of someone’s mouth, The Diplomat transforms from palatable to remarkable.” — The Daily Beast.
“The Diplomat maintains a crackerjack pace as its season plays out, with new issues quickly arising to complicate each solution arrived at by the characters. Instead of unfolding in an action movie hyper-reality a la “24,” however, there’s an attempt to ground the proceedings in something at least real world adjacent, which makes the heated discussions between invested parties feel so much more pressing as the season builds to a climax.” — San Francisco Chronicle.
“The Diplomat Gives Keri Russell the Meaty Post-Americans Role She Deserves” — Rolling Stone.
“We’re only a minute or two into the first scene between Keri Russell as Kate Wyler and Rufus Sewell as her husband Hal in the Netflix limited series “The Diplomat” when we’re sure of it: These two are magnetic together. They could be the anchors for a multi-season run of an instantly engrossing, beautifully filmed, sharply written and wonderfully acted political drama.” — The Chicago Sun-Times.
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