Review | ‘The Diplomat’: A drama as engrossing as it is confusing



“The Diplomat” season 1 was released on April 20.

By Lika Lezhava, Editor-in-Chief

** This review may contain spoilers **

“The Diplomat” is one of those confusing shows that you can’t look away from. With only one season on Netflix and the second season already confirmed, you may find yourself watching it all in a day and realizing that you have to wait months for more. 

Although the show is quite entertaining, it can be a bit hard to follow. The viewer never really knows what the story is about. Is it about women’s empowerment? Is it a drama with a love story woven through it? 

In the very first episode we’re introduced to a power couple of international ambassadors, representing different countries, on Capitol Hill. The two are married and fulfill their roles of ambassadors in different time periods. It’s weird. You may find yourself saying “what?” approximately 50 times within the first five minutes. 

As the show moves on, we find ourselves in the United Kingdom, where Kate Wyler — the main character played by Keri Russell — was hired as an ambassador because of an international crisis. Throughout the entire show, it’s unclear exactly what caused the crisis because, really, they haven’t figured it out themselves. 

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It’s at this point when you start to hate both Kate and her husband Hal, played by Rufus Sewell.

Kate never wants to put on a dress and doesn’t care for the British formalities. She is “not like other girls”  and the show really milks it. Although none of us know what it’s like to be an ambassador for a large country — unless you do, which is great — the main character makes it seem like a few photo-ops and some speeches are quite literally the end of the world. 

Then, her husband gets kidnapped. 

Now, you might be asking: “If Hal isn’t the ambassador of the United Kingdom, why is he such a big part of the show?” Well, when anyone hears “Ambassador Wyler,” they immediately think of Hal because he has been an ambassador for other countries for far longer than Kate. Now that Kate is in the spotlight, it seems that he can’t take it and is really just trying to do whatever he can to be the one calling the shots. 

But, guess what? That’s not correct either — because the narrative changes again! 

Turns out they wanted Kate to be the vice president of the United States and that was why they put her in this position in the first place!

The story occasionally meshes together what one would call “work and play.” In some entertainment, this fusion could add to the story and make it more interesting. On “The Diplomat,” when the “play” starts to mesh with the “work,” it gives the impression that it will thicken the plot, but it’s actually not that serious and they just wasted 20 minutes of screen time. 

Though there are flaws — meaning that it’s confusing and you end up rewinding 20 times an episode — the show doesn’t fail to keep you on the edge of your seat. 

There are people dying, fighting and screaming at each other constantly, relationships repeatedly starting and ending without anyone finding out, the girlboss moments where you feel for the main character more than you want to and then the occasional “figuring out how to stop a war from starting” is also thrown in the mix. 

“The Diplomat” is an exciting show that will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. Although it is infuriating at times for the viewer and features some unlikeable characters, it is worth a watch. We will be eagerly awaiting the second season.


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