What is The Diplomat about? Netflix series explained

Keri Russell in The Diplomat on NetflixNetflix

The Diplomat, Netflix’s chart-smashing new political thriller show starring Keri Russell, has arrived – here’s what it’s about, who’s in the cast, and if it’s worth watching.

Netflix has been throwing out some successful thrillers of late, from The Recruit, which was quickly renewed for Season 2, to The Night Agent, also getting the green light for a second run.

And now a new contender for your binging pleasure has entered the mix: The Diplomat. Hailed by Debora Cahn, a writer-producer known for her work on The West Wing and Homeland, the show pits a US ambassador against conflicts at home and abroad on the world stage.

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So, with The Diplomat now sitting at number two in Netflix’s top 10 TV shows chart, you may be wondering: what’s it about and is it worth watching?

What is The Diplomat about?

The Diplomat follows a new US Ambassador to the United Kingdom in a “high-stakes, contemporary political drama about the transcendence and torture of long-term relationships, between countries and people.”

Check out the trailer below:

The official synopsis reads: “Kate Wyler is the new US Ambassador to the United Kingdom. She was supposed to go to Afghanistan. She’s great in a crisis zone. In a historic home… less so.

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“War is brewing on one continent and boiling over on another. Kate will have to diffuse international crises, forge strategic alliances in London, and adjust to her new place in the spotlight — all while trying to survive her marriage to fellow career diplomat and political star Hal Wyler.”

When asked to describe the show in her own words, showrunner Cahn said it’s a “show about long-term relationships, between people and between countries.”

“It’s hard to keep a relationship going over time, be it a marriage or a military alliance. We change, we grow, the world changes, and yet we want these relationships to last. It’s a show about a bunch of good people doing their best to keep their partnerships alive, while trying not to kill each other,” she added in a press release.

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The Diplomat cast: Who’s in it?

The Diplomat cast includes:

  • Keri Russell as Kate Wyler
  • Rufus Sewell as Hal Wyler
  • Ali Ahn as Eidra Graham
  • David Gyasi as Austin Dennison
  • Ato Essandoh as Stuart Heyford
  • Rory Kinnear as Nicol Trowbridge
  • Miguel Sandoval as Miguel Ganon
  • Nana Mensah as Billie Appiah
  • Michael McKean as US President Rayburn

In an interview with Vogue, Russell opened up about what appealed to her about the series. “I wasn’t out hunting for another show,” she said.

Rufus Sewell and Keri Russell in The Diplomat on NetflixNetflix

“I had a really satisfying experience with The Americans, and I have a full life at home. I have kids still in school, and so I tend to just find reasons to not do a show. But I guess it was Debora [Cahn], who wrote the show – her specific brand of acerbic political jargon mixed in with her humor and the fun, sparkly wit that she has.”

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When Sewell received the screenplay for the first episode, he thought it was “one of the best scripts I’d read in a very long time… and this part was exactly, exactly what I wanted to do.”

“This show has been described as various genres, but what struck me about it was the humor, the banter
between the two central characters – my character, Hal, and Keri Russell’s character, Kate – was really
funny and smart, and not something I’d really seen in a thriller before. There’s also a truthfulness to it;
this isn’t a classic TV relationship. It has a reality about it, but also the speed and vim of a screwball
drama, like the kind of movies that I used to love,” he added.

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You can read more about the show’s cast here.

Is The Diplomat worth watching?

The Diplomat has received positive reviews, currently sitting at 85% on Rotten Tomatoes and number one on Netflix’s top 10 TV shows chart.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote: “I like shows of this type most when they have the confidence to actually be about protocol and procedure without narrative lily-gilding, and The Diplomat offers plenty of protocol and procedure to go around.”

However, in a negative review, Collider also wrote: “One just wishes that The Diplomat was sharper and more tactful in this first season as, despite Russell’s strong central performance, it is built upon a house of cards that threatens to collapse under even the slightest bit of scrutiny.”

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You can find out more about The Diplomat here. And check out our other Netflix hubs below:

The Night Agent Season 2 | The Gentlemen | Will there be Firefly Lane Season 3? | Sex Education Season 4 | Beef Season 2 | Monster Season 2 | Will there be Ginny and Georgia Season 3? | Black Mirror Season 6 | All the Light We Cannot See | Stranger Things Season 5 | The Witcher Season 3 | Chicken Run 2 | Heartstopper Season 2 | FUBAR | Florida Man Season 2 | Obsession Season 2 | The Sandman Season 2

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