‘The Diplomat’ Review: Save the Marriage, Save the World

‘The Diplomat’ Review: Save the Marriage, Save the World


Keri Russell stars in a Netflix political thriller that doubles as a high-style romantic comedy.

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By Mike Hale

Debora Cahn most recently served as an executive producer and writer on “Homeland.” Keri Russell most famously played a hyper-efficient assassin on “The Americans.” Their collaboration in the new Netflix series “The Diplomat” — Cahn created it, Russell stars — would lead you to expect something dark, violent and complicated.

But a look further back in Cahn’s history shows that she started her career with a long run as a writer and producer on “The West Wing.” And that’s the spirit she’s brought to “The Diplomat,” a political thriller laced with romance and written, with some success, in an Aaron Sorkinesque high-comic, high-velocity style.

So you would be right about complicated, at least. Geopolitical crises and amorous complications are thick on the ground, intertwining and constantly morphing in ways that can be hard to follow. (The serial twists and breathless explanations both contribute to and help to obscure the plot-greasing implausibilities necessary for a show that puts earthshaking events in a comic framework.)

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