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Netflix renews The Diplomat for a second season

The Diplomat will pick up after the first season’s shocking cliffhanger

Keri Russell and Rufus Sewell sit next to each other on a fancy couch while holding drinks and wearing black in The Diplomat. Photo: Alex Bailey/Netflix
Pete Volk (he/they) is Polygon’s Senior Curation Editor, with a particular love for action and martial arts movies.

Between The Night Agent and The Diplomat, it’s been a good year for breezy, plot-heavy Netflix political-thriller series. The former was a massive hit for the streaming service and was quickly renewed, and now the latter has also picked up a second season, Netflix announced Monday.

In The Diplomat, Keri Russell stars as Kate Wyler, a career diplomat gearing up for a tough but exciting assignment in Afghanistan. At the last moment, she’s informed she will instead be appointed as the new US Ambassador to the United Kingdom – in part because of a terrorist plot that blew up a British ship, but also because of the schemes of her wily husband, Hal (Rufus Sewell), another career diplomat.

Created by The West Wing and Homeland’s Debora Cahn, The Diplomat is twisty, and full of fast-paced political intrigue, ending on an absolutely shocking reveal that the second season will no doubt spend significant time unpacking. But the show really works because of the performances of its two leads.

Keri Russell walks down an extravagant staircase while wearing a fancy beige-ish dress in The Diplomat. Photo: Alex Bailey/Netflix

Russell, who also co-produces, has anchored political-thriller shows before, including FX’s fantastic series The Americans, and brings an exuberant energy to the highly competent and occasionally overeager Kate. She is in an antagonistic (but often supportive) relationship with her husband and is highly resistant to her new job, usually reserved for American businessmen who get the post in exchange for their financial support of politicians. It’s an adjustment for all involved: She’s not used to the ceremony of the role, while the people supporting her aren’t used to an ambassador who actually takes the job seriously.

Sewell is also terrific as her troublemaking husband, alternatively supportive and devious, and their complicated relationship occasionally brings a sense of playfulness to the plot-rich series.

“I am thrilled to be headed back for another round of this smart screwball show. Dare I say it’s fun?,” Russell said in a statement. “Thank you Netflix for giving us another shot.”

Netflix says The Diplomat had 57.48 million hours viewed and was in the Top 10 in 86 different countries during its first weekend on the platform. No word yet on when Season 2 will premiere.

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