Review: Ambassadors

Image credit: BBC Press Office

When I heard that Mitchell and Webb were teaming up with Keeley Hawes and James Wood (the writer on Rev), I was incredibly excited. Keeley Hawes has proved she can do comedy in That Mitchell and Webb Look, whilst Rev is currently my favourite British comedy.

Mitchell plays a new ambassador to the thankfully fictional Tazbekistan, with Hawes as his long-suffering wife and Webb as his go-getting sidekick. With all this going for it, the problem with Ambassadors is...well, it just isn’t very funny. It definitely doesn’t match up to Peep Show or even the other main political comedy, The Thick of It. However, if you rewatch it and consider it as a light drama in the style of Doc Martin or Jonathan Creek, it finally starts to shine. You still never laugh out loud, but the real fun comes from the role reversal: Webb is the straight man with idealist principles, while the practical Mitchell’s initially polite demeanour snapping into a hilarious rant straight out a Soapbox.

This week’s episode sees the twosome attempt to win a huge arms deal by flattering the President, whilst being hindered by a human rights activist, a French diplomat with a grudge. It was a shame not to see more of Matthew MacFadyen as the Prince of Darkness in the Foreign Office and Hawes as Jennifer, whose resigned nature needs to be played off against Mitchell’s uptight nature more. But, with an appearance by Tom Hollander teased in the trailer, don’t write this off

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