18 – The Ambassadors

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The Ambassadors is a new show being shown on BBC 2 starring David Mitchell as a British Ambassador in the fictional country of Tazbekistan, starring with Mitchell is his long running comedy sidekick Robert Webb as a fellow employee at the British embassy and Keeley Hawes as his wife. 

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I was really looking forward to the first episode of this series as I LOVE Peep Show and the sketch show the duo made on BBC. However it was clear from the start of show onwards that the show wasn’t aiming to be the funniest show you’ve ever seen, which was sort of disappointing. It spent a lot of it’s episode debating political issues and actually included some serious questions between David Mitchell’s character and Robert Webb regarding wherever or not a missile deal was more or less important than a man’s life. Even though there was comical moments this conflict took the main bulk of the episode. It’s approach was similar to how The Thick of It was but without any of the hilarity. That isn’t to say it isn’t funny at all, but it’s mostly very subtle dry humour instead of the sometimes vulgar and exaggerated comedy in Peep Show.

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Despite it’s questionable stance on wherever it is a comedy or a drama the acting and cinematography was brilliant. The performances across all the cast was brilliant and it was very nicely shot as well. I believe a lot of the filming was done in Turkey and this definitely helps give the exotic feel that helps to add a sense of realism to the fictional country. Realism is a continued excellence throughout the episode and it’s obvious that the writers have done some thorough research into the workings of an embassy.

The following is a small clip:

Although the acting is great as I mentioned the one thing I just can’t get my myself to invest in is David Mitchell’s character being married to Keeley Hawes. It’s not really about how they look together or anything it’s more the way they act with each other. The chemistry is a bit wrong somehow.  I don’t want to say it’s because of the acting because they are both really good actors but I think it might be more to do with the scripts. It’s just the way they speak and interact feels unnatural for a married couple. Also there is a distinct lack of physical contact between the two of them, I don’t think they even touch at all throughout the episode. Normally if there is a married couple in a show or a film one of they ways that tends to be established is through a kiss or a hug or something just to make it obvious for the audience. 

It was also strange because for me I know Keeley Hawes more for Ashes to Ashes and the best thing about that show was the chemistry between her character Alex Drake and the hilarious Gene Hunt. But maybe it will turn out the characters are going through marriage difficulties or something and the un-comfortableness will be justified.

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The best thing about the show for me though was a moment near the end of the episode where Mitchell is in a car with Webb, and a failed english actor and the man who they save over the missile contract. The man who they saved and the actor are moaning in the back seats and Mitchell asks the driver to stop the car. He then takes them out of the car and performs a rant about how much he has been through for them. It is a classic David Mitchell rant and was actually hilarious.

Throughout this blog post I haven’t actually named the characters which is because I have forgotten the names completely which could be a sign that the characters are just not memorable but I’ll see as the series goes on. David Mitchell is also hosting a panel show at the moment called Was it Something I said which i also have been slightly disappointed by. Not quite sure how to finish this post so as a toast to Mitchell and Webb I shall leave it on a weird gif of David Mitchell’s face.

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