Following the recent regeneration of a certain spin doctor there has been a distinct political comedy shaped hole in the BBC’s comedy output and in Ambassadors the new vehicle for the comedic talents of Mitchell and Webb, the BBC no doubt hopes it has found the solution.
Exploring the same mid-level bureaucracy as The Thick of It, Ambassadors follows the exploits of Keith Davis (Mitchell) and his embassy staff in the fictional central Asian dictatorship of Tazbekistan. Coming from a writing pair who have worked on Spooks and Rev the show ventures into some exciting and hugely relevant moral mazes; seeing Mitchell and Webb earnestly discuss whether duty to one’s nation is more important than defend- ing the civil liberties of citizens of some faraway and foreign nation is gobsmacking when one considers the biggest moral discussion the two have had previously had been whether or not it’s okay to feed your new girlfriend her dog. Though the show often hints at willingness to delve into the murky territory of our nation’s relationship with these dictatorships it never commits itself, choosing instead to shy away and crack a joke.
Mitchell still manages to shows us why he is deservedly considered one of the great British comedic talents, whilst Webb plays against type as a genuinely competent and together civil servant, proving he has far too much talent to be providing voice overs for blooper reels.
Ambassadors will probably leave you with two burning questions. Is it really okay for us to laugh at the very real suffering of millions of human beings ignored by the West from the safety of our own cosy living rooms? And when’s the new series of Peep Show starting?
Ambassadors is on Wednesdays at 9pm on BBC2.
Read our review of the last series of Peep Show here
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