While last week’s tepid opener failed to prove either way whether ‘Ambassadors’ could make foreign affairs funny, it’s case closed by the end of this direly unfunny middle episode.
Tonight sees British ambassadors Keith (David Mitchell) and Neil (Robert Webb) forced to babysit a visiting prince (well played by Tom Hollander), while negotiating oil-drilling rights with the premier of their fictional Tazbekistan. Hilarity does not ensue. Aimed squarely at fans of ‘The Thick of It’, ‘Ambassadors’ delivers precisely none of the nuanced comedy and Kafka-esque scenarios.
Given the highbrow subject matter, there’s an awful lot of physical daftness, including a tiresome skit in which Hollander’s prince berates a blind person while – wait for it! – not realising he's blind. The central duo don't add much, either. It’s as if writers Rupert Walters and James Wood had hoped the ‘Peep Show’ boys would ad-lib all the funny bits, only to find out they couldn't be arsed. By the end of this, neither will you be.