The Consultant Season 1 Review – an ambitious and at times ambiguous thriller

February 23, 2023 (Last updated: 2 weeks ago)
Adam Lock 0
Amazon Prime, Streaming Service, TV Reviews
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Christoph Waltz is mesmerizing in this mixed-bag mystery series from the creator of Servant. The Consultant is tense and twisted for the most part but resorts to big, silly plot reveals on the odd occasion, ruining its taut and intriguing premise.

Created by Tony Basgallop, we review the Prime Video series The Consultant season 1, which does not contain spoilers.

Television isn’t the dirty word it used to be; with the rise of quality series and the streaming platform monopoly, many Hollywood A-listers have since delved into the TV format. Academy Award-winning actor Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) is the latest to take the plunge, receiving an Emmy nomination for his portrayal of Miles Sellars in Most Dangerous Game. Now he is back, working with Servant creator Tony Basgallop on The Consultant.

This dark comedy thriller from Prime Video allows Waltz to get stuck into another fascinating role as he plays the enigmatic Regus Patoff, the consultant of the show’s title.

The Consultant Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

Regus Patoff is hired to save mobile gaming studio CompWare after their founder and CEO Sang Woo is tragically killed. This mysterious individual arrives in the dead of night with divisive techniques and the oddest oddities. He quickly trims the fat, getting rid of the dead weight in the company. While at the same time introducing his unique working environment. Of course, Regus’ strange behavior doesn’t go unnoticed, and two eager employees decide to look into this mysterious individual.

The two nosy workers are creative liaison Elaine Hayman (Brittany O’Grady), a determined assistant who gave herself that imposing title, and coder Craig Horne (Nat Wolff), who has his ideas for saving the company. The more they dig into this man’s history and backstory, the murkier the waters get. Elaine and Craig soon find themselves in over their heads as Regus opens up CompWare to much criminal activity and in-house rivalries. He creates chaos wherever he goes, leaving death and destruction. But the employees can’t figure him out or his labyrinthine mind games.

Like Basgallop’s other psychological thriller, Apple TV+’s Servant, this series drip-feeds information, shaping plots around the many mysteries on display. Every one of Regus’ calculated moves seems bizarre and yet precise, bringing up endless questions and tantalizing ambiguities. As Craig and Elaine spend more time with the man, they fall deeper into his sinister world. It’s a gripping hook, although the series cannot sustain this tension for its entire eight-episode run.

Is The Consultant Season 1 good?

The Consultant starts well. It’s an intriguing setup, sprinkled with Basgallop’s usual dark humor and teasing structure. Christoph Waltz is his standard, fantastic self, bringing his alluring magnetism to the starring role, although he is typecast. There’s also the inventive camera work on display, with time lapses and fun visuals making the most of the gaming industry setting. It may have the same DNA as Servant, yet it is not as highly stylized as the Apple Original.

READ: Will there be a Season 2 of The Consultant?

As the series progresses, the cracks start to show. These captivating mysteries soon lose their appeal, and the showrunners revert to absurd plot points. Going for these big, silly reveals while ignoring the well-planned, believable twists from earlier in the season. The Consultant does not go in the direction you would expect (at all), and by the finale, we are miles away from the tone and feel of those opening installments. Meanwhile, the two central employees become just as unlikable as the antagonist, which makes it hard for viewers to empathize or engage in the story. A promising mystery series that gets a little lost along the way, but that reclaims some intrigue by the end.

What did you think of The Consultant season 1? Comment below.

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