After finishing the first season of Severance on Apple TV+ in April 2022, I searched for another workplace thriller to satisfy my cravings.
Fortunately, Prime Video’s new dark comedic thriller, The Consultant, has come to the rescue, with Christoph Waltz taking on the role of a nightmare boss in this eight-episode adaptation of Bentley Little’s 2015 novel.
While it may not be as masterfully crafted as Severance, The Consultant still manages to build solid suspense and maintain an eerie vibe that will get you hooked until the end.
Created by Tony Basgallop, the series follows the app-based gaming company CompWare after its CEO’s mysterious murder.
Enter Regus Patoff (Waltz), a consultant whose arrival at the company is conveniently timed with the boss’s demise, prompting employees Craig (Nat Wolff) and Elaine (Brittany O’Grady) to question whether the two events are connected.
As Patoff settles into his new role, his unpredictable behaviour and lack of boundaries quickly instil fear in CompWare’s workers.
He fires employees for arbitrary reasons, calls people into the office at ungodly hours, and doesn’t know what the company does.
On top of his infuriating behaviour, a series of unanswered questions about his aversion to stairs and online presence, among other things, leave the audience guessing until the finale.
Waltz delivers a frightening and perplexing performance as Patoff, a menacing monster who can easily turn on the charm.
Wolff, O’Grady, and Aimee Carrero, who plays Craig’s fiancé Patti, share quality chemistry and deliver powerful performances that convey visceral terror.
The show’s creepy score and potent sound effects add to the cryptic mood, and moments of comedic relief offer a respite from the tension.
The Consultant shares similarities with Severance, including workplace satire and portraying common frustrations with work and people in power.
Both shows explore the characters’ fears for their jobs, sanity, and safety, telling twisted tales of corporate horror that will make viewers feel better about their jobs, at least temporarily.
For fans of Little’s work, seeing how his complex characters translate from page to screen will be interesting.
But even for those unfamiliar with the novel, The Consultant’s wild events will captivate any workplace thriller genre enthusiast.
The series is now streaming on Prime Video.