I watched The Consultant on Amazon Prime. The reviews were lukewarm, and now I know why.
Years ago there was a Beavis and Butt-Head episode where they’re heckling a music video and a weather report pops up. One of them says, “Uh...forecast is...partially cool?” That fits, here.
Christoph Waltz is always fun to watch, and he’s fantastic as the supremely weird and possibly supernatural “consultant” who shows up to take charge of a struggling videogame company.
But “Regus Patoff” the devil, or what?
Ambiguity is good. Vagueness is not.
The show was a somewhat amusing workplace satire...but I would have done it either completely straight, or as an explicitly Faustian tale.
The show opts for halfway in-between (maybe a flaw of the source novel?) and it just didn’t have enough narrative momentum. The lead characters at the company can’t get a handle on how to deal with Patoff—because the show can’t get a handle on him.
A show’s mythology has to have consistency and it has to have rules.
Here, not only do we never even get told the rules, but the characters themselves don’t seem diligent enough to be interested in the rules.
No rules, no forward momentum—and not enough viewer interest.
But I’d watch Waltz just read the phone book! (Kids: there used to be this thing called “the phone book” with a list of everybody’s telephone numbers. And the phone was something connected to a wire in your house that the whole family used, not a computer that each person kept in a pocket.)