“Amazon Prime’s new office thriller, The Advisor, unsuccessfully tries to bridge the hole between acid-tongued satire and pulpy style leisure.”
Christoph Waltz’s charismatic lead efficiency
A slick, cohesive aesthetic and visible model
A lackluster season 1 finale
One-note supporting characters
Quite a few complicated logic jumps and plot holes
Anybody who has ever had a horrible boss will possible have a tough time watching The Consultant. The brand new Prime Video darkish comedy collection, which relies on a 2016 novel of the identical identify by Bentley Little, takes the cringe-inducing clichés of poisonous office tradition to their absolute extremes. From domineering bosses and unorthodox, unethical work schedules to an awesome, enforced concern of job loss, The Advisor is stuffed with so many stunning HR violations that it’d as nicely include a set off warning focused at anybody who nonetheless has nightmares concerning the circumstances of a few of their previous jobs (this author included).
Altogether, The Advisor’s satirical, keen-eyed jabs at America’s poisonous company tradition may look like an excessive amount of to bear. That will be the case, a minimum of, had been it not for the moments of comedic, winking outrageousness which might be littered all through the collection’ 10-episode first season. Written and run by British TV veteran Tony Basgallop, The Advisor goals to be each a treatise on the risks of timeless company devotion and an acidic piece of pulpy style leisure. The collection, sadly, doesn’t all the time journey that line in addition to it ought to.
Whereas flawed, The Advisor does show that typecasting an actor in a job they’ve already perfected can generally be for the most effective. That’s the case, a minimum of, in the case of Christoph Waltz’s efficiency as The Advisor’s eponymous company fixer, a mysterious man of unknown origin named Regus Patoff. Together with his unusual quirks, obsessive curiosity in neatness, and skill to verbally manipulate anybody who comes into contact with him, Regus isn’t all that completely different from a few of Waltz’s most iconic roles, together with Inglourious Basterds‘ Hans Landa.
If Waltz’s casting as Regus is predictable, The Advisor makes it clear that there by no means actually was one other man for the job. Waltz is pitch-perfect in his newest function, which requires him to alternate between blatant malevolence and moments of well mannered manipulation with a Cheshire Cat-esque sense of glee. Waltz, predictably, does so with out ever breaking a lot of a sweat. The Advisor doesn’t, nonetheless, deal with its characterization of Regus fairly in addition to Waltz does.
From the second he first arrives on the scene, it’s clear that Waltz’s odd company guide is an individual — or being — of callus effectivity. Wearing an impeccable go well with and carrying a easy briefcase, Regus arrives on the Los Angeles headquarters of CompWare, a cell gaming firm, only a few nights after the corporate’s founder and CEO was shot and killed in his personal workplace. Regus’ arrival is witnessed solely by Elaine (Brittany O’Grady), an formidable assistant, and Craig (Nat Wolff), a slacker coder who’s immediately suspicious of Waltz’s fixer. Craig, to his credit score, isn’t flawed to be a bit paranoid about Regus’ strategies and intentions.
Not solely does Regus appear completely unbothered by the brutal homicide of CompWare’s CEO, however he instantly inserts himself as the corporate’s new, de facto chief. Regus’ government choices, which embrace the firing of any distant staff who don’t instantly report back to CompWare’s places of work, vary from coldly heartless to underhanded and downright felony. In the end, although, it’s O’Grady’s Elaine and Wolff’s Craig, in addition to Craig’s unsuspecting fiancée, Patti (Aimee Carrero), who’re examined essentially the most by Regus’ presence and discomforting enterprise strategies.
Throughout its first 10 episodes, The Advisor doesn’t run out of how for Waltz’s Regus to control Craig and Elaine. Nevertheless, the collection goes out of its strategy to construct a thriller round Regus’ origins that not solely proves to be lackluster, but in addition pushes The Advisor’s already skinny sense of logic to its breaking level. Whereas it is smart for Craig and Elaine to be initially accommodating towards Regus, their continued willingness to go together with even his most dastardly of plans strains no matter sense of realism Basgallop might need been attempting to realize.
The Advisor’s willingness to bounce forwards and backwards between razor-sharp moments of satire and purely pulpy motion sequences — like an explosive jewellery retailer theft and nighttime kidnapping — gives it with a way of tonal unpredictability that makes watching it, on the very least, an typically participating expertise. The collection’ moments of pure style enjoyable often muddy and uninteresting its extra reality-based takedowns of office tradition, although. The Advisorin consequence, finally ends up feeling like little greater than a trendy, however hole train in style storytelling.
Season 1 of The Advisor does boast a lineup of proficient administrators, together with WandaVision helmer Matt Shakmanwho directs the collection’ premiere installment. Charlotte Brändström (The Rings of Energy) and Karyn Kusama (Yellowjackets), in the meantime, direct among the present’s later installments, and each keep the identical slick visible model all through The Advisor’s climactic episodes that Shakman establishes in its first. Not like most fashionable status TV collection, The Advisor doesn’t overstay its welcome, both. The collection’ first season is comprised of simply eight half-hour installments that by no means really feel egregiously lengthy or brief.
Basgallop fails to stay the touchdown in The Advisor’s season 1 finale, although, which makes an attempt to wrap up the collection’ current storylines whereas concurrently establishing a possible future for itself. The closing moments of the present’s eighth episode not solely go away many lingering questions both unanswered or unaddressed, however additionally they unconvincingly sweep a few of its largest plot holes and logic jumps below the rug. Its anticlimactic conclusion leaves The Advisor feeling oddly slighter than its eight-episode size and succesful forged would in any other case recommend. It’s a collection that, regardless of that includes one actually standout lead efficiency, is finally lower than the sum of its elements.
The Advisor is now streaming on Prime Video. Digital Tendencies was given early entry to all eight episodes of the collection’ first season.