mef I was a narrative consultant hired to advise TV show creators in the workplace, one thing I would say is that they are underutilizing a potentially rich character type: the management consultant. When it comes to making a white-collar slug for the small screen, creepy supervillains are a perennial favorite and the tech titan is having a long, mirrored moment. But the management consultant, who was last profiled at length in Showtime’s slick 2012 drama House of Lies, at least as qualified enough to fill the role of the big bad. At worst, they are pure parasites, screwing over companies they don’t understand and pulling back on outrageous expenses like payroll and quality assurance, while paying huge sums out of the same budgets put forward to support them. deflation.
Regus Patoff, the main character of Amazon’s very strange thriller The Councillor, debuting February 24, he’s not exactly desperate for a paycheck—or his cost-cutting measures on the most daunting items on his agenda. Played by the consistently terrifying Christoph Waltz, he ends up at the mobile game company ComWare just after a middle schooler murders the 20-year-old founder, Sang (Brian Yoon), during a class trip. (The devil made him do it, the boy insists.) Indeed, Mr. Patoff arrives at the office in the wee hours of the morning, and two confused employees process their feelings about Sang’s death: the coder Craig burned. (Nat Wolff) and Sang’s ambitious former assistant Elaine (Brittany O’Grady), who took the title creative liaison while searching for a better gig. He walks without apparent difficulty and seems healthy, but they have to carry him upstairs to the office. So that’s odd.
This morning, Patoff has moved into Sang’s office – still the scene of the crime, with the victim’s blood splashed across the wall behind his desk – and assumed full authority over ComWare’s day-to-day operations. In his first hands-on meeting, he gives each remote worker an hour to travel into the office; if they do not, they will be terminated immediately. Despite his tough leadership style, Patoff does not seem to have made even the most careful preparation for his new task. At one point, he casually asks an employee: “What do we do?”
Elaine and Craig (and, to a lesser extent, their co-workers who didn’t see his coming overnight) realize that no matter what kind of contract Patoff got Sang to sign, this silent, intimidating stranger should not be allowed to take control. the company. But ComWare, a business formerly led by a child prodigy who never reached legal drinking age, doesn’t exactly have a functioning org chart or succession plan. The law aside, it makes a certain kind of psychological sense that workers would submit to the will of a strong leader, no matter how strange and uninformed, for fear of losing their livelihoods.