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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Consultant is a drama that combines elements of comedy, horror, and science fiction; the tone is unsettling, and the narrative is unpredictable, with scenes that may be particularly disturbing because they're unexpected. Violence is shocking and surreal: dead bodies, realistic dismembered body parts shown at length, blood and gore, gun violence committed by a very young child. A sexual scene also has a violent edge as two men meet in a professional setting and one performs oral sex on the other (we see clothed bodies and suggestive movements only) while the recipient moves very roughly. We see a man's nude buttocks as he bathes in a non-sexual scene. Coworkers share cannabis in a pipe at work and refer to being high. Language includes "f--king," "motherf----r," "s--t."
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What's the Story?
Going to work is spooky to begin with, but weirdness builds to a nightmarish peak at THE CONSULTANT's CompWare when mysterious Regus Patoff (Christoph Waltz) shows up and starts making unorthodox changes. Coworkers Elaine (Brittany O'Grady) and Craig (Nat Wolff) were willing, if not eager, to indulge the eccentricities of former CompWare CEO, but what this new guy is doing is by turns odd and terrifying. Will Elaine and Craig wind up fully vested or six feet under?
Is It Any Good?
Wonderfully weird and at every turn unexpected, this series simultaneously works as an absurd workplace comedy and sci-fi horror drama, both anchored by idiosyncratic writing and strong performances. The thing about The Consultant that keeps delighting viewers is its surprises, as if we'd wandered into a season-long episode of The Twilight Zone. Open a door and there might be a supply closet behind it, or a long corridor full of unearthly pulsing blue lights that leads to another dark doorway. Regus Patoff twinkles and chomps on churros like a friendly wacky-neighbor type, right before he does something positively inhuman to the terrified workers hanging in there for their paycheck.
The other great thing about The Consultant is that the cast, with the definite exception of the unsettling Waltz, perfectly recreates normal human reactions to all the weirdness. Elaine and Craig are drawn into trying to uncover Patoff's origins and identity, but the coworkers around them are just getting through another day at the office. Whether they can keep populating the background and drawing a salary while Elaine and Craig continue to make dismaying discoveries is anyone's guess. But it's fun to see them try.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what makes a show scary. How do things like the music, lighting, and pace of the show contribute to the eerie feeling?
How can satire be an effective way to help viewers shift their perspective? Do you think any group might feel offended by this show?
How does The Consultant demonstrate the necessity of critical thinking? What goes wrong when employees go along with Patoff's ideas even when they have misgivings?
- Premiere date: February 24, 2023
- Cast: Christoph Waltz, Brittany O'Grady, Nat Wolff
- Network: Amazon Prime Video
- Genre: Drama
- TV rating: TV-MA
- Last updated: February 27, 2023
Our Editors Recommend
Dystopian tale of extreme work-life balance is scary smart.
Hilarious workplace spoof has sharp but edgy jokes.
Workplace spoof is hilarious but filled with mature humor.
For kids who love satire and horror
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate