Accountants don’t do particularly well in the world of television and film. There’s apparently plenty of drama to be had if you’re a doctor or a lawyer. Even if you’re in the insurance field, your button down Edward Norton can found a whole other life built on soap sales and a Tyler Durden persona that has all the cool and smarts from school wrapped up in a chiselled Brad Pitt package.
Accountants? Well, nothing really springs to mind in quite the same way, does it? I’m not counting Brad Pitt in Meet Joe Black either. Death posing as a vengeful agent for the IRS isn’t the same as being your average workaday bean counter. Yet accountants as characters are rarely written to the full potential a smart professional, with access to many financial secrets, presents.
So it’s nice to see writers in a Kiwi show giving an accountant a decent vinegar edge. The Blue Rose’s Sonya Whitwell (played ably by Jennifer Ludlam) is smart, resourceful, daring. When her company becomes a party to investors unfairly losing their money, she starts siphoning money from a slush fund to the wronged parties to see them at least partially restored. When a software developer is swindled out of her intellectual property by a shady angel investor, she uses her contacts in the tax department to make sure his parking tickets and child support arrears catch up to him. Even better, she’s allowed to accomplish these tasks without being mousy or overly bookish.
In fact, so far my favourite characters are the accountant and the IT guy. I’m glad writers Rachel Lang and James Griffin have leveraged their success from Outrageous Fortune into new characters that push some of the stale conventions further from their traditional moulds.