We have not done a show review before because most of the shows we watch are stupid and we like them for stupid reasons. We are taking our first foray into episodic media because we love Patrick Stewart and #Picardbeatskirk. But since “Blunt Talk” has already aired a good portion of its’ season we are going to simply review the first half of the episodes all in one big bunch. So, without further ado…
Starz comes back into its comedy line with Blunt Talk starring Sir Patrick Stewart as the flawed Walter Blunt. While not new to comedy, Stewart has not been known for it and you know what they say, “Drama is easy, comedy is hard.” Thankfully, Stewart does not disappoint this time around and with a smart writing team behind him, the show is executed wonderfully.
Walter Blunt is your run-of-the-mill, ordinary, drug addict, sex addict, attention addict, basically every kind of addict. He also happens to be a distinguished war veteran and a fairly decent person at heart. But the world won’t see it that way after one night following a show, Walter Blunt is found soliciting sexual services from a young transsexual prostitute while high on cocaine. After attempting to fend off police with a mixture of British service martial arts and Shakespearian theatre, Blunt finds himself being attacked by most of the world. Finding himself in the middle of the crisis, he surrounds himself with his writing staff and his personal manservant. They offer a mix of drugs and spooning as means to cope with his latest toubles but this time that is not enough. The network wants to cut Blunt’s show “Blunt Talk” off air for good. Walter decides he must find a way to save his show by being the most honest, white knight reporter ever, even more so than Anderson Cooper who has “always been a good lad.” The problem is that he is less than a knight in a reporter’s armor. Rather than film a devastating hurricane in person, he tries to fake it in a porn studio. Rather than curb a friend’s drug addiction, Blunt enables it so that he can mooch off said friend for more crack rocks. These shenanigans mixed with his almost childish demeanor makes Walter Blunt a character truly complex and conceited enough to be worthy of a talent like Stewart’s, even If his physicality sometimes distracts from the role he is meant to play.
Blunt Talk is unique in that the show does not focus on the main character’s redemption; not really, anyways. Much like the lead, the show chooses to feed and further worsen Blunt’s problems. This can be a strength and weakness in a number of ways. On one hand, the frying pans that Blunt puts himself in are hilarious and fun to watch worsen. On the other, it is difficult to invest in a “hero” that has almost no interest in helping himself. Even Dr. House had moments of compassion and self-realization, if only to throw himself deeper down the rabbit hole as time went on. Even if Blunt’s misery is meant to inspire our laughter, there should still be an effort at emotional connection for viewers. That being said, while Blunt mostly appears to care little for his compatriots particularly in the case of his manservant Harry. The two used to be brothers in arms with Blunt being Harry’s CO. Harry appears to enjoy taking orders to an almost ludicrous length. He supports all of his master’s addictions and even contributes to them. I look forward to further fleshing out of their relationship to see if there is something more from their old war days that makes Harry so overtly devout.
Other secondary characters have much less gravity to their respective stories sadly. If not for a quick IMDB seach, I would not even be able to tell you their names, for how unremarkable they are. Rosalie Winter plays Blunt’s number two on the creative staff, and she is most stand-outish of the crew due to her policy on open marriages and her devotion to the marriage she already has. Celia and Martin who are supposed to be critical parts of Blunt’s team are so underdeveloped, they have not been given last names as of yet. Hopefully the back half of the season explores these people a bit more but until then we are left with nothing.
But enough about these secondary characters, what about the man of the hour; Mr. Blunt himself? Patrick Stewart definitely has his work cut out for him with this strange persona to embody but he flawlessly pulls it off. The one issue I have with Stewart in this role is his physical age. Walter Blunt is supposed to be an ex-military, geriatric, playboy but his aging face and bald head almost makes him like a Grandpa playing pretend. There are scenes where he physically beats up a much younger police force and pulls off physical tasks that would be difficult for men half his age. It simply doesn’t work when they try to show Blunt as someone with a strong military background. In the future, they should try to rein him in more and play him as someone who used to be strong, but now has more of a strategic mind, like Bond from Skyfall.
Blunt Talk is a fun, insane show with crazy surprises around every corner. Not every character is fleshed out as much they should be and there is some much needed development as far as motivations go, but there is still enough time left to where the first season may be focusing on Blunt first and later move on to the others. It is, at the very least, enjoyable and worth cutting into your Netflix time. RDR gives the first