DVD Review: Blunt Talk - The Complete First Season

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Not for nothing was Sir Patrick Stewart nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance on the Starz sitcom Blunt Talk. Best known, of course, for his commanding portrayal of Captain Jean-Luc Picard over seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation (not to mention in four feature Trek films), Stewart's comedic turn is nimbly hilarious. He portrays cable news host Walter Blunt, a British military veteran now known for his (ahem) blunt political commentaries during his show (also titled Blunt Talk).

Anchor Bay Entertainment brings all ten First Season episodes to DVD as a two-disc set. The second season is scheduled to begin airing October 2, so now's the time to get caught up on these half-hour-long episodes. Walter Blunt's off-air life is a total mess, leading to declining public opinion. He drinks too much, he's unlucky in love, and his generally manic behavior have all combined to result in his show's sagging ratings. In the season opener, Blunt's arrested for soliciting a prostitute—displaying an acceptance uncommon for a man of his relatively advanced age, he's completely undeterred by her revelation that she's transgender. 
Blunt Talk DVD rs.jpg Seeing as Blunt Talk is, despite Stewart's effortless dominance, an ensemble show, the supporting cast is extremely important. Adrian Scarborough is a consistent highlight as Blunt's faithful (and shockingly well-endowed, as we find out early on) manservant Harry. Blunt's show staffers are a motley crew of kooky types, including Jacki Weaver as his producer Rosalie. Ed Begley, Jr. has a funny recurring role as Rosalie's emotionally wounded husband (the pair have an open marriage). Timm Sharp is splendid as an aspiring on-air personality who works for Blunt, and who happens to be an office hoarder. Another of the show's producers, Celia, is played quite subtly by Dolly Wells. The often over-the-top nature of Blunt Talk is balanced, at least in part, by Wells' effective underplaying. Other recurring roles include Stewart's <i>Star Trek</i> cast mate Brent Spiner (as a lounge pianist) and, as Blunt's sometimes inappropriate psychiatrist, Richard Lewis.

If there's a problem with Blunt Talk, it's that sometimes the show feels like it's trying too hard. With Stewart and most of the supporting cast cranked up to ten, the barrage of often broad humor can become exhausting. Still, that's better than a sitcom with too few laughs. Hopefully Blunt Talk settles into an even more comfortable groove in its upcoming second season.

A few extra features grace Anchor Bay's Blunt Talk - The Complete First Season DVD. There's a making-of, "Inside the World of Blunt Talk," with lots of insights from creator Jonathan Ames (it runs about 23 minutes). There are also a few promotional featurettes that don't amount to much, but offer a few interview soundbites from cast members.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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