Cast: Patrick Stewart, Adrian Scarborough, Timm Sharp
Release Date: August 30, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
The 10-episode half-hour series, set in Los Angeles, follows Walter Blunt (Stewart), a British import intent on conquering the world of American cable news. Through the platform of his nightly news show, Blunt is on a mission to impart his wisdom and guidance on how Americans should live, think and behave.
The Starz Original Series ‘Blunt Talk’ tells the story of cable news journalist Walter Blunt (Stewart), an ex British Soldier now living it up in Los Angeles accompanied by fellow ex-soldier Harry (Scarborough) who now serves as Blunt’s trusty manservant, making it his duty to faithfully serve him in any manner necessary, whether by boosting his morale, keeping his physical skills honed to a satisfactory level, or providing that much needed dose of liquor or cocaine in order to guarantee Walter can sustain himself through the course of whatever current predicament he is presented with. Struggling merely to keep his plethora of personal matters at bay, he seems to rarely find the necessary time to concentrate on keeping his respectable news program going strong. Fortunately his talented on-point producer, manager and occasional personal comforter Rosalie (Weaver) and the rest of his news team are far more capable than they might initially appear.
Created by the talented Jonathan Ames who brought us the outstanding HBO series ‘Bored To Death’ and starring the ever outstanding Patrick Stewart and a collection of highly capable and lovable co-stars arrives the new Starz Original Series ‘Blunt Talk’. The debut season of the series introduces us to the disheveled world of ex British soldier Walter Blunt who now a trusted cable newsman manages to somehow continue propelling his way through one seemingly unrecoverable predicament after another with a little help from his life partner (in a manner of speaking) and trusted manservant Harry and an unsettling amount of alcohol, cocaine and more healthy chemical assistants to boost his way. It’s a consistently humorous and often truly hilarious show that isn’t afraid to explore the darker aspects of stardom that can occur, always managing to keep the tone of the series largely lighthearted and fun while never hesitating to tackle some important subjects with a realism that never leaves the viewer with the impression of the subject merely being poked fun at; often managing to find that tedious balance between respectable and offensive which is no simple task, even if those who are easily offended likely won’t have much interest in the series to begin with. ‘Blunt Talk’ is a fresh, hilarious and often unapologetically real comedy series featuring a fantastic performance by Patrick Stewart in the lead role and I would highly recommend giving a shot, especially for fans of Stewart and those who enjoyed creator Jonathan Ames’ previous series ‘Bored to Death’.
Overall, fans of Patrick Stewart’s work and well constructed and enjoyable comedy television with just the right level of drama mixed in will likely want to give ‘Blunt Talk’ a whirl if you haven’t yet had the pleasure. The new Starz Original Series is a consistently entertaining and often quite hilarious ride through the dizzying and drug fueled world of a cable news journalist and his ever faithful manservant as they find themselves in one amusing debacle after another; always handling matters with a serious approach, even if the character’s actions are often anything but. This one definitely comes recommended, particularly for fans of creator Jonathan Ames’ last series ‘Bored To Death’ who should also have a great deal of fun with ‘Blunt Talk’.
The DVD release of ‘Blunt Talk: The Complete First Season’ features a 16×9 friendly video presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the first season’s episodes. The video presentations look fantastic as a whole, at least as far as is allotted by the limits of DVD technology, with no notable faults to be found within. They hold up admirably even during the occasional darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences and never result in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are impressive standard definition video presentations that should generally please fans of the series who don’t mind DVD.
The DVD release includes a 448 Kbps 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack on all 10 Season One episodes. These multichannel soundtracks sound pretty great for what they are, and while not constantly aggressive, they provide consistently crisp, clean and discrete audio presentations on every episode; often utilizing all five available channels in order to send crowd chatter and the constant activity of the newsroom along with more throughout the various speakers, while always making certain that any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously remains clean and fully audible. Overall, these are solid 448 Kbps 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtracks that deliver in every way required of them and shouldn’t disappoint.
The DVD release of ‘Blunt Talk: The Complete First Season’ may not be overloaded with bonus content, although it does include some entertaining Behind the Scenes Featurettes featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. They include ‘Inside the World of Blunt Talk’ Featurettes for all 10 episodes in the season (running approximately 24 minutes in length altogether), in addition to ‘First Look’ (running approximately 2 minutes), ‘Meet the Newsroom’ (approximately 2 minutes), and ‘Walter & Harry’ (1 minute).