- Actors: Patrick Stewart, Jacki Weaver, Adrian Scarborough, Richard Lewis
- Format: NTSC
- Language: English
- Subtitles: Spanish
- Region: Region 1
- Number of discs: 2
- Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
- DVD Release Date: August 30, 2016
- Run Time: 300 minutes
Despite the fact that Sir Patrick Stewart has lent his voice to countless episodes of “Family Guy” and “American Dad,” not to mention his contributions to three of Seth MacFarlane’s feature films, the unexpectedness of his involvement in this live-action Starz sitcom is half of the fun. The role of Walter Blunt is so different from the persona we have come to expect from Stewart that it becomes humorous just to watch the talented British actor play against type. The role actually resembles many of those that Stewart has played in MacFarlane’s animated shows, but it is somehow far more shocking to see the actor rather than just hearing him.
“Blunt Talk” follows the comedic melodrama in the life of a British newscaster working for a cable network in the United States. Extremely wealthy and overindulgent, Walter Blunt employs a manservant (Adrian Scarborough) who has faithfully followed him since their time together in the Falklands War. Although Blunt wants to use his power as a celebrity and newscaster to change the world, he spends an exorbitant amount of time simply getting wasted with his servant in Los Angeles. This makes the premise for “Blunt Talk” a strange combination of the movie Network and the TV show “Entourage.”
After the news celebrity is caught in a media scandal, Walter tailspins in a series of unpredictable misadventures with his servant and his show’s oddball staff. Rosalie (Jacki Weaver) is his motherly manager, constantly cleaning up after him. Celia (Dolly Wells) is the show’s promiscuous senior producer, and Jim (Timm Sharp) is the head writer struggling with a hoarding problem. Each of these characters has their own quirky subplots to match Walter’s crazy celebrity lifestyle.
The novelty of watching Stewart play such a cartoonish role is not quite enough to hold the series together, and about halfway through the first season my interest began to wane. Thankfully, the writing improves some as the season continues, creating more compelling situations and hints at each character’s humanity. It is enough to make us care about them, and possible to continue watching next season.
There are 10 episodes in season one, all included in this two-disc DVD set. Season two begins on October 2nd, allowing plenty of time to catch up on the first season. The special features included on the DVDs are four featurettes, including one that was clearly made for promotional purposes before the show had aired.
Entertainment Value: 6.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 5/10
Special Features: 3/10