Are you caught up with Blunt Talk? No? Then there is still time! I can understand why you may have been wary of starting Season 1. Seth MacFarlane’s involvement can be a red flag for some, and the show’s early promos seemed to focus on Blunt Talk getting all of its kicks from seeing Patrick Stewart doing drugs. But Jonathan Ames’ (Bored to Death) Starz comedy turned out to be a truly underrated gem as its first season progressed, and it’s absolutely worth catching up with. (You can read my review of Season 1 here).
For those unaware, Blunt Talk stars Stewart as Walter Blunt, a sort of Piers Morgan-style newsman who is surrounded by a gloriously neurotic bunch of co-workers (including Jacki Weaver, Dolly Wells, and Timm Sharp) who double as family. Though Walter shares different kinds of relationships with each of them, the best is with his manservant Harry (Adrian Scarborough) who decided to devote his life to “The Major” after Walter saved his during the Falklands War. The Falklands come up a lot in Blunt Talk, and there’s a great blend of both American and English humor. And yes, a lot of it involves drugs and prostitution, but it’s approached in an unexpectedly marvelous way, as Walter’s almost childlike inquisitiveness explores these things (and much more) from new angles.
For those are caught up with Season 1, Starz has announced that Lesley Ann Warren (In Plain Sight) will be joining the cast for Season 2 as Cornelia, Walter’s long lost love (seen in this new photo). The second new photo released shows Walter and Harry about to embark on some new madness, where a little fortification is necessary …
Mary Holland (Shelly) and Karan Soni (Martin) have also been bumped to season regulars for the show’s next 10-episode installment. The synopsis for the new season is as follows:
In season 2, Walter Blunt and his team are on top of the network ratings when Walter runs into an old flame, in town to investigate a conspiracy involving one of Los Angeles’ most crucial environmental threats. Rosalie, Jim, Celia, Martin, and Shelly (with all their various neuroses intact) are by Walter’s side as he delves into his past, which leads him into a web of intrigue affecting the future of LA.
Sounds like True Detective Season 2, except much better. Admittedly, Ames’ neurotic and extremely referential humor (in both high and low brow ways) isn’t for everyone, but Blunt Talk was much more of a casually wonderful series than one might expect. Its TV newsroom cast and humor are also elevated by a revolving door of great guest actors, including Jason Schwartzman, Moby, Brett Gelman, and Stewart’s former Star Trek: The Next Generation co-star Brent Spiner. But ultimately, the first season is made by Stewart’s magnetism as Walter, who can be petulant and naive, or soulful and wise depending on the moment. Watch Blunt Talk for Walter, but stick around for Harry and the newsroom gang. The show may surprise you.
Blunt Talk returns to Starz in the fall.