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Title: Blunt Talk: Season 1

Movie: :3.5stars:
Video: :4.5stars:
Audio: :4stars:
Extras: :2.5stars:

HTS Overall Score:79

Is there a person alive who doesn’t like the amazing Patrick Stewart? The man is one of the most versatile and bankable stars in film history, and has had the distinction of being cast as a major “Star Trek” character and NOT been typecast for the rest of his career. “Blunt Talk” was a show that immediately sparked my interest when I found out that it was one of Seth McFarlane’s babies and was finally drawing in the venerable actor into a McFarlane comedy show that wasn’t just a cameo (although it can be argued that his role in “American Dad” is a little more than a cameo). Everything is perfect on paper. We have Seth as Executive Producer, Patrick Stewart handling the helm, and a great lineup of actors to, and while it certainly is a barrel of laughs for the most part. I do have to take notice that the directorial hand is a bit loose at times, creating a narrative that wanders and sputters just a little bit instead of keeping focused on a singular plot.

The show focuses on one Walter Blunt (Patrick Stewart), the stalwart head of the UBS TV network, and he is a captain that is about to go down with his ship. The man is a typical media wreck, strung out on cocaine, hookers, alcohol and the ego of the man that he once was. A veteran of the Falkland wars, Blunt has made a name for himself over in England as well as the States, becoming one of the highest rated talk show hosts of is time. The only problem is that his ratings are at an all-time low, his wives (5 of them in fact) have all left him, his only friend is a slightly over eager and over substance abusing man servant named Harry (Adrian Scarborough), and of course he drinks like fish. Oh, and he of course sees nothing wrong with it.

Boldly crashing forward, Walter gets a wakeup call when he gets arrested for soliciting a tranny prostitute (all by accident of course, the tranny not the prostitute part), and he decides to turn his life around. That is, if he can, considering that he’s surrounding by a bunch of enablers for co-workers. Then there’s his psychiatrist (played by Richard Lewis, most famous from “Robin Hood Men in Tights”) who thinks EVERYTHING he does is sexual (although he’s probably not far from the truth) and figures that the only way to help the man is to let him indulge as much as possible. The rest of the news crew over at UBS isn’t any better. We have producer Rosalie (Jacki Weaver) who is living with a husband who’s losing his mind (played by Ed Begley Jr.), and can barely keep a lid on Blunt’s antics. Then we have Walter’s little “protégé”, Jim (Timm Sharp) who has his own dark secrets behind his closed office door, and Blunt is helpless to help them as he is making a wonderfully hilarious mess of his own life. Which is made worse by his well-meaning manservant, Harry, who just ends up enabling the media mogul into delving deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of self-destruction.

Everyone on the show is a flaming hot mess, which sadly reflects on the plot just a little bit. The show can be HILARIOUSLY funny at times, with Walter acting like a cross between his character on “American Dad” and the narrator from “Ted”. He’s a well-meaning but self-destructing and narcissistic in his outlook on life, which adds to the hijinks he gets in. The negative side to all of this is that there is no central story structure to speak of. We have a few recurring themes like Rosalie and her husband’s mental issues, and Walter with his young child, but overall the series tends to wander from goofy situation to the next and that kind of saps some of the interest from the show. However, the 2nd half of the season seemed to try and remedy that situation as the last few episodes tightened up the story just a bit. I can only hope that for the 2nd season the show recognizes some of the inherent shortcomings that this season introduced and push forward with a tighter, more cohesive, plot as the premise and execution of the characters is just fabulous. It just lacked a strong hand to GUIDE them at times.


Rated TV-MA

Video :4.5stars:
I watch all of my review materials (at least the non 3D and 4K material) on a 120 inch projector screen and DVD material tends to be rather unforgiving in terms of revealing flaws. With that in mind I was REALLY impressed with the 1.78:1 encode that “Blunt Talk: Season 1” received from Starz/Anchor Bay. The show looks really impressive, with strong color replication and fantastic detailing all around. There is some smoothing going on with Patrick Stewart’s face (I’m guessing an attempt to keep his age marks from coming out), and there is some standard 480p softness issues at that large of a screen size, but I overall very heartily impressed with the shows. Blacks are stable and show no signs of major crush and there is almost no artifacting except for a flicker of macroblocking here and there.

Audio :4stars:
Being a comedy/drama “Blunt Talk” has a very typical, but still very impressive, sound mix. The majority of the work is all in the center channel as the show focuses on great dialog replication. The mains allow the show to breathe a little bit, with a lightly dynamic front end that allows for some surround activity with the score and a few ambient effects, such as when Walter’s car surges to life or he is running through the streets from a crazed and angry husband. LFE is mild, but does come to life with said car and a few other small instances, otherwise it is content to just add a little bit of boost to the score. It’s a well done track, and I can’t fault it in the least, as it does everything that is asked of it with relative ease.

Extras :2.5stars:

• Inside the World of "Blunt Talk"
• First Look
• Meet the Newsroom
• Walter & Harry

Overall: :4stars:

“Blunt Talk” was one of my most anticipated shows of 2015 and one of my biggest disappoints. Not because it wasn’t good, but because it wasn’t as awe inspiring and 100% amazing as my anticipation had made it out to be after the first trailer that circled the internet last year. Still, despite some shortcomings a few directorial hiccups, the show is wildly entertaining to those who love a good twisted comedy in the style of Seth McFarlane. The dialog is witty, and the hijinks that Harry and Walter get into week after week had me dying with laughter. Audio and video are very impressive for a DVD TV show, but sadly the limited extras is a bit saddening to me. Still well worth a watch if you like mature comedy.

Additional Information:

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Timm Sharp, Adrian Scarborough
Created by: Jonathan Ames
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG 2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Studio: Starz/Anchor Bay
Rated: TV-MA
Runtime: 312 Minutes
DVD Release Date: August 30th, 2016

Buy Blunt Talk: Season 1 On DVD at Amazon

Recommendation: Recommended

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