'Blunt Talk' Goes Slapstick, Still Is One of the Best Things on TV

Our hero, Walter Blunt, has flaws. Hilarious flaws.


Get your mom’s Starz password ASAP: Blunt Talk is one of the best shows currently on television, and will carry you on its shoulders — with a few trips here and there — into the fall premiere season. The third episode strikes the same chords as the first two, but spreads its wings a bit.

First things first: Blunt Talk needs to give the slapstick a rest. The opening scene of a fight with Harry feels like dumbed-down Chaplin. (There’s another physical comedy bit that doesn’t work in a chase scene toward the end of the episode.) But, Blunt Talk recovers, mostly due to Patrick Stewart’s sharp timing and delivery.

Walter (Stewart) becomes obsessed with finding a woman to help with his self-loathing after an appointment with his shrink, played by Richard Lewis (a masterful casting). Talking Kierkegaard and other deep thoughts, Dr. Weiss sums up the series so far with: “A messy life is a good life.”

Because of his previous transgressions, Walter is required to end up at an A.A. meeting. He, true to form, goes off script and ends up in a sex addict meeting where he quotes Oscar Wilde, saying, “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it!” He meets a woman — played by Sharon Lawrence — and it all goes disastrously.

The episode changes format, following Walter’s staff individually through their Friday nights. Some side plots are more successful than others, like a high heels-obsessed Jim FaceTiming with his mother and wondering whether or not she is looking at herself or him more. It’s little moments like this where Blunt Talk shines — especially when there’s a testicle joke — and why it’d be wise to tune in each week.