Mind and Body

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

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

Starz

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.

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