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Series / Blunt Talk

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Blunt Talk is a comedy program created by Jonathan Ames and produced by Seth MacFarlane. It ran for two seasons on Starz from 2015 to 2016.

Patrick Stewart stars as Walter Blunt, an irascible and self-important British journalist. When Walter isn't using Blunt Talk, his news program, as a soapbox to lecture the American public, he can be seen getting into wild misadventures with Harry Chandler (Adrian Scarborough), his trusted manservant, by his side, to the chagrin of his producers and network executives.


Blunt Tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Alcohol is Walter's primary vice. Harry carries around a flask and makes sure Walter has a swig every now and then as a pick-me-up.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Walter is forced to attend counseling sessions with a psychiatrist employed by the network. The shrink is a Freudian who even brings his own Freudian Couch to counseling sessions for his patients to lie on.
  • Asexual: Harry has issues that make him unable to enjoy sex. He says that there are other pursuits that keep him occupied, but there is more than a hint of regret when he's unable to perform in a porn scene because the Health Department shut production down.
    Harry: I'm unable to enjoy sex. At the moment of congress, I experience shame and anticipate punishment.
  • Expy: Walter was inspired by Piers Morgan.
  • A Father to His Men: Despite what he might say, Walter cares deeply about his crew.
    • Hell, he takes on a bunch of cops to help a prostitute escape because she was nice to him.
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  • Functional Addict: Walter is in the grips of severe substance abuse but that doesn't stop him from doing his job. In the pilot he's seen abusing alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine (that's been spiked with speed). He's also seen taking an extra-large dose of Ambien (later revealed to be Oxycontin) having been told that the pills were actually a new type of amphetamine but still manages to film a segment while completely blacked out.
  • Freudian Excuse: Harry believes his issues with sex stem from his mother.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Walter and Harry share an emotionally co-dependent relationship that is as messed up as it is heartwarming.
    Walter: What would I do without you, Harry?
    Harry: What would I do without you, Major?
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Everyone at the studio is talented at what they do. Too bad they work for Walter.
  • The Jeeves: Harry, Walter's former batman and current manservant, is a thorough deconstruction of this trope. Although Harry's unfailingly loyal and has Walter's best interests at heart, he's a complete mess and happily partakes in his employer's many vices.
    Harry prepares a line of coke
    Harry: I'll, uhm, test this for you, Major.
    Harry snorts
    Harry: The ratio of cocaine to speed is just right, Major. Have at it!
  • Large Ham: Walter's on-camera persona is one prone to overwrought bloviating. His off-camera persona is just a little less hammy.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Walter.
  • Patrick Stewart Speech: Walter gives one to himself, complete with an impassioned reach towards the camera. It's played for as many laughs that can possibly be wrung out of the situation.
  • Manchild: Walter has an oral fixation, according to the Freudian network psychiatrist. When stressed/troubled he does things like pay a prostitute to let him suck on her breasts or be cuddled by Rosalie, his executive producer. Harry even reads him bedtime stories.
  • Scenery Censor: Parodied; Harry poses nude for a painting Walter paints. His junk is obscured, but the painting is not.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Ronnie, the porn producer, is in desperate need of cash (California's condom laws making production all but impossible for him) but is ready to give back Walter's money when Harry refuses to perform for him because he believes it would be artistically negligent on his part if he doesn't get Harry's genitalia (shown to be extremely large) on film.
    Ronnie: I believe in what I do. I bring people joy! What do you do?!?!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Walter is named for the William Shakespeare character Sir Walter Blunt from Henry IV, Part 1, who was Patrick Stewart's first Shakespearean role.
    • In "Who Kisses So Early in the Morning?", Walter and Harry recreate the classic Laurel and Hardy short The Music Box.
    • "Walter Has To Look After Walter" features a homage to the classic Jensen rant scene from Network.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Walter has a one-sided rivalry with Anderson Cooper.
    • His relationship with Moby also has shades of this.
  • Talking to Himself: In-Universe. Walter finds himself completely toxic, thanks to having been caught obtaining sexual services from a trans prostitute who may be underage (she's not), and decides that the only way to salvage his reputation is to interview himself through the use of different outfits and pretaped question and reaction shots.
    Live!Walter: Good evening, Walter Blunt.
    Tape!Walter: Good evening.


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