This Sunday marks the return of Walter Blunt and his rag tag team of psychologically and emotionally broken journalists in the season two premiere of BLUNT TALK. Fans of the show will be happy to hear that the show hasn’t lost its footing and basically jumps right back into things from the end of the season one finale.
Set three months later, everything is basically the same with a couple of differences: Martin has come back from his trip with a new hairstyle encouraged by his devoted/controlling girlfriend. Rosalie has accepted Teddy’s mental deterioration and been dealing with her loneliness by singing at a local piano bar after work. Harry is still the dutiful valet although now serving Walter and his new girlfriend and former scene partner Sylvia. Shelly is still borderline sociopathic as she plots to get herself on air, while also attempting to lure Celia into an affair after falling for her in season one. And Celia meanwhile, has now been three months into a relationship with LA’s most unappealing bachelor, Jim.
While the Jim and Celia relationship is still surprising, it works well to bring some levity and happiness to a show about generally unhappy people. In the past three months it would seem the two have gotten very close. Celia regularly discusses Jim’s health with his mother, the two share French movie nights once a week, and in a tender scene, it’s clear Jim has shared his foot fetish with a delighted and happy to indulge Celia.
The romantic relationship between Celia and Jim gives enough grounding to justify their oddball and often cartoonish characteristics and reactions. And in fact, that’s a true of all the relationships in the show, which consistently has its characters ignorant of the ridiculousness of the situations it puts them in. This season’s premier happily reminds us that the show is at its best when it’s giving us two people snuggling on a blow up mattress in the office, or sitting at an empty bar drinking cocktails and chatting about life. This episode isn’t a stand out in any way, but it does its job of setting things up for the rest of the season.
Also, introduced in this episode is the hitherto unmentioned long lost love of Walter’s, a fellow reporter named Cornelia (played by veteran actress Leslie Ann Warren,) who seems to carry with her some of what the plot will be for this season, or at least for the next couple of episodes. Walter fancies himself a Gatsby to Cornelia’s Daisy, and Patrick Stewart does an endearing job of re-energizing Walter with the prospect of attaining an unrequited love. There’s a boyish naivety that Walter has this season which is in sharp contrast to his morose and self loathing opening of season one. Stewart has found the sweet spot with Walter’s character which bodes well going into a second season.
The episode ends with Walter and Cornelia resuming their love affair with a passionate kiss on her balcony, as a mysterious man positioned on the roof across the street, spies on them through binoculars. It’s a fun cliffhanger that has us wonder why this woman is back in Walter’s life after so many years, and what possible dangers she brings along. Next week we’ll certainly find out more about where Cornelia has been all this time, and my guess is Walter and Harry’s combat experience and training will come in handy.
If you’re a fan of the show or enjoy a solid comedy that can be both crass and heartfelt, Blunt Talk is an enjoyable watch. But with this premier I think it’s safe to expect more of the same, rather than a Hail-and-Catch-Firesque season two remodeling for this season. The world created by Jonathan Ames in which these characters inhabit, doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s not believable that Blunt Talk the news show within the show is popular and respected, nor that Walter Blunt could be seen as an important journalistic voice in media. But when you overlook that aspect of it, you find original relationships that are warm and genuinely funny. The news station set up simply provides a comfortable canvas for the comedy to play out. This season should have even more high caliber guest stars, you can find a hilarious preview of Fred Armisen playing a water filtration specialist with a very visible cold sore. And expect certain bit characters like Richard Lewis’ Freudian therapist Dr. Weiss or Jason Schwartzmann’s activist Duncan to make appearances and add to the madness.
Season 2, Episode 1 (S02E01)
Blunt Talk airs Sunday at 9PM on Starz
Greg Brecher | Contributor