When you see Seth MacFarlane’s name attached to a project, the first question you might ask is, “who is going to be the foul-mouthed social trainwreck this time?,”a question usually followed up with, “it’s not going to be that stuffed bear again, is it?”
Fortunately, we do not bring tidings of Ted 3 (at least, not yet), but rather a trailer for Starz’ upcoming comedy series Blunt Talk, co-created by Jonathan Ames and MacFarlane and starring Patrick Stewart as morally bankrupt cable news anchor Walter Blunt. There’s not too many actors that can make the old Hollywood pitch “it stars so-and-so, but as a troublemaking bad boy,” sound fresh, but Stewart is well-suited to the task. Blunt’s lousy decision making is enabled through a solid cast, including Ed Begley Jr., Richard Lewis, Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook), Romany Malco (Weeds), Adrian Scarborough (The King’s Speech), Dolly Wells (Pride And Prejudice And Zombies), Sharon Lawrence (NYPD Blue), and for reasons yet to be made clear, Moby.
The trailer cobbles together several scenes, establishing Blunt as a perpetually disgraced host while revealing some of his peccadillos, such as public drinking, kinky spanking, drinking and driving, and soliciting prostitutes. These are contrasted with glimpses of Blunt and his team trying to salvage his PR through reading to a classroom of children, an activity that is only conducted by actual schoolteachers and disgraced celebrities trying to rehabilitate their image.
Will Blunt Talk boast a complex, sympathetic anti-hero capable of charming us into his orbit, or will the show just skate by on Stewart’s natural charisma and a succession of naughty cliches? We’ll find out when Blunt Talk premieres on Starz on August 22.