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'Blunt Talk' television review -- 3 stars

Patrick Stewart as Walter Blunt in Starz'

Patrick Stewart as Walter Blunt in Starz' "Blunt Talk." Photo Credit: Starz Entertainment LLC/Justina Mintz

Let us now consider the great Patrick Stewart: classically-trained actor, Shakespearean master, beloved space captain, best friend of Ian McKellen, Twitter sensation.

He's an icon, a national treasure in both Britain and America, and now, finally, the star of a television comedy.

That show is "Blunt Talk," on Starz, and based on a screening of the first two episodes, it's a fitting vehicle for the talents of a man who has always had a grand sense of humor about himself.

Created by Jonathan Ames ("Bored to Death") and executive produced by Seth MacFarlane, the show stars Stewart as the broadcaster Walter Blunt, committed to serious journalism in an era that demands spectacle and little more, but suffering from an exceedingly messy personal life.

How messy, you ask? The first five minutes of the pilot find an inebriated Walter fighting off police after being busted with a transgender prostitute in his car on the streets of Los Angeles.

The early episodes touch on a satirical newsroom vision but mostly focus on the show's No. 1 asset: the star.

He's droll, fastidious, narcissistic and vulnerable, often all at once, and prone to grandiose Shakespearean quotations. He's also adept at physical comedy, and affects a relationship with his devoted valet Harry (Adrian Scarborough) that's rife with unsettlingly obsessive undercurrents. This wouldn't be a show at all without Stewart, and he carries it with the sheer force of his personality. The plot essentially doesn't matter; it's just an excuse to place the star in one hilarious set of circumstances after another. There aren't many actors who could make such an endeavor worthwhile. Stewart keeps you watching.

On TV: "Blunt Talk" premieres Saturday night at 9 on Starz.


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