Way back in days of old, there was a legend told, about a series known as Galavant! It beat the cancel bear and came back on the air, there is no series quite like Galavant!

Genre(s): Fantasy | Comedy | Musical

Developed for TV By: Dan Fogelman

Network: ABC

Air Date: Season 2 Aired in January 2016

Good:

  • Hilarious.

  • Amazing cast.

  • Fantastic songs.

Bad:

  • Predictable plot.

  • Slow pacing.

Review

Galavant is a musical fantasy sitcom that recently finished its second season. The series focuses on the eponymous hero and his adventures. During the first season, Galavant attempts to stop the wedding between the evil king Richard and his beloved Madalena, only to find out from the latter that she wants to marry the king to become rich and powerful. Galavant’s depression leads him to abandon the heroic lifestyle until the beautiful Isabella asks him for help against the King and Queen, who’ve taken over her land.

Season 2 picks up right after the end of the first one and now Galavant and his unlikely friend King Richard have to work together to restore the man to the throne and then help Galavant raise an army to rescue Isabella. On the way they meet strange giants and dwarves, have a party night with Kylie Minogue and even have some fun with the walking dead.

If any of the above sounds completely ridiculous then don’t worry, that’s the point. Galavant parodies all common fantasy and adventure tropes, wrapping it all in hilarious sing-along tunes. Every episode has a number of musical and dance pieces that will worm themselves into your mind while they make you laugh. What really surprised me about the series is how it manages to move the plot and character evolution along with the songs. Some are all about character motivations and their changing priorities. It’s frankly amazing,

Having said so, the plot moves along at a snail’s pace. Each season has a short order of episodes but about half of them are padding for musical scenes and some odd and quirky moments. Galavant doesn’t tell the best of stories and in fact it’s clumsy in its narrative, but the humour and musical elements somehow make it work. The plot itself is also fairly predictable, as you kinda know where things will go, even from the first episode, still, the minor twists and their accompanying songs are enjoyable.

The cast is phenomenal and I was surprised to see Timothy Omundson (Detective Lassiter from Psych and Cain in Supernatural) and Vinnie Jones (many thugs in films, particularly Bullet-Tooth Tony in Snatch) in there singing along with the rest of them. The rest of the cast, with the exception of special guests, were complete strangers to me but now I’m a big fan of Joshua Sasse, his performance of Galavant, the hurt and hopelessly in love fool resonating strongly with me, as well as his short patience during season two. I liked the sincerity he puts into the performances, particularly in those episodes where he leaves his quest to the side to help Richard out, to get him together with a girl. “Maybe you won’t die alone,” is one of his best songs because of this, because you can tell from his expressions and gestures how much he wants this to happen.

In an interview I recently heard, the cast mentioned they recorded the songs live on scene and in a studio, and that the production team used the live ones most of the time, which I found impressive, as they’re never just standing still, but acting their parts and being quite physical about it as well. Their characters are over the top and borderline hammy at times, but it all plays well with the parody nature of the show.

Sets, scenery and costume design are also very good, particularly the difference in clothing and status between the higher and lower social classes, something they play with quite often with the Chef and his girlfriend. They could’ve used a bit more authenticity, making them a bit grubbier, but this show isn’t trying to go for authentic. Season two takes the series further into the fantasy side of this medieval adventure, with magic and sorcerers and even dragons, but they use only a tiny bit of CGI, resorting to classic practical effects for the most of it, something I appreciate a lot in this (bad) CGI saturated television era.

Conclusion

Galavant’s season 2 ended just a few weeks ago, and now I’m hoping there’s a third season. Our hero and his pal got their happy endings, but this quirky karaoke world still has more to tell us…I hope!

TMA SCORE:

4.5/5 – Amazing!

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