Attend the tale of GALAVANT

January 5, 2015

Last night I caught the first two episodes of GALAVANT, ABC’s new musical situation comedy. Out of curiosity, I read reviews and comments from various online sources, from major publications to internet message boards. As expected, the critiques ranged from raves to negative comments that were tantamount to bigotry (no points for guessing where I read those). So, what is my take?

Glad you asked. GALAVANT is a totally bonkers, wonderfully tuneful fractured fairy tale, where oddball characters, pratfalls, and snappy dialogue are the order of the day. Consider, Galavant, the hero, is surrounded in the first episodes by a princess who bullies him into getting back into action to save her kingdom, Madalena, the woman he loved, who totally rejected him when he tried to rescue her from King Richard, the villain. Oh yes, King Richard, mean one second, and hysterically foppish and childish the next. He even needs his chef to feed him like a baby in one fall down funny scene. Speaking of fall down funny, we’re treated to one of the funniest jousts ever filmed. I won’t spoil the payoff, mainly because you just have to see for yourself. And there’s Gareth, who is quick to kick, punch and beat up anyone the king tells him to, but is NOT the sharpest sword in the armory.

Then there’s Alan Menken and Glen Slater’s music. Be warned, the theme song is going to be stuck in your head for days. Not that that’s a bad thing. The lyrics are just as cheeky as the dialogue. In a Playbill.com interview, Menken says that any style of music is fair game in GALAVANT’s universe. One second you’re hearing a soft-shoe number performed by King Richard and his court, in which we hear the nasty things Richard wants to do to Galavant, next we hear a left-handed romantic quartet, in which the four leads decide maybe the other person isn’t so bad. Make no mistake, even that quartet is filled with punchlines. I can’t wait for Weird Al Yankovic’s musical guest appearance coming in a future episode.

One thing that struck me about the negative comments. Some people beefed that it was silly, while others said there was too much music. Ummmmmm, news flash: ABC had been promoting GALAVANT as a musical comedy, and a knowingly silly one at that. Sorry you were expecting yet another dark, moody, grandiose epic with overly complicated stories, overdone battle scenes, and characters with more letters in their names than a WHEEL OF FORTUNE puzzle, and were disappointed that GALAVANT doesn’t fit your dystopian sensibilities. But I say it’s nice to end my weekend with a laugh and a song for a change. And hats off to ABC for giving us this series, even if it is only for a month. So three cheers for GALAVANT. Your name is already legendary.


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