Okay, it’s really “8 Episodes In”. But since it was a short run, and since the network aired two shows at a time, it’s also kind of “4 Episodes In”. Hence, the Slice of SciFi editors said to just watch the whole run of Galavant and then report back. So I did.
And I loved it.
Galavant is a musical comedy – think Men in Tights crossed with When Things Were Rotten and Wizards and Warriors (this is Flashback Central calling all those who loved series killed too soon). It’s set in medieval times, in part because there’s so much more to make fun of when people didn’t bathe much. (Seriously.) (On both counts.)
Our handsome hero is Galavant (Joshua Sasse) whose lady love, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), is taken by evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson) to be his bride. Galavant goes to save her, but Madalena’s actually a conniving beeyotch, and she chooses to stay with Richard, though she won’t sleep with him. Galavant goes into a long drunk, until Princess Isabella (Karen David) from Valencia comes to ask him to help her rescue her parents from King Richard’s enslavement. Prodded by his squire, Sid (Luke Youngblood), Galavant reluctantly agrees to help Isabella. Romance and highjinks ensue.
There is singing. And dancing. But a lot more singing. And I’m thrilled to say that Alan Menken has finally found someone to replace the late and extremely lamented Howard Ashman – Glens Slater’s lyrics are consistently witty and hilarious, while also moving the plot along.
And there’s singing from some actors you wouldn’t expect could, actors like Vinnie Jones, who’s darned good, and from actors you know can sing and dance, like Omundson, who’s fantastic as always.
There are tons of cameos from big name stars like Ricky Gervais and Rutger Hauer and more, and some are in for more than one episode and some, should Galavant get renewed, will be back, I’m sure, in Season Two.
My only complaint was that the network’s combining of two half-hour shows to make a one hour block, meant that they cut the endings of every odd numbered episode, meaning that you lost something that would have come right before the end credits. Those losses actually matter, giving Galavant an uneven tone that I don’t think it would have had if it had actually run over 8 weeks instead of 4.
The friend who I checked with about Into the Woods enjoyed this, but he felt that the music was too repetitive, especially in the pilot episode. I didn’t feel the same way, especially because the music got mixed up a bit more in all the episodes after. And you can get the soundtrack, too, but be warned that it doesn’t appear to have all the songs (which, considering that’s 4 hours’ worth of music for season one alone, makes sense), so preview before you buy.
If you like satire and musical comedy, this should be your catnip. If you cannot stand characters singing, then stay far, far away. If you’re not sure, give it a try, you may find that you’re pleasantly surprised.
Those of us who loved the show are still waiting to see if ABC will pick this up for another season. Season One ended on a cliffhanger, so hopefully the House of Mouse will give their witty musical comedy another go, even if it’s set up as another compressed week event. Be it 4 weeks or 24, I’ll be watching Gaaaaaal-aaaaa-vaaaaaant.