A pretty man singing silly songs in a medieval comedy? I mean, how could I possibly miss that?! That’s right—ABC’s Galavant had its premiere a short while back, and I was kind of eager to see if it’d strike the right chords with this TV fan (har har musical puns). Have you been looking to fill a TV gap on Sunday night? Well, let’s talk about the particulars of this premiere and see if you think Galavant might fit the bill.
What I liked:
- The delightfully silly songs. Alan Menken (the genius behind so many of Disney’s best songs and scores) and Christopher Lennertz clearly have a blast with this music—especially the lyrics, which, I kid you not, included the terms “butt clencher” and “muffin top.” It’s so ridiculous that it’s hard not to laugh. It’s very Spamalot/Monty Python-esque.
- The cast. Newcomer Joshua Sasse is handsome, charming, and hilarious as the title hero. Luke Youngblood (Harry Potter’s Lee Jordan, you guys!) is sassy and sweet as his enthusiastic squire, Sid. Karen David shines as strong-willed Isabella, the force driving Galavant back out into the world. Mallory Jansen makes shallow, greedy Madalena surprisingly funny. Vinnie Jones is pretty much perfection as the king’s tough right-hand man, Gareth. And speaking of the king…
- Timothy Omundson is wonderful. I knew the Psych veteran would have fun with this show, but he absolutely eats up his role as King Richard. You can tell he is the comedy pro of the bunch. His song in the pilot episode might be my favorite one, both because it’s sung well and it’s really funny.
- Basically, all of the “Joust Friends” episode. It has everything from a “no pants nightmare” to an ‘80s montage training sequence to the most pathetic (and hilarious) jousting match you have ever seen. Also, John Stamos!
- Getting a two-episode premiere—especially for a half-hour show. It’s nice to get a true feel for what you’re getting yourself into before you make a commitment to it. I enjoyed the first episode, but the second episode was definitely the one that made me want to come back for more.
What I didn’t like:
- Bless their hearts, but not many of the cast members can sing super well. Even leading man Sasse is clearly not an accomplished singer. The only one who actually impressed me was Omundson. Still, for this kind of thing perfect singing isn’t really required. It’s more about the humor than anything else, which this show totally understands.
- The humor is pretty predictable. Don’t get me wrong—I still laughed. Just don’t expect something completely original.
- John Stamos’ potential is kind of wasted in this. As jousting rival Jean Hamm (har har see what they did there?), he has this weird, vaguely French accent (I’m not sure it’s French because it’s not done very well), and he really doesn’t get much screen time. I would say that I hope he becomes a recurring character instead of being a blip on the show’s radar, but I’m not sure if I want to be subjected to that accent again, so…
- It’s hard to get attached when all signs point to a short run. As fun as this show is, it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that will get renewed. Plus, even if it were renewed it would be hard to keep it fresh. I feel like this is a struggle for all musical TV shows. I mean, just look at Glee. How many viewers does that show have left? Like, seven?
The Potential: I had a lot of fun with this premiere, and I think the potential is definitely there. It’s completely silly, but the cast and the creators embrace that, and their enthusiasm clearly shines through. I’m hesitant to get too attached, but I certainly won’t mind an hour of this for the next couple of Sundays. If you laugh at campy musicals and had fun with the show Merlin, I highly recommend Galavant, and if you’re a Monty Python and/or Spamalot fan, this is probably a must-watch.
My Grade: B+