Last week I recapped Galavant’s pilot and its second ep “Joust Friends.” This week this weird little wonder that is offering only 8 episodes pitted itself against the glamorous garbage fest that is the Golden Globes because ABC loves cutting its new shows off at the knees I guess. But aside from competing with one of Hollywood’s most eye-catching nights, how did Galavant fare? Let’s break it down.
The first episode “Two Balls” focused on squire Sid’s awkward homecoming and King Richard’s misguided and disastrous attempt at bringing some cheer into the lives of the conquered Valencians. But first a rousing reprisal of the theme song with new lyrics offering a previously on! SUCH a better use for this jaunty tune the theme than those cringe-inducing ads for The Middle and The Bachelor. It seems ABC has heard our collective groans and laid these abysmal ads to rest.
Last week had me wishing for Luke Youngblood’s sassy squire Sid having more to do! And now he does! Turns out he’s been lying to his hometown about his exploits, and is believed to be a hero. It’s a great setup for a turn-the-tables/switch-the-status arc, and it starts off solid with a gag about using a quill to sign a swooning fan’s heaving bosom.
Another step in a great direction, Karen David’s Princess Isabella turns out to be an (admittedly overzealous) improv artist! (Flashbacks to Jane and Brad on Happy Endings!. Whimper. Moving on.) All the same it sometimes sucks to be the smartest girl in the room: “You’re son with an ‘o’ was my sun with a ‘u!’” “We can’t read.”
But with “Oy What A Knight” things quickly go from promising to problematic when it turns out that Sid was adopted by a village packed to the brim with Jewish stereotypes. “Speaking as his rabbi, why am I not surprised? Our Sidney is the knight who put the Sir in Cirscumcised!” Oy vey indeed.
We return to King Richard who is positively stunned that his giddiness at taking over Valencia is not contagious to its conquered and demoralized people. He’s tried everything really. He tore down their sacred tree, offered free shots at the ball-less crotch of a eunuch. (“Your loss is our gain, and for that we thank you.”) He’s tried relating to their lack of food by burning the last of it that he’s hoarded. (“Oh. I see it now. That was a horrible idea.”) And he’s offered an executioners’ song about everyone’s looming mortality. Richard, these rubes may not get you, but you’re winning this one over.
Believed to be a squire for Sid, Galavant is faced with the truth about how the common man sees knights like him. Why GIF it when you can watch the song “Jackass in A Can” yourself! Not enough songs in the world end with loogie-hocking.
Is it just me, or does Galavant (Joshua Sasse) look perpetually airbrushed?
“100% turnout!” Genocide has never been so hilarious. (ABC—in case you were wondering—yes, I approve that for pull quote use.)
“You know what! Heroes get the raisins.” Whoa. What just happened? Galavant gave some advice, learned a lesson and then with breakneck speed, ABC jumped to the next episode, “Comedy Gold.” No resolution, and within seconds Galavant has already backslid into being a selfish prick again.
Moments like “Togetherness” are when this show really sings. (Ugh, pardon the corny wordplay.) The song’s witty as it steps us through how the group dynamic is shifting from sweet to sour. And it gives each of its trio a moment to dazzle. But let’s not forget who the show is named for:
My favorite of Galavant’s subversions of the fantasy genre is King Richard’s sincere attempts to win over the bride he stole. He’s totally evil, slaying masses and laughing at their pain. But his tour of trying to be manlier and now funnier for the cold-hearted Madalena is steadily becoming the thumping heart of this series. Unexpected. Not unwelcomed.
Cameo Alert: The land-stranded Pirate King is none other than Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonnevile! And with a quirky sea chanty (“We’re the lords of the sea—just not of the actual sea!”) this crew of rogues and sustainable garndeners makes Christopher Walken weep for what could have been.
“I put it with my girls supplies! Guys never look there.” This is as true now as it was in days of old. Want to hind anything ever from a dude, put tampons on top of it. It’s like a force field.
Oof. The writers are trying a bit too hard with “Lilith Fair at the Island of Lesbos” and “booty booty booty” business.
We’ve skipped another climactic showdown that promised to be epic. To add insult to injury, Sid has the gall to say, “You missed an amazing battle, better than anything that’s happened at Castle Black.” For those keeping track, that was the second Game Of Thrones reference this season. The first came in episode 2:
“You’ve always been maggots in here.” Awe-rrgh!
And we end with a lame joke, and a lamer promise. No musical finale!?
The more Galavant goes on, the more it feels like ABC gave creator Dan Fogelman a shoestring budget and not enough screentime to tell the tale. Story points are getting crammed in in voiceover. Plots are being left to dangle (the conclusion to Sid’s hometown story), and the absent of actual action (swashbuckling pirates, pulling the ship of the cliff) is becoming less comical, more frustrating. Is this just a cavalier caper? Or is it worth hoping for a bigger budget and new adventures with a season two?
Random lines that made me LOL:
“Did you know that my hometown of Valencia is famous for two things: our cabbage festival, and our theater program.” “So worst place ever? You should have just said, ‘Worst Place Ever.’”
“You set their fields ablaze and announced through all lands, ‘Oh yeah! Take that Valencia.’”
“Do you kiss my ring with that mouth?”
“Why do you want the girl supplies?”
“Dude, you’re making me uncomfortable.”
“What on God’s flat earth is going on?”
Anyway, we’re now half-way through Galavant’s first season. Sound off on your thoughts in comments.