Review of Galavant Pilot and Episode Joust Friends (Semi-Spoilers)

I remember seeing the advertisement for this show, back on October, 2014.  It came on right before I was about to see the film Annabelle.   I just remember not being able to get the song Galavant out of my head.   I was under the assumption that it was what Frozen was for girls.   Galavant would be for guys.  It turns out I was right.   Galavant is part Monty Python and part Disney Musical.   The writing is smart, and plays tribute to that “special episode,” that sitcoms were best known for in the 80’s and 90’s.   You know the ones I’m taking about?   The ones where for one night a Sticom will air live.   Or it’s going to be a musical.  Speaking of this musical/comedy adventure event.   Not one member of the cast ever chews the scenery.  As far as them singing the musical numbers?   The actors in fairness nail some of the songs.   Singing is just another way, to express the mood and atmosphere.   They all have good voices, however Joshus Sasse, Karen David, and Ben Presley have the best voices in the bunch.


The plot is pretty much cut and dry.   Its star Galavant, played by Joshua Sasse.  Is supposed to be part Popeye, part Sir Lancelot.   He is loved by all and worshiped by all.  One day his girlfriend Madalena played by Mallory Jansen, is abducted by King Richard.  Who is played by Timothy Omundson.  At first she wants to be saved by her Galavant.  Until she decides that being a Queen might have its advantages.

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Galavant is now heart broken, and goes into a state of depression.   A year passes by and King Richard takes over the Kingdom of Valencia.  Its Princess, Isabella (Karen David), escapes and goes searching for Galavant.   At first Galavant is uninterested until she tells him that King Richard was the tyrant who took over her land and people.   It gives him an excuse to re-rescue his long lost love.   Accompanied by his trusty squire Sid, played by Luke Youngblood.  They go on their musical/adventure quest.


As for our so called villain?  He’s more spoiled and inbred than evil.  The best way to describe him is an human version of Prince John from Disney’s Robin Hood.   This makes the King is a lot more interesting to watch.   He ends up being henpecked by his new Queen.  You know, the one he abducted and forced to marry.   She secretly sleeps with their court jester, behind the Kings back.  She also claims that Galavant was more man than The King ever was.  There’s a great moment where she berates him in front of his Captain of the Guard Gareth played by (OY, I’M THE JUGGERNAUT BITCH)!  Vinne Jones.   When he asks her to repeat the comment, she throws it back at him.   Where he just takes it and cowers.   However he has concocted an plan.   He allowed The Princess to escape.   She’ll fetch Galavant, and this time Richard will kill the hero.   Making him the new Galvant.   So he’ll finally gain the respect he hopes to receive.


I do enjoy how the main cast members play off each other.   It’s up there with The Princess Bride.  It’s a well written episode. Unfortunately  just when it’s  getting  good, it goes to commercial.   Or the episode is already over.   That’s the other thing too.   It’s two 22 minute episodes, not one 44 minute episode.   Why it’s like that I have no idea.   Another problem that I have are the performers thick accents.   Sometimes they mutter, or talk too quickly, so I miss what they were saying.   I DVR’d  the show and attempted closed captioning. I still couldn’t understand what they were saying.  The composer Alan Menken.  Who you probably know from Beauty and the Beast, and Little shop of Horrors fame.   Along with Lyricist Glenn Slater, whose credits include Disney’s Home on The Range, Tangled and The Broadway version of The Little Mermaid.  Have done their best to give us, an Americanized Spamalot.   Also this is not an  “family show.”  There is adult humor and situations here and there.   So this is more of a rated m for mature type of show.   Since the episodes discuss adultry, murder, and off screen rape.   Not to mention Galavant is an alcoholic.   I’m glad this show is a mini series.   It’s enough to explain its point, and not wear out its welcome.   Unlike some other network shows.


We then transition to the second episode Joust Friends.   King Richard does his best to asert himself to win his wife’s love.   However she just comes off as cold, manipulative, and frigid.   Richard gets tips on maning up from Gareth.  Again, since this is a 22 minute episode we don’t get to see Gareth’s teachings.   Instead we have to see how, Galavant will get back into shape.   By entering a local jousting competition.   The audience is treated to a Rocky-esque montage.   Also it’s The Princess who whips Galavant back into shape.   Not his squire, which asks the question what is the point of the squire?   I like the actor, but the character just seems to be the comic relief.   He admires Galavant, but never gets his sword.   Or performs any of the duties an squire is supposed to do?   Now granted Karen David is not only nice to look at.  She is sassy, has an edge.  Is secretly working for the bad guy, but is falling in love with the Hero.   You know what, the more I think of it.  The more this is an live action version of Disney’s Hercules.


The King Richard/Gareth scenes are worth watching.   The fact that The King is a spoiled man child is a scream.   I still don’t get why we didn’t get an Gareth/King Richard montage.   Vinnie Jones does have some great line reads in this episode.  Especially when he invites The King into his room.   When Richard asks what’s that smell?   Gareth takes it in and replies, “That’s the smell of testosterone.”   There is a bittersweet dinner scene where Richard tries to be more manly for his wife.   It doesn’t work out, and Richard resorts to being a spoiled child, again.  Fortunately it’s Timothy Omundson’s  delivery that makes me laugh.   I do  feel emphatic when he still can’t win the love of his Queen.   We do get three songs in this episode.   One of them is A Hero’s Journey.   It has that Road Trip feel to it.  As Galavant  and  company continue to head to Richard’s Kingdom.   The Stand Up song is just played in the background during Gal’s montage.   Finally we get You’re not the Worst Thing Ever.   Sung by The Princess, Gal, and the Queen and King.   I do enjoy this song.   It kind of reminds me of the end song from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.  The problem is I don’t care about Galavant.  He comes off as one minded, oblivious, feels sorry for himself when he loses his girlfriend to King Richard.   Why did an entire village worship him and sing songs about him again?   Getting to see both the Hero’s and Villain’s side of the story is nothing new.   The musical numbers are still  not 100 percent there. The plot has too many twists and turns, due to its limited run.   However the pros are the performances, chemistry, and smart line reads here and there.   Making it one of the more memorable mini series to date.

Review Overview


An Fractured Fairy Tale

It's Monty Python meets any old school Disney Musical. King Richard as a comedic villain is icing on the cake. Some catchy tunes here and there.

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