Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “Galavant,” a musical comic fantasy that aired on ABC from 2015-2016.
What: Created and written by Dan Fogelman, with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, the series premiered on January 4, 2015, as the mid-season replacement for Once Upon a Time. The series follows the adventures of Galavant (Joshua Sasse), a dashing knight hero down on his luck who is determined to reclaim his reputation and his “Happily Ever After” by going after the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson), who ruined it the moment he kidnapped the love of Galavant’s life, Madalena (Mallory Jansen).
When: The show aired for two seasons from 2015 to 2016 on ABC.
Where: The show is set in the fictional realms of Valencia and Hortensia. Don’t ask me where they actually are relative to our real world.
Why: Listen to the podcast for the panelists’ individual stories on how they found Galavant.
During the annual Fall TV Preview for the 2014-2015 season, CPU! Chief Kylie picked up this show for viewing. When I picked it up, I said:
Oh come on! They had me at musical fairy tale! And while it could play out like an all 3-D Enchanted or maybe Glee meets Once Upon a Time, the trailer snippet renders the show much closer to Monty Python and the Holy Grail (or, more rightly, Spamalot). The sheer novelty of it will have me tuning in!
The Chief CP did tune in when the show aired – for a couple of episodes anyway; however, it couldn’t keep my attention until I willed myself to watch the whole series when it was available for streaming on Netflix. As it turns out, I was not the only panelist who felt this way. Read on.
How – as in How Was It?
The pilot/premiere rating scale:
***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING. HOLY SMOKES!
**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing. I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.
*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens. There are things I like, and things I don’t. We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.
** – I will give it three episodes. Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together. No matter how unlikely.
* – Pass on this one, guys. It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.
Galavant = 3.8, by average of the podcast panel.
Galavant (Sasse) is assisted by Princess Isabella (Karen David), whose kingdom of Valencia Richard (Omundson) has conquered, and Sid (Luke Youngblood), his squire. Meanwhile, the malevolent but weak-willed Richard tries to win over the scheming Madalena and seeks help from his brawny henchman, Gareth (Vinnie Jones), and his chef, Vincenzo. The episodes chronicle Galavant’s journeys (and the twists and turns that go along with them) through musical numbers composed and written by Menken and Slater.
Surprisingly, a number of CPU! regular panelists were ready to sing at least modest praises for a show that aired for two seasons as a mid-season replacement for juggernaut Once Upon a Time, and that was unceremoniously canceled, a second time, after a fan campaign rescued the show from the so-called “cancellation bear” a first time. Specifically, panelists Kristen, Nick, Sarah, and Jenn gathered “Around the Water Cooler” to take a “First Look” while “Looking Back” (we’re complicated around here!) at musical comedy Galavant, including its high notes, its low notes, and its questionable musical interludes in between. Though this program’s two seasons came and went somewhat quickly, depending upon one’s point of view, they clearly made an impression, which the panel gleefully dissects in the episode below.
This podcast was recorded in December 2016, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as we cover major plot points, sight gags, and comedic situations in Galavant. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Galavant is recommended to people who love musicals and Disney and especially Disney musicals, owing to its fractured fairy tale setting punctuated by song (by Disney’s frequent composer Alan Menken, no less) and the occasional dance, though some of the panelists feel that the show does not hold up over multiple viewings. This program is also recommended to those who might enjoy a Renaissance Fair or a Medieval Times reenactment, though these niches are really just flavors of and backdrop to a larger musical interplay propelling the Python-esque quality of the presentation. Most of the panelists would hesitate to recommend it to anyone who can’t stand or get through a musical, especially since it’s not the best musical around – with which all the panelists agree – and since this musical repeatedly riffs on other musicals as part of a larger running gag that only true musical lovers would likely appreciate.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
Canceled! Galavant was canceled after two seasons by ABC, though it enjoys a streaming afterlife on Netflix. Because Galavant is handily self-contained, given its very palpable brushes with and ultimate fate in cancellation, as well as its cheeky self-awareness, one can enjoy it for what it is: a sprightly yet satirical musical extravaganza spanning two short but memorable seasons. As such, if you can stomach a musical, the panel urges you to watch it at least once.