Galavant Sn1 Ep1 “Pilot”, Ep2 “Joust Friends”

First, before anything else, let me applaud “Galavant” for being a limited run show. Like “Ascension” on SyFy it makes it easier for me to delve into a new entity in an already crowded winter viewing season dominated by some many excellent shows. It payed off for “Ascension,” which was excellent, and if the first two episodes of “Galavant” are any indicator, this show should be as well.

“Galavant” is wonderfully silly and quickly sets up a plot that is counter to every single fairy tale out there. Galavant (Joshua Sasse) and his lady fair Madalena (Mallory Jansen) are in love; a whirlwind romance ensues until evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson) kidnaps her as his bride. A grand musical number, filled with epic lines that rhyme “adventure” with “butt clincher,” establishes how amazingly skilled Galavant is at swordplay and general awesomeness as he rides forth, storms the castle, and crashes the royal wedding in a bold bid to rescue his true love. This, however, is where events go severely awry sending his life into a drunken spiral.

In one of the funniest heroic backfires ever, Madalena shows her true character setting up the show’s major conflict. Flash-forward a year, Isabella (Karen David) tracks down a drunk, out-of-shape, embittered, uncaring Galavant for help freeing her kingdom of Valencia from the occupation of evil King Richard. Galavant, escorted by his idealistic squire Sid (Luke Youngblood), sets out on an awkward quest to assist her. The journey begins to reveal his tragically deteriorated physical and mental condition and a jousting encounter with Jean Hamm (John Stamos) openly confirms this for everyone to see.

Wonderfully penned musical numbers connect hilarious sequences of a pathetic king, terrible hero, or cuckolding wife. Vinnie Jones as the king’s captain of the guard brings great comedic toughness to contrast with the king’s exaggerated wimpiness. Not only are songs funny, but they are staged and edited well. Of particular note is the song during “Joust Friends” sung concurrently by King Richard and Galavant to Madalena and Isabella respectively. The use of split-screen and clever lyrics serves to reinforce the messages each man has for the other woman, AND for the one he is actually with.

Pairing these two episodes up as the opening salvo works well for these two contain the vital narrative elements that set the stage to propel the show forward. The main characters seem to be present and accounted for and if Jean Hamm is any indicator there will be a cavalcade of fantastic and comedic characters introduced throughout the remaining six episodes. “Galavant” is channelling “The Princess Bride” by way of the best Disney musical fairy tales most of us grew up on. It is epic, silly fun with choreographed musical numbers.


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