TV Review: Galavant Brings Quirky Lightweight Fun To ABC

Fans of quirky television take note! ABC is filling the time slot occupied by Once Upon A Time, currently on winter hiatus, with the new musical comedy, Galavant.

Joshua Sasse plays the titular Galavant, a dashing hero who loses his confidence and his lady, all in one day. When the evil, and somewhat clueless King Richard (Timothy Omundson), steals away Galavant’s “true love” Madalena (Mallory Jansen), Galavant discovers she might just be more keen on the high life. Depressed and drunk, Galavant and his squire, Sid (Luke Youngblood) find hope in a quest to avenge Isabella (Karen David), who suffered wrongs at the hands of the king, but has some secrets of her own. This is the kicking off point for the series, which follows this small band on their trek to see the king.

Galavant is created by Dan Fogelman, creator of The Neighbors, and whose writing credits include Tangled and Cars. Fogelman enlisted composer/songwiters Alan Menken and Glenn Slater to tackle the playful musical numbers. The tunes are catchy earworms, although the pilot includes one song that gets stuck in your head from it’s constant repetition. Parents of smaller children take note: the trailers showcase the silly fun of the show, but the song lyrics lightly touch on more adult situations.

More hit and miss on Galavant is the humor, which is thrust so far into the forefront of the action that it can be exhausting. One liners fly fast and furious with equal parts working and falling flat. There’s a great deal of tongue in cheek humor working here, especially with the wide array of guest stars. To give you an idea, John Stamos plays a longtime rival of Galavant named Sir Jean Hamm, while Ricky Gervais appears as Xanax the wizard. The best moments occur with the core group of players, of which I am especially fond of Omundson’s King Richard, who is equal parts childish and awful.

One thing is certain: Galavant is unlike anything else on network television right now, especially for ABC. The best comparisons for the show land somewhere in the neighborhood of The Princess Bride or Shrek, with a good measure of Spamalot tossed in. Galavant aims for a silly fairy tale tone, and it hits that mark more often than not.

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