Take one part Princess Bride, one part Shrek, a dash of Monty Python, and a heaping dose of a Disney musical and you’ll start to understand the tone of GALAVANT on ABC. It’s a type of humor you’ll either get or won’t and it’s a true joy to see such a fun show on prime-time television.
It’s tough to tell if the niche humor (in an already niche segment: period musical) will work for audiences at large but thus far the show has been a refreshing break from the typical fare on primetime television.
Continuing tonight in its second week the show continues on the story that has thus far been established…
Joshua Sasse as the titular hero is equal parts manly man, dashing hero, and all around pretty boy. After his true love dear Madalena (Mallory Jansen) is kidnapped by the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson) he embarks with his man-servant squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) on a journey to recover his former glory by helping Princess Isabella Maria Lucia Elizabeta of Valencia (Karen David).
Omundson in particular is hilarious as the completely inept King (think Lord Farquaad) and his counter point in Jansen works quite well as his queen in the loveless relationship. Her personality has echoes of the quirky delightful nature of someone like Emily Blunt.
The entire world’s universe of characters are wonderful caricatures of the familiar tropes of a medieval adventure. From the king’s right-hand Gareth (Vinnie Jones) to even just small side characters like the king’s cook, the entire world is a unabashedly romanticized and downright funny.
With a wonderful cast set, the entire thing is brought to life by the talented forces that Disney fans should be familiar with including Alan Menken, Dan Fogelman, and Glenn Slater it should be no surprise that there’s a fun sort of magic to the show. The music, the lyrics, the whole thing works.
When Disney’s ENCHANTED came out in 2007 (which Menken just so happened to also work on) it did surprisingly well. The tongue in cheek poke at musical fairytales took overt jabs at the genre by generalizing and exaggerating the juvenile and unrealistic archetypes. Despite being written in jest, the infectiously catchy tunes were memorable and made you want to see even more of the cutesy fairy tale world.
Seemingly capitalizing on this idea, GALAVANT really shines in this same respect. It doesn’t take itself completely serious like something like ONCE UPON A TIME does and it’s nice to have a fun genre portrayed with the fun it should.
GALAVANT can be seen Sundays at 8pm on ABC.