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Galavant – A New Season aka Suck it Cancellation Bear + World’s Best Kiss - Review

Well we are back in fine form with Galavant and I have to say so far I’m enjoying this season even more than the last. I think that’s mostly due to the fact that we know all of our main players now which leaves more room for the writers to play with comedy aspects of their character. There were a few things that bugged me with this premiere, but on the whole I thought it was a strong re-introduction to the musical world of Galavant and a glimpse at the great season ahead of us.

The first episode revolved around Galavant and King Richard and explored their journey back to the kingdom, as well as their growing friendship. King Richard steals every scene he’s in with his childlike demeanor which surprisingly isn’t off putting or annoying. You don’t grow tired of his attitude instead you’re just waiting for what crazy line will come out of his mouth next. The scenes with Galavant and King Richard at the Enchanted Forest club far overshadowed the scenes with Isabella and her family, as well as those with Madalena and Gareth. I kept waiting for the action to go back to the Enchanted Forest.

The musical numbers in this episode were just as giggle-inducing and clever as I remembered from season one. A good chunk of the episode was taken up by the opening number which revolved around poking fun at the show and proclaiming what’s in store for the new season. I love this song. As much as it was fodder for the promos, the ridiculous amount of self-depreciating comedy still made me grin. The other key musical number was performed by guest star Kylie Minogue and that was pure fan service, though not for the obvious reasons. However briefly the guest stars on Galavant appear, their presence always adds something special. It was a very catchy musical number and I enjoyed seeing the pop star as this siren figure ruling over the medieval men’s club. I also especially enjoyed Simon Callow as the fortune teller in the second episode. When he pulled that elementary school cootie catcher out as a way of soothsaying, I had to wipe tears from my eyes from laughing. It’s that type of goofy comedy that makes Galavant work. The show doesn’t take itself seriously at all and neither should you.

The second half of this premiere is where we come into a bit of conflict between Galavant and Isabella. Their duet regarding their first kiss says it all; perhaps they rushed into this fairy tale romance too quickly and aren’t quite a good fit. That doubt (and a crystal ball with poor reception) causes Isabella to believe that maybe her new prince charming isn’t that in to her. What I enjoy most about their duet is exactly what makes the Galavant group songs stand out to me. It’s the clever lyrics and timing of aside comments, the negative observations that clang jarringly enough with the beautiful, Disney-esque music they cause the listener to do a double take and give a chuckle. The only thing I didn’t like about this development with Galavant and Isabella is how it came about. The all too convenient mishearing of a message which results in conflict that will only be resolved when the characters are finally reunited. We’ve seen this before, but then again Galavant is all about playing with tropes. I just wish they would have played with and warped this one a bit more. This second episode also seems to be building things up for King Richard. Obviously we are going to explore a storyline regarding his virginity if that clingy unicorn is anything to go by, and it’s not just coincidence he picked up a legendary sword like you or I would pick up milk at the store. The first half of the hour may have been a welcome back, but the second dove right in to the plot of this new season.

The secondary characters on Galavant really make this show special. I always find that Chef steals every scene he's in, but this season he is getting some particularly great material. His poking and prodding of intentional continuity errors was part of that self-depreciating humor mentioned earlier. And his reaction to Isabella getting her Disney princess solo in and forgetting about him was one of the funniest moments of the episode. Just the deadpan delivery and sheer annoyance radiating off Chef, it gives you an idea of what it’s really like to live in a musical. Also, I have to mention the Queen of Valencia’s naughty “spank bank” line cracked me up to thoroughly I had to pause the episode. However, I hope Sid has more to do this season, he seemed rather underused. Time will only tell.

The one thing that really irked me about these new Galavant episodes was how much they referenced current fantasy shows, namely Game of Thrones. I understand that Game of Thrones is an ever-present pop culture phenomena but it seems like an easy target and almost dates the material. Galavant is strongest when it parodies fantasy in general, when it takes timeless elements like princes and maidens in distress out for a spin. Things like name checking White Walkers was just jarring and upset the flow of the episode for me.

As the opening musical number of Galavant states, we have a new season of upon us. And as the opening musical number of shows, this Galavant will be doing more leaning on the fourth wall, drawing not only from common fantasy themes for its laughs but from itself. Galavant is a show that always knows what it is, a show that’s goofy and not to be taken seriously, and this second season so far is proving that Galavant is wallowing in that aspect of itself. Who really knows what will happen next with this adult themed Disney extravaganza, but this premiere has whet my appetite and made me want more.

Tune in next week for “Aw, Hell, the King” and “Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled”!

About the Author – Ashley B
Ashley is as serious as a sleeping curse when she says television is her life. Professional event planner, avid movie viewer, convention enthusiast, and resident sass master, Ashley writes reviews for ABC's Once Upon a Time, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, and Galavant, as well as Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. She looks forward each week to the weird and wonderful world her favorite television programs provide.
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