TV Review: ‘Galavant,’ Season 2

Galavant Season 2 Review ABC
ABC/Angus Young

ABC must have gotten a good deal, like really quite a steal, to go ahead and renew “Galavant.” A show with ratings low, but catchy songs, you know, that pretty well describes poor “Galavant.” Now it’s back for season two, and that’s good news for those few who can appreciate something as wildly silly as “Galavant.” And as one of those folks, who felt in on the jokes, here’s a (qualified) cheer for “Galavant.” So savor this brief run, that’s really quite good fun, because blink and you might miss out on “Galavant.”

Actually, “Galavant” rather conspicuously retires that overused ditty in the opening of the season premiere, which cheekily (like most everything else associated with the show) pokes fun at its meager audience, while citing the murderer’s row of big January events (the Golden Globes, playoff football) in its competitive future that are apt to keep things that way. “You’ll know hell’s freezin’ if we get decent ratings,” the lyrics say near the outset.

Stick with the show through the previewed episodes, though, and it’s pretty clear why this medieval musical comedy – which, even if it hadn’t rhymed “adventure” with “butt-clenched,” gets points just for that log line – didn’t catch on beyond its hearty band of admirers. Because while it’s cleverly conceived and occasionally witty, “Galavant” generally plays like a narrowly pitched come-on to theater geeks and fans of early Monty Python, perfectly nice people, but in Nielsen terms, not historically  a winning coalition.

Fortunately, the enthusiasts also included ABC Entertainment chief Paul Lee, which explains the stay of execution, although once again, ABC has scheduled back-to-back episodes of the series, having concluded that it didn’t really go with any of the other comedies on its schedule. That means the 10 episodes (seven of which were previewed) provide a relatively brief five-week respite for “Once Upon a Time.”

The first season of “Galavant” ended on a cliffhanger, and the second moves ahead on several parallel tracks, with the title character (Joshua Sasse) and his former nemesis King Richard (Timothy Omundson) thrown together on a sort-of quest. Galavant wants to rescue his new love Isabella (Karen David), who remains a captive; while Richard wants his throne back, having been deposed by his power-hungry queen (and Galavant’s ex) Madalena (Mallory Jansen) and former henchman Gareth (Vinnie Jones, who gets to sing perhaps more than is advisable).

There are, again, some amusing guest stars, including “Downton Abbey’s” Hugh Bonneville and Sophie McSheara, and Kylie Minogue. The show also exhibits a consistent sense of playfulness, from Galavant and Richard stumbling into a gay bar called the Enchanted Forest to the complications that can ensue from a bad magic-amulet connection to a “West Side Story”-like gang fight between dwarfs and giants, who all happen to be about the same height.

Even the title of the premiere (“A New Season… aka Suck It Cancellation Bear”) speaks to the show’s embrace of its predicament, which hasn’t really led to anything that would reflect an attempt to significantly broaden its appeal. And while one can understand downplaying the title song – which tended to play on a continuous loop in the heads of those who watched – the new tunes, again courtesy of composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater, are likable but a somewhat hit-miss affair, heightening appreciation for how consistently good the numbers have been on CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.”

Reprise: And so those few who care, should probably say a prayer, if they want to see more “Galavant.” Yes, there were fun songs and dances, but in TV there aren’t many second chances, so while it isn’t trash – a big step up from “Smash” – best not to get too attached to “Galavant.”

TV Review: 'Galavant,' Season 2

(Series; ABC, Sun. Jan. 3, 8 p.m.)

Production

Filmed in Bristol by Rhode Island Prods. in association with ABC Studios.

Crew

Executive Producers, Dan Fogelman, Alan Menken, Glenn Slater, Chris Koch, Kat Likkel, John Hoberg; director, John Fortenberry; writers, Fogelman, Likkel, Hoberg. 30 MIN.

Cast

Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones, Mallory Jansen, Karen David, Luke Youngblood

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  1. danoregon says:

    Watching season 2 on Netflix. Such a fun and easy watch. Not surprised it didn’t find an audience at ABC since it isn’t a family comedy. I really wonder how many of these songs were written by Menken through the years when he became stir crazy writing all those Disney movie songs.

  2. Linda says:

    It would be such a shame not to have a season 3 for the show Galavant. I’m not one for musicals but this show was perfect, funny and the jokes were great. Please do a season 3!!!

  3. florence beres says:

    I really enjoyed the show and hope it comes back. It really made me laugh and isn’t that what a good show is supposed to do. The modern songs with their time that they are performing in are hilarious.
    Great actors – really liked the show……. Bring it back please…….

  4. Shawn says:

    My Family and I watch it and look forward to it. I support the idea and the great effort that goes into it. Is it the best thing ever? … sadly no, but it is far better than most. The originality and risk are worth supporting. I watch maybe only 2-3 hrs of TV a week and am happy that 33%-50% of that time goes to this show.
    Tell your friends about it!

  5. Finally a different kind of show and no one likes it. Hey I hate musicals, yechhh, HOWEVER I watched the first friggin season and ENJOYED it. People complaining about reality shows, complaining complaining ya da ya da. Along comes this cute show and children can watch it and oh blahhh. I even liked the “Off With His Shirt’ and “Suck It Cancellation Bear”. If only I had the money and owned a station, I say go ahead ABC cancel so I can pick it up. Then I would really make this show the best with say guest star Daniel Craig playing someone with a certain tux in the wrong show or movie or whatever this was and I even come up with a few surprises and make this a Mad Magazine type show with the music numbers put in.

  6. Maria says:

    Absolutely hysterical show! So clever embracing a “Disney” like theme with funny funny lyrics! I have been spreading the “Galavant” word and so many people never heard of it last year. They didn’t advertise like they have done this year and people that I know, are now watching season 1 and recording season 2! And loving it! This show is uniquely done, funny, with a story line and like no other show on tv. This shouldn’t make it a bad show. It makes it awesome!! People, come on… reach in, find your funny bone, sit back, watch and laugh!! A gay bar called the Enchanted Forest during medieval times!?! That’s funny!!

  7. ABC: THE FLOPMASTERS says:

    The trailers this time around look even more atrocious than the ones for season one. As low as the ratings were in season one, this season’s ratings could set the record for all-time lowest rated television program. ABC has been on a roll bringing garbage programming to the tv screen. That explains the record number of failures they had this year. Gallavant just might beat WICKED CITY for the lowest rated ABC and overall big 4 failure, ever. Can’t wait to see how bad these numbers are going to be this year after the tragic numbers it brought in last year! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!! ATROCIOUS!!!!!!!

  8. Wendy says:

    Delightful! The show and the review! Really looking forward to this totally surprising unexpected return!

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