Galavant, ABC’s Musical Comedy, has few bright spots


I wish I had more good things to say about ABC’s medieval Musical Comedy special Galavant, but I’m going to be frank with you… it was bad, often verging on awful. The best parts were the commercials for ABC’s comedies sung to the tune of the Galavant theme song. That should tell you something.

Galavant is the creation of three talented artists. Dan Fogelmen, Alan Menken, and Glenn Salter. Unfortunately, this is not their best work. I will be honest, the musical numbers did grow on me upon the second viewing. But there are not enough of them and one of them, a very odd training sequence (a la Rocky films) was totally out of place.

The song “Maybe you’re not the worst thing ever” was probably the most ‘Menken’ of the show and one of my favorites. Unfortunately, it’s also a good anthem for the show itself… not the worst thing ever, damned with faint praise for sure. The fun, light-hearted comedy I expected never materialized. Instead we got mostly, meh.

The first half-hour pilot spends a lot of time doing ‘backstory’ (yes, they use that term in the show) and the plot doesn’t really get rolling until the first regular episode. TL;DR, Galavant is a dashing hero who drank himself to the gutter after losing his lady love Madalena to the evil King Richard. He gets a chance to redeem himself and sets off on a quest.

The story hinges on a couple of interesting plot twists and the appearance of guest stars. John Stamos’ rival knight at the joust was well conceived. But the comedy potential never quite pays off in the final joust that is played at pedestrian speed.

There was too much Timothy Omundson as the King. Not that I mind the actor, but the character of the King was easily established as a mean oppressive doofus and they should have left it at that. We did like the squire character, he had some great lines, but was under utilized. Galavant himself played his part too straight, we could have used a wink at the audience or two to let us know he was in on the joke.

A lot of the comedy was too risque for an 8PM show. 10PM maybe. Cable OK. In addition to some adult humor that wasn’t appropriate for my 11 year old, they actually bleeped a few words during the show. I don’t understand why they couldn’t remove the words they had to bleep while writing the script. It’s not like this was originally going to end up on HBO, it was written with ABC in mind.

I’m happy Disney is willing to experiment with comedy musicals during prime time. As a fan of musical comedy, I hope they continue trying new things. I think this one need some more help in the comedy writing department.

10 thoughts on “Galavant, ABC’s Musical Comedy, has few bright spots”

  1. “I don’t understand why they couldn’t remove the words they had to bleep while writing the script.”

    I did not understand either; I guess someone involved in the program found the “bleeps” amusing and thought other folks would find them amusing too (personally I thought this program would have been better off without expletives). He or she probably even thought they would make folks who would want uncensored copies of the program more willing to purchase them.

  2. Dan Fogelman is one of my favorite writers (I thought The Neighbors was very underrated) so I’m loving this show so far.

  3. They didn’t have the bleeps on Hulu Plus, and admittedly I’m an adult with no children in the house, but I honestly don’t recall a single line of dialogue that might have required a beep…

  4. I pretty much agree with your assessment of the show. Mostly disappointing and a little uncomfortable watching it with my kid (who watches Once Upon A Time with us when it’s on). However, I did think the joust at the end was hilarious.

  5. While I agree that it wasn’t “the worst thing ever,” I was disappointed with so much innuendo at the 8:00 hour. It has been heavily promoted and my 9 and 10 year olds were looking forward to it. Unfortunately, most of it DID NOT go over my 10 (soon to be 11) year olds head. I think ABC has been very careless with this kind of thing for a while. They tout Dancing with the Stars as a family show (which my kids love) but have had some really risqué commercials for Gray’s Anatomy during the show. I had to explain a lot of things I wasn’t ready to explain due to their commercials during “a show the whole family can enjoy together.”

  6. A heavy reliance on sexual innuendos and language that calls for censorship does not a hit comedy show make.

  7. I thought it was highly entertaining for what it was: a spoof with a nod to raunchy. Don’t read too much into it. Don’t make it be something that’s it’s not supposed to be. It made me laugh and allowed me to de-stress for an hour. For that, I think it was successful.

  8. After this write up I thought I’d hate it, but it still was good silly fun. I considered it a bit better than typical television, and I’m thrilled that they’re doing musical comedy in prime time.

  9. I too, was disappointed at cheap innuendos, that weren’t even funny. Had to send children out.
    loved the music & story. Jousting scene was awesomely funny. Liked second episode more than first. I love visual comedy like Galavant putting armour on backwards & dragging sword as he moped off the field. Keep songs short & sweet (& funny). Clean up bleeps, and add some background physical humor when showing villagers.
    Yeah, medieval period can be funny. After all, you got your bubonic plague, your inquisition, your beheadings. Good times.

  10. Alexandra Gonzalez

    Personally I found it very entertaining. Didn’t everyone realize it was going to be full of innuendos from the commercial? I mean the minute I saw it I knew it would be a Monty Python or Mel brooks-ish fairy tale musical that’s basically a parody of the whole genre. It’s like a more adult live action shrek to me with slightly dirtier in your face innuendos. Love it!

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