Galavant: Season 1/ Episode 1 "Pilot/ Joust Friends" [Series Premiere] – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

A new hero has arisen, and ABC really wants you to know his name is Galavant. Though whether he is worth knowing is the question.

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Characters & Story

The legendary hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse) is known all over the realm. Though after his first love Madalena (Mallory Jansen) leaves him for the riches and fame King Richard (Timothy Omundson) can provide her, he becomes a shell of his former self. Enter Isabella (Karen David), who is a desperate princess trying to save her kingdom by any means necessary, including doing the bidding of King Richard so Richard could finally impress Madalena and finally get to sleep with her.

Praise

Perhaps the first thing to like about this show is the work Alan Menken, of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast fame, put into this show with the music. For while only two, out of 4 or 5, of the songs are worth taking note of, they are still decent enough to say Menken still has it.

Switching gears to talk about the characters and story, I must say that even with me having no experience with Monty Python and The Holy Grail, I do feel like I’m watching something heavily inspired. Now, whether it is a rip-off or not, I can’t say. However, I will admit that Omundson had me giggle every now and then, and was a likable villain.

As for the rest of the characters, and the story, I feel perhaps the series should be applauded for not adhering to strict gender roles/ norms, yet at the same time, I don’t feel as if it should be seen as an example. I just liked how Galavant wasn’t a generic male hero who seemed to have feelings, but wasn’t a blubbering idiot over losing his, for now, one true love. That and Isabella not being made out into being some masculine princess just because she knows how to use a sword.

Criticism

First and foremost, I feel, as I’m sure others do, that the amount of commercials featuring remixed versions of the “Galavant” intro were annoying. Though perhaps the main issue with this program is that it really is made for a certain type of humor and doesn’t have a good enough story to make it so if you don’t get the jokes, there is something still worth watching here. For while it is nice the men and women aren’t bound to the standards of the 1200s, at the same time I just don’t think the series using modern humor works well. For between the “Yo Mama” jokes, sex jokes, and the few dealing with masculinity, it all just seems out of place and sometimes forced. As if instead of this taking place in the 1200s, it is at some weird renaissance fair.

Then when you focus on the story, I must say this seems like something being aired solely because there is money to burn and favors owed. This doesn’t seem like the type of program a company would premiere in the fall for they expect it to be a hit. No, this seems like something that would be someone’s pet project and because they were powerful and, again owed a favor, they got their wish just so someone could make an ass of them. For while Sasse has the looks, charm, and voice of a hero, and Galavant is given a decent backstory, there remains something about him which feels generic. So no matter how sensitive he maybe, he still feels like something reproduced in mass. Something even the women of the show suffer from, even if they aren’t traditional ladies of the 1200s. For with them seeming like they were written to deliberately be against the times, like Fiona in Shrek, among other examples, again there is this sense that nothing new was tried, the show just looked at what worked, asked the lawyers what can be stolen legally, and then a premiere date was set.

Leading to one last issue: the songs. For with this being a musical, you’d think within an hour you would have more than maybe 3 songs that perhaps would be download worthy. But no, instead they beat the “Galavant” song to death, and the rest seem like stolen YouTube remixes vs. songs by the man who perhaps created at least 30% of the songs you sung, until everyone became annoyed with you, when you were a child.

Overall: Stick Around

Off the bat let me say that I’m probably not going to watch the rest of the series. As for why? Well, it is because this show lacks any sort of originality to me. It seems like it wants to be the new “” and in pursuit of that, it loses any sort of magic it could have had. Add in a predictable story, mostly boring characters, jokes perhaps Will Ferrel wouldn’t even perform, and perhaps the type of music Menken produces more so because of name recognition, and money, versus him trying to create new classics, and you get Galavant. A show which could get better, but has led to my expectations dropping so low I can only assume this was made due to people being owed favors and ABC/ Disney having money to burn.

No ratings yet.

What's Your Take?

Author: Amari Sali

New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all. An avid writer, Amari hopes to eventually switch from talking about other people's productions to fully working on his own. Such a dream is in progress to becoming reality.

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