I hate musicals. I always have. There’s just something about characters bursting out into song that I find wildly unbelievable. Yeah, I can watch movies with aliens and superheroes, but I can’t accept the idea of people singing their feelings away.
Anyways, my whole weird stigma aside, I’ve been patiently awaiting for Galavant’s release ever since I learned of Timothy Omundson’s involvement. I always thought he was wickedly delightful for a guy who looks kind of like Mr. Bean. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the two main composers for the show are of the classic Disney alumni, Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) and Glenn Slater (Home on the Range, Tangled).
So on to the actual review!
Galavant tells the tale of a charming, square-jawed hero named Galavant (Joshua Sasse) whose story starts when the love of his life, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), leaves him for the rich, powerful, and rather eccentric King Richard (Timothy Omundson). A year passes, and Galavant falls into a terrible depression, until Princess Isabella (Karen David) arrives, requesting his help with reclaiming her conquered kingdom of Valencia in exchange for a priceless jewel. Who conquered Valencia? None other than King Richard, who’s having a hard time trying to satisfy his increasingly hard-to-please wife.
However, Princess Isabella isn’t quite who she seems. In fact, she’s on the King’s dime. For her parents’ safety, she is to use the jewel to lure Galavant to his death. She manipulates him into thinking that Madalena is being abused by the King, stirring up his old, heroic self again.
The rest of the cast includes Luke Youngblood (or Lee Jordan from the HP series) as Sid, Galavant’s enthusiastic young squire, and Vinnie Jones as King Richard’s right hand man, Gareth.
Let me put this image into your head. King Richard is feeling down after his wife berates him for not being as macho as Galavant. He gets up and starts playfully singing about the various violent acts he wishes to inflict upon the handsome hero. “I want to hurl him out a window. I want to shove explosives where the sun don’t shine. I want to skewer him with swords and slowly twist them, all around his reproductive system. Won’t that be divine?” Vinnie Jones roars at the court, “EVERYBODY, SING!” And everybody starts singing, dancing and twirling as if they’ve done this all before.
Timothy Omundson is no doubt the shining star of this show so far. Watching him dance on his tip toes and whine about every little thing to Gareth makes you love him even more than the title character, Galavant, whom at this moment, is just a handsome hero on his quest for love. Boooooring.
The show is in one word: incredible. I laughed at how ridiculous everything was, but thoroughly appreciated the ingenuity and the liveliness it brings to a landscape that we’ve all seen before. The pilot suffers from being waterlogged with exposition and character introductions, and we don’t get much story as a result, but it’s a great start to a dazzling series filled with brilliantly composed songs, grand gestures of romance, and fun-filled adventures.