Why Galavant Is a Breath of Fresh Air for TV

Ever see a TV show and it is so good yet it still gets cancelled? Many say this about Firefly. Galavant is the latest show to bring something new to the silver screen. It had an initial 8 episode season running from January 4, 2015 to January 25, 2015. It averaged nearly 5 million viewers per episode. The entire season holds an 84% on Rotten Tomatoes. So what is so great about this show? Let us explain.

Lari Burkhart

With other reviewers tossing around words like “brilliant” and “amazing,” it’s not hard to see what originally drew me to watch the first episode of Galavant. What kept me watching was a little harder to explain, but I’ll give it a try!
Finally, Something Different!
We’ve all grown used to the standard stereotypes the networks kick out like clockwork: a crime drama with only one person who can possibly put all the clues together week after week, a sitcom featuring a group of friends dealing with “life,” political thrillers that are, well, less than thrilling, and reality TV that is totally unrealistic. Then Galavant rode in on his white horse, saved us from predictable programming, and gave us a show that left me laughing out loud and singing along for the rest of the week.
The show wasn’t afraid to tear down the usual stereotypes and turn them into something a little closer to real, and it even managed to throw in some dramatic suspense without leaving its viewers emotionally drained at the end.
Sometimes, You Just Want To Have Fun
With so many networks intent on showing the dark underbelly of society, Galavant covered it all back up and just had fun. Yes, it was cheesy at times. At other times, there were plot holes so big that you could have sailed a pirate ship through them. But through it all, Galavant was fun, lighthearted, and not afraid to laugh at itself.
At its heart, the show wasn’t supposed to be about perfect storytelling or developing characters; it was about giving viewers something to enjoy for thirty minutes at a time and that’s exactly what it did. With ridiculously over-the-top characters and dry humor that brought back fond memories of Monty Python and almost any Mel Brooks movie, Galavant was a Sunday night treat that made Mondays more bearable.
The Best Soundtrack Since…
It’s not really that surprising the music was as great as it was. With Alan Menken and Glenn Slater at the head, it really couldn’t have been anything else. Even though there were a couple of misses, each episode offered catchy tunes and punny lyrics I found myself randomly belting out throughout the week. “We’re Off On a Secret Mission” in particular kept me laughing from beginning to end and is my favorite song from the entire season.
Not only were the songs catchy and funny, but they also managed to poke fun at the fairy tale genre and musicals. Characters were openly dismayed at the onset of music and it wasn’t uncommon to hear a muttered “kill me now” whenever someone burst into song. Musical numbers like “Jacka** in a Can” and “If I Could Share My Life With You” skewered the stereotypical view of the show’s characters by letting us know what the peasants really thought about their masters and even managed to encourage some character development.
Unforgettably Clueless Characters
Yet another thing that the writers of Galavant managed to get right was the characters. Galavant, despite being a complete tool, was engaging and charmingly self-absorbed. His growth throughout the show was believable and he managed to hold onto his flaws even while becoming more likable. Madalena was delightfully horrible, Isabella’s self-righteousness was endearing, and the chef was perfect.
Even with the show being titled Galavant, the stars of the show definitely ended up being the Evil King Richard and his trusted henchman Gareth. While the king turned out to be more clueless than evil, Gareth’s harsh exterior was simply covering up a harsh interior with a small soft spot for the king. Add to that some truly excellent guest stars like Weird Al and Ricky Gervais. Each episode managed to offer something new.
All in all, Galavant was a welcome relief to the endless string of cookie cutter shows the networks usually pump out and the end of the season has left the week a little sadder. Even though the creators have claimed that they only planned eight episodes for the series, the closing song indicated that there may be a second season, and I am definitely hoping for more.

Wesley Wood

Network TV too often sits on its laurels and tries to replicate previous shows that have had success. Looking at CBS’ lineup should tell you that. I applaud ABC for having an entire eight episode season of a show that is essentially a breath of fresh air for TV.
Lari nailed everything that is great about this show. First off, it is fun, legitimately fun. Not the same old schlock of sitcom fun. For every hundred Mulaney’s that get thrown at us, we get one show like Galavant. The show is relentlessly upbeat even about bad situations. The music is also catchy and had me listening to it over and over again on YouTube. I will buy the soundtrack as soon as it is on CD.
My real gripe with the show is how the pilot is very sexual in nature. By that I mean lots of innuendos. Far too often shows do this thinking it will retain their viewership. Far too often it detracts viewers. Luckily for us, after the pilot, Galavant hits a groove and only has the rare reference.
The entire cast is likable. By far the King was my favorite. Even Madalena, who turned out to not be who you thought she was, is a great character. It reminds me of Parks and Recreation or Brooklyn Nine-Nine with how every character has their role and they excel at it.
Galavant has no problem picking on cliches and itself for that matter. It is a fun show that has two songs an episode. If musicals bug you then I still recommend watching the first two episodes of this. This show is unique and needs a second season.

What do you think? Did you like Galavant?

Wesley Wood

Wesley Wood is an aspiring film director. He would love to make GOOD films to help spread God's word and help Christians grow.

5 Comments

  1. Anna on February 17, 2015 at 4:57 am

    Galavant is a breath of fresh air for tv because it has Timothy Osmundson in it. 😀 He is awesome. I loved him in Psych. 😀 😀 😀 🙂

  2. Julia on February 11, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    I almost stopped watching after the Pilot, but the humor pushed me to the next episode, and I’m glad I did.
    I’m still singing all the songs.

    • Wesley Wood on February 11, 2015 at 11:45 pm

      I agree that the pilot was not very good in terms of cleanliness. It definitely improved afterwards.

      • silasgreen on February 16, 2015 at 12:43 pm

        The pilot I thought was “okay,” but pretty much everything after is great. This is one of those series that can make you laugh out loud. I loved the characters. King Richard is my favorite too. I was, well, psyched, to see Timothy Omundson in another show I enjoyed. ^_^

        • Rob M. on February 16, 2015 at 2:46 pm

          ^I see what you did there….

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