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Sunday, January 4, 2015

PILOT REVIEW: Galavant

GALAVANT











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

Created by Dan Fogelman
Written by Dan Fogelman, Directed by Chris Koch

THE PREMISE: Galavant is a new show unlike anything else on broadcast TV. It is a musical comedy fairytale - yep, you read that right. Set "once upon a time," Galavant (Joshua Sasse) is a dashing and singing hero who tries to defeat the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson). King Richard also stole the woman that Galavant loves, Madalena (Mallory Jansen). Rounding out the main cast are traveling companions, Isabella (Karen David) and Sid (Luke Youngblood) as well as the king's right hand man, Gareth (Vinnie Jones).

THE GOOD: I honestly don't even know what to make of this show. The songs are certainly catchy and enjoyable (though I could do without the parody ads for every ABC show during the commercial breaks). I like Timothy Omundson as the king. He's ridiculous and silly enough to work for thi show. Mallory Jansen is pretty promising as Madalena too. The show does a nice job of evoking the classic "fairy tale" look with its costumes and setting. While I didn't love everything about this show, I will admit that it is doing something totally different and I respect it for that. I always think networks need to take more chances, and this is certainly taking a big swing.

THE BAD: I guess my biggest issue with Galavant is that I feel like it's supposed to be satirical, yet it's not quite satirical enough. It seems to be a little more earnest than it needs to be, which in turn makes it seem extremely cheesy. I love musicals so I can stand some of that but I can't imagine what some average viewer might think if they flip the channel to this. I'm not saying it needs to be satiric in an ironic way, but it seems to be straddling the line too much between satirical and genuine, and that doesn't really work for me. The best thing a show like this can do is just go completely for camp value, but I feel like it's holding back a bit. While I like the music, it's going to have to continue to find different ways to incorporate it before the novelty wears off.

BOTTOM LINE: I love that ABC is taking a chance with this but unfortunately it doesn't quite hit its mark for me. I'm halfway through the second episode as I'm writing this and feeling pretty much the same things. It has a bit of promise, but the plot is a little slow and as I said before, it's not high enough in camp value to work. If you like it, enjoy it while you can. It could be a long time before we see another fairy tale musical comedy as a regular series.

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