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'Galavant' recap: 'Aw, Hell, the King' / 'Bewitched, Bothered, and Belittled'

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Angus Young/ABC

Galavant

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
performer:
Joshua Sasse, Timothy Omundson, Vinnie Jones
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Comedy, musical

Three episodes in, and I’m starting to think they should change the title of the show from Galavant to (King) Richard — and to be honest, I wouldn’t be mad about it at all. Timothy Omundson has charmed the pants off the entire songbook, and it seems the quest is now his, especially since all Galavant can do by way of an army is recruit Roberta, a Jessica Chastain lookalike and childhood friend of Richard’s. Meanwhile back at the castle, poor Gareth (who has also come into his own as a character with a gruff, clueless humor driven by some award-winning facial expressions) is feeling guilty for taking over, and is on ice Queen Madalena’s last nerve. Isabella’s parents have hired a (secretly evil) wedding planner to take control of her big day — and apparently her mind, as well.

Best Song: “Build a New Tomorrow”

What’s that? You hear echoes of Mel Brooks’ classic History of the World: Part 1? Me too! With a townspeople just gushing on and on about how wonderful democracy is but not the inclusive kind, of course, I can’t help but think of HOTW’s deliciously devious jazz hands showstopper, “The Inquisition.”

Let’s Get Lyrical:

“Every person counts the same

Except of course the lame and the lepers

And the gingers and the witches and the heathens

And the bastards and the gypsies and the commies and the hippies…”

“Just the ones who look like me, 

It’s called democracy”

Employee of the Week: Mr. Wormwood (Robert Lindsay), the evil wedding planner

MVP: King Richard (If he keeps this up, we’ll never have another MVP. He’s that good.)

Quest Love:

“Though I can’t imagine free people ever voting to send an army into an open-ended foreign conflict which profits only the few. That would be madness.” —Peasant John (Special shout out to Matt Lucas for killing it in this role.)

“Then I’d plant some eggs, then a couple pigs, then a yummy chocolate cake. No, that’s not right; besides, any moron can plant a cake.” -King Richard

“And that biological sundial of yours continues to grow long.” —Isabella’s mother

Apparently if a queen doesn’t get her beauty sleep, she gets a wrinkle. Rough life, Madalena.

There’s that glowing sword again. How is no one seeing this? I get that King Richard is daft, but it’s glowing.

“From now on, for clarity’s sake, we’ll call it the wedding plan, the evil plot, and the color scheme. “ —Mr. Wormwood

“SO they prefer to decide their fate by majority opinion rather than being ruled by me whose right to kingship was passed down from ancestors said to be a god and a mermaid. Fools.” —King Richard

Weekly self-referential jab: The town meeting where all of the townspeople call Galavant out for going on exactly the same quest that started last season — but with a different love of his life to save.

“Not because I was a tyrant and a terrible leader who hosted baby fights, which I now realize is weird and not that entertaining even after the addition of the cobra.” —King Richard

NEXT: Love is in the air…

[pagebreak]

Love is in the putrid, medieval air. Madalena is invited to a roast with “the most popular queens in all the seven realms,” but it turns out they want to roast her instead (“Thank you lords and ladies, and especially you, friars, for letting us use your club”), which gives us the surprisingly lovely — and clever— ballad “Is This a Feeling?” and a lovely gesture from Gareth. Who knew severed ears could be so romantic? Our heroes are in the mood for love, as well: Galavant tries to fix up Richard and Bobbi. (Spoiler: He fails.) Our favorite couple, Chef and Gwynne decide that being lower class together is oh so much better than being upper-lower class apart. And Isabella turns goes from heartsick to Bridezilla under the spell of a cursed — and, to be honest, quite tacky — tiara. (I’m getting a little sick of this subplot. They need to freshen it up and get Galavant there quickly. Isabella really only sparkles opposite her knight.)

Best Song: “As Good as It Gets”

Chef tries to make Gwynne understand they’re in a better place now with a rousing duet that shows off Sophie McShera’s (Gwynne) lovely voice. I really have a soft spot for this twee little English couple with a penchant for plague banter.

Let’s Get Lyrical:

“We’ve got a snazzy new room with two whole benches

That’s practically rodent free.

We’ve got expensive perfume

For all our stenches.”

“And with these pointy new shoes

To walk through mud in,

Fancy silk squares

to cough up blood in.”

“We’ve got the classier kind of bedbug species,

Between our new burlap sheets.”

Other Best Song: “What Am I Feeling”

Wow, Mallory Jansen (Madalena) has an amazing voice. Why don’t we get more of it? And it’s morbidly adorable when Gareth gives her the earrings from those queens but “forgot to take the ears off.” The writing on this piano ballad is so sharp, it could easily find a home on Broadway, but it’s the way Madalena plays it, with such a touching sincerity mixed with comedy, that really brings it home.

Let’s Get Lyrical:

“What am I feeling? Is it a feeling? 

Could I be feeling somehow?

All this time I’ve never truly had one.

Why would I be starting now?”

“If I am feeling some stupid feeling,

Why can’t it just go away?

Why did all these feelings have to start,

Tearing at my armor-plated heart,

What if god forbid they’re here to say?

How can I unfeel the way I feel today?”

Employee of the Week: No standout guest stars, but then again, this was such a strong episode, it didn’t need them.

MVP: Madalena. Although she seemed to be a bit of a showpiece in the first few eps, the ice queen melted a little — and an amazing song didn’t hurt the cause.

Quest Love:

Honorable mention for a so-so song with an amazing chorus: “Maybe You Won’t Die Alone”

Knight Beat magazine’s swordsman of the year, three times running.

“Gwendolyn, bae. You know you don’t have to do that anymore. We’re officially big pimpin’.” —Chef

“She’s like a sister! And not the kind of sister you marry!” —King Richard

Galavant: Why don’t we all go for dinner tonight? Somewhere candle lit.

King Richard: Ooh! So…anywhere.

Galavant: Yeah, pretty much anywhere at all.

 “But the thought that we’re drifting apart has got me so down, I can barely get out of drawer.” —Gwynne

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