‘Galavant’ adds a new twist to an old tale

ABC Television Network


Timothy Omundson and Mallory Jansen star in the new ABC series “Galavant,” featuring misguided heroes and raunchy songs.

Sophie Haddad, Multimedia Editor

A damsel in distress who would rather not be saved. An oppressive king who means well. A hateful diatribe sung to the tune of a love song. Land pirates.

Try as he may, Galavant, the title character played by Joshua Sasse, seems incapable of fitting the mold of a traditional hero. Jaded, his good name mired in debauchery, Galavant chose to leave knighthood behind when the love of his life was stolen. The tale commences when a gorgeous princess from a village conquered by the same king who stole Galavant’s love finds Galavant and entreats his help.

“Galavant,” a new TV show, is essentially more comedic than it is cheesy. It sets out to depict the traditional tale of knights and kings but pokes fun at itself in the process. The entire show is a satire, finding humor in petty jests and well-thought-out song lyrics.

The show, which began on Jan. 4, 2015, is comprised of 22-minute episodes. Each segment is briskly paced and intelligently composed. “Galavant” is a musical as well as a comedy, with original tunes written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, who are known for their work in Disney movies including “The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Tangled.”

Music is a major way in which the director satirizes the contrived fairy tale idea.

The theme song redefines the meaning of the word “earworm” by striking the listener with an uncontrollable urge to sing.

With guest appearances from such names as Hugh Bonneville, Ricky Gervais, and “Weird Al” Yankovic, the show establishes itself as a legitimate production. Familiar faces and overwhelming talent help “Galavant” run smoothly.

“Galavant” contrasts the whimsical, capricious mood of fantasy with vulgar jokes and puerile quips. Much of the humor of the show lies in sexual innuendo, but it is not shallow to the point where it misses its mark. “Galavant” is soaked in cliché and scattered with sarcasm.

Above all the ne’er well-intentioned jokes and songs, though, down-to-earth morals lie. “Galavant” is certainly not for young children, but the meaningful messages give it heart.

With complex supporting roles, “Galavant” inspects the business of characters from all walks of life with an absurd yet real tone.

5 / 5 stars

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