Review: Galvant

Last night ABC premiered a new offbeat comedy musical series called Galvant. As usual our only standard for comedies is “Did I laugh?” And indeed I laughed huge amounts.

Set in the 13th century the title character is the most famous and brave knight with a land. In the opening sequence we find that he’s in love with the maiden Madalena. She is kidnapped by the evil King Richard to be taken as his bride. In typical romantic hero stories, Galvant burst into the wedding chapel as the ceremony is taking place and makes a big speech about how the king can give her wealth and power but he can’t give her true love. You can chase me to the ends of the earth but she will always love me because only I love her. And in the comic twist Madalena says “I’ve given it some thought and I think I’ll take the money and the power instead of the love.”

In the next scene it’s a year later. Heartbroken Galvant is a drunken bum, Madalena still hasn’t consummated the relationship with the king. She prefers to get it on with the court jester whose jokes the king doesn’t get. “Knock, Knock… Orange you glad I didn’t say banana” escapes the king’s sense of humor and he is clueless the Queen is banging the jester.

Joshua Sasse as Galvant and Mallory Jansen as Maddalena are both British actors I’ve never seen before but are both brilliant in their roles. Timothy Ormundson is wonderfully cast as the hapless King Richard. You will recognize him from Psych where he played the similarly hapless detective Carlton Lassiter where he also got to show off his musical comedy skills in episode 715 “Psych the Musical”.

The feel of the thing is reminiscent of Monty Python and the Holy Grail set to music which of course is the Broadway musical Spamalot. I’ve not seen Spamalot so I can’t make a direct comparison. All I can say is that if you like extremely silly comedy set to music you will adore this series. It runs for eight episodes shown to per night for four weeks. You can catch a rerun of the first two this Saturday or get it on demand.

My favorite part is the brilliance of the lyrics. In the first episode the king is upset because Madalena is constantly comparing him to Galvant and finding him inadequate. So the king wants to kill Galvant and thinks of all the ways he could do it in a lighthearted song that includes lyrics such as…

♪ I want to shoot him with a crossbow ♪
♪ I want to stab him in the eye ♪
♪ I want to liberate his head from his neck ♪
♪ And then punt the bloody wreck sky high ♪
♪ I want to hurl him out a window ♪
♪ And shove explosives where the sun don’t shine ♪
♪ Want to skewer him with swords ♪
♪ Then slowly twist them ♪
♪ All around his reproductive system ♪
♪ Won’t that be divine? ♪
♪ Then she’ll be mine ♪

In the second episode the king and Madalena as well as Galvant and another princes he has been helping decide that perhaps they are such awful people afterwards. The song is titled “Maybe You’re Not the Worst Thing Ever” and in part goes…

♪ You’re frigid and demanding, I shudder at your call ♪
♪ Whenever you come near me, my flesh begins to crawl ♪
♪ But sometimes there are moments ♪
♪ I’m not repelled at all ♪
♪ Maybe you’re not the worst thing ever ♪

♪ You’re utterly disgusting, I loathe your manly stink ♪
♪ I see your mouth start moving, and, God, I need a drink ♪
♪ And then from out of nowhere, I’ll look at you and think ♪
♪ Maybe you’re not the worst thing ever ♪

♪ You’re worse than crabs ♪
♪ Worse than scurvy ♪
♪ Worse than lice or plague ♪
♪ But truth be told ♪
♪ you’re growing on me just like mold ♪

This show isn’t for everyone, but if you like offbeat over-the-top comedy set to music (and I do) it can’t be beat. It gets a definite “I’m watching” rating from me.

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