MINOR SPOILERS ABOUND!
ABC’s musical lovechild of Monty Python and The Princess Bride may have only lasted four episodes, but they were incredible! I say with no amount of irony or mocking that Galavant is possibly the greatest thing ABC/Disney has done in a very long time (as I have said multiple times on my Twitter and other social media sites).
At first glance, Galavant seems little more than a silly miniseries filled with musical numbers a la classic animated Disney movies of the 80s and 90s. And it is, but it’s so much more. What makes it so fantastic is that it is geared towards an older audience, the ones who grew up with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid and The Lion King (heck, even The Sword in the Stone from 1963), and because of that the comedy is more mature while still being generally suitable for a wide age range. Kind of like how certain episodes of Spongebob Squarepants contain jokes and references that adults will get immediately while going over younger kids’ heads (ex. Patrick asking Spongebob if he was “going off the grid”).
What really makes it such a great show is that while it pays homage to its predecessors both within the Disney franchise and even other medieval films, it’s so totally irreverent about anything and everything. The opening song introducing the hero Galavant takes the traditional fairy tale knight and brings him to a more human level by admitting that all the praise of his heroics and physical attractiveness are blown out of proportion…but people still like hearing about it. Because really, who wants a story where the hero is an unwashed, selfish, and a bit dimwitted slob?
Galavant takes all the tropes and expectancies of both fairy tales and Disney fare and turns them on their heads (the damsel in distress turns out to be a bigger bitch than Cersei Lannister, the evil king turns out to be a big softy who’s actively trying to have an actual relationship with his wife [whom he kidnapped, but that’s another story], other characters acknowledge that the musical numbers are happening and break the fourth wall several times, the first love song between the hero and the princess really is just them admitting they’re “not the worst thing ever”). It’s ridiculous and over-the-top and completely, utterly goofy.
And it is GLORIOUS.
The wonderful and charismatic characters aside, the music and the cameos are just as much to blame for my loving this show as much as I do. Keep in mind that I adore musicals from all eras and all countries (I have a nice little Bollywood section in my DVD collection right beside my American musicals), so while some may have been turned off by the spontaneous singing and dancing I had no problem at all with it. In fact, to quote Louise Belcher from Bob’sBurgers, if I don’t get a soundtrack released soon “there will be tears and violence”. Another bonus was getting to see people like John Stamos, Weird Al Yankovic, Rutger Hauer, Ricky Gervais, Anthony Stewart Head, and others show up for their five or ten minutes brought a smile to my face every single time. I can only imagine who might be recruited for another season.
So now I have a question for ABC: season two starts when?