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For some, the sub-genre of musical comedy fairytales is a source of endless pleasure. That’s far from the case with me, so you’ll understand how flabbergasted I was to discover ABC’s Galavant already looks like it could be the most imaginatively refreshing new show of the 2014-2015 season. If you’ve ever wanted to see somebody bring The Princess Bride to TV without having to deal with anyone actually remaking The Princess Bride, Galavant may be what you’re looking for.
Joshua Sasse, star of Rogue and the awesome Frankenstein’s Army, shows off his voice and choreography skills as the titular Galavant, a handsome and charismatic hero who once upon a time saw the love of his life, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), take the hand of another man, the villainous King Richard, who is played with fabulous gusto by Psych’s Timothy Omundson. A young woman named Isabella (Karen David) finds him and brings him back to the kingdom of Valencia, where he can take his revenge on King Richard once and for all. Plus, we have Vinnie Jones as King Richard’s bull-headed enforcer Gareth.
The story itself is as old as the tales it pays homage to, but it’s the wit-filled approach that led to my blasphemous Princess Bride comparison earlier. The writing is sharp. The jokes are plentiful. The music is catchy, and is also filled with jokes! All I ever want from musical sequences in TV shows are jokes. And Galavant suggesting mid-song than an enemy would rather fall than die by his sword is the perfect amount of whimsical weirdness that network comedies aren’t able to utilize all that often.
One of the closest comparisons I can think of is Bryan Fuller’s cult series Pushing Daisies, though that show was a little too pre-sweetened for my tastes. And while you might have thought Fuller had something to do with this, it’s actually the brainchild of Neighbors creator Dan Fogelman, writer of Crazy, Stupid Love. Fogelman, who also wrote Tangled, re-teamed with that film's Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid) and Oscar-nominated lyricist Glenn Slater to tell this silly, romantic, sword-slinging story.
I mean seriously, when Richard’s kick to Galavant’s face resulted in that limp “fup” sound, I had to pause the video I was chuckling so hard. Join me in welcoming Galavant back to his homeland when the series airs on ABC between the fall and winter seasons. Check out ABC's 2014-2015 lineup here.
Photo Credit @ABC