TV Talk 2×04: Galavant is the Comedy Extravaganza That Wasn’t Meant To Be

By Breanna Shiflett

There’s no doubt about it: limited series are in. You may not be familiar with that term, though, as networks tend not to use it. For example, FOX has had many limited series in recent years that were known as something else; for example, when they labeled Gracepoint as a “10 part mystery event,” and 24: Live Another Day as an “event series.” But what exactly is a limited series? It is a show that has a limited number of episodes per season (not a limited number of seasons); basically, it’s any show that does not have a full 22-episode season. The most recent show to join in on the limited series trend is ABC’s Galavant, an 8 episode “comedy extravaganza” that features knights, romance, and a whole lot of singing.

Galavant follows the “fairy tale cliche” hero of the same name, played by Joshua Sasse, as he ventures across the kingdom of Valencia in an attempt to rescue his love, Madalena (Mallory Jansen), from the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson). The first episode’s opening song tells us how the king stole Madalena from Galavant and is forcing her to marry him, and how on their wedding day, Galavant has come to rescue her. However, we soon learn that Madalena is actually more interested in fame and fortune than true love, and Galavant is sent away with a broken heart. Several months pass, and without his love, the famous knight becomes a lazy, ill-mannered drunk. It isn’t until Princess Isabella of Valencia (Karen David) arrives, requesting that he help save her kingdom from King Richard, that Galavant regains his vigor and sense of adventure. He sets off to reclaim Madalena’s love and ruin King Richard with the help of his squire, Sid (Luke Youngblood), and the princess, but what he doesn’t know is that Isabella is drawing him into a trap.

Although it is only 8 episodes, Galvant is truly an adventure and will have you laughing, crying, and singing along in no time. The hilarious jokes, clever musical numbers, and interesting characters allow for a unique experience, although the homage to Monty Python is certainly present. The true star of the show is Omundson, who makes it easy to fall in love with the silly King Richard, even though we are supposed to hate him for kidnapping Madalena. The show also features great guest stars like John Stamos, Weird Al Yankovic, and Ricky Gervais that really add to the campiness of the show.

Unfortunately, Galavant may be a little too unique for some people, as the ratings showed. This type of series, with all of its quirkiness, is one that you would generally see on the internet as a web series, as it really only appeals to a certain niche and as a result, has not brought great viewership. With the exception of Glee, musical shows generally do not make it on primetime, and coupled with the campy nature and the setting of the show, Galavant was a risk for ABC from the start (and the show was aware of that, as one of the final lines asked “will all the singing kill our Nielsen ratings?”). Chances of renewal are not looking great, but fans have not yet given up.

Even if Galavant doesn’t get renewed for a second season, it is, quite frankly, a feat that it even aired at all. For the people who did watch it, the show provided many laughs, great tunes, and a show unlike any other. If you are a fan, the official soundtrack is on iTunes, and we will know soon if Galavant will return for another adventure next year.