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‘Galavant’ Review: A Knight’s Quest With Musical Numbers


This review covers the first two episodes of Galavant.

It’s easy to appreciate Galavant for attempting something different on network TV. But beyond the basic concept of the show, is it any good?

Galavant is a television fairy tale musical about a knight, played by Joshua Sasse, who’s lost his hero ways and fallen into a drunken despair after the love of his life, the beautiful Madalena (Mallory Jansen), chooses to marry a tyrannical king (Timothy Omundson). Enter Princess Isabella of Valencia (Karen David) who cajoles Galavant into helping her save her parents and reclaim her kingdom, which has been pillaged by the very same king. And, if all goes well, Galavant gets to “rescue” Madalena — who Isabella claims still loves Galavant — from the clutches of King Richard.

But the truth is that Madalena mostly just loves herself, and enjoys the luxuries that come with being queen. And Isabella, despite being good-natured, is working for the king in exchange for her parent’s safety and eventual release.

The first episode mostly sets up the hero’s journey (both literally and figuratively) that Galavant will embark on, while also providing his backstory with Madalena. We also get to see what comical misadventures our villains get up to in their castle. Omundson, in particular, is magnificent as the very funny, somewhat flamboyant, and affably evil King Richard. Vinnie Jones plays his brutish right-hand man Gareth, who’s the perfect sounding board for Richard’s ridiculousness. The most entertaining scenes in the first two episodes of Galavant probably take place in the castle, mostly thanks to these performances.

The second episode, titled “Joust Friends,” features a guest appearance by John Stamos as another knight and rival to Galavant. His character doesn’t really do much and the “yo mama” jokes don’t exactly hit their mark. An earnest friendship and romance starts developing between Galavant and Isabella in the episode, as well, as Isabella helps Galavant get back in the knight’s saddle.

Although Galavant isn’t laugh out loud funny, it does have its many quirks and charm. Joshua Sasse does a good job in the lead role. In fact, everyone in the cast is pretty exceptional. Luke Youngblood, who you’ll remember as Lee Jordan from Harry Potter and Magnitude from Community (“pop pop”), plays Galavant’s squire Sid. Galavant, Isabella, and Sid have terrific chemistry as the show’s main trio, and it’s nice to see some diversity in the cast. The music and choreography is hit or miss, however, and none of it is particularly memorable.

ABC has described Galavant as “Spamalot meets Princess Bride.” I don’t think it ever reaches those heights, but still, it’s a very cute show with lots of entertaining moments.

What did you think of Galavant?