Galavant: Episodes 3 & 4 – Matt Lucas and Robert Lindsay (Review)

Ah Galavant. You continue to please with a plethora of guests who impress and enthrall. Firstly, Matt Lucas who goes from the “Only gay in the village” (Little Britain) to the first “Animal Farm” socialist peasant.


Ah Galavant.  You continue to please with a  plethora of guests who impress and enthrall. Firstly, Matt Lucas who goes from the “Only gay in the village” (Little Britain) to the first “Animal Farm” socialist peasant. (Okay the song says D-E-M-C-R-A-C-Y but it sounds like a socialist manifesto, where some are more equal than others…)  Lucas appears in the first of the two episodes that aired on Sunday; Aw Hell the King.

In this third episode (of season two), King Richard discovers his castle has been dismantled and re-issued, stone-by-stone to villagers to build other things.  Isabella (Karen David)  gorges on turkish delight and forces the Jester (Ben Presley) to re-enact Galavant (Joshua Sasse) when he broke up with her, via the magical Simon Callow crystal call. 

Gareth (Vinnie Jones) is having nightmares about “stabbing Richard” in the back and taking his throne while the Queen threatens Sid with certain death if he does not sort the problem out. Seems that missing beauty sleep is deadly in the verse.

While all the singing and dancing is going on, at Richard’s missing castle, over at Hortensia Isabella’s wallowing in misery and Turkish Delight, is interrupted by the King and Queen who introduce another great guest star (who actually appears in several episodes) Robert Lindsay.

Lindsay, a personal favorite, plays wedding planner Chester Wormwood.  This villain actually has much more planned than setting up Isabella’s wedding to her 11 year-old cousin, he  puts her under a spell so he can control Valencia.  (It is all in the tiara…)

Robert Lindsay as Chester Wormwood…”Panto” Villain

Standout Moments in “Aw Hell the King:”

The inclusion of “gingers” as not being allowed to vote Lucas’ song.

Robert Lindsay’s character crossing his fingers whilst pledging his services to Isabella.

Lucas’ character “breaking the fourth wall” with his line about war:

Peasant John: Now, I can’t imagine a free people ever voting to send an army into an open-ended foreign conflict which profits only the few. (Looks pointedly at camera) That would be madness.

Vinnie Jones as Gareth, screaming himself awake…twice.

Timothy Omundson, as Richard, with his Blacksmithery song lines and his own response:

♪I would hit the thing with the other thing ♪ ♪ Till I made a different thing ♪ ♪ If I were a jolly blacksmith ♪

“No, I’m not feeling it. Besides, I’d get filthy. There must be something better.”

Lindsay’s wedding planner song.

Karen David doing her Isabella transformation as part of the wedding planner song…

The idea of “baby fights.”

Back to the episode, after Galavant asks the town committee to join his army to free Isabella, only one person volunteers, Roberta Steingass (Clare Foster). Shortly after, Richard also volunteers to help, much to Galavant’s chagrin. 

Back at Hortensia, Isabella is excited about the wedding, due to her glowing tiara, and only the Jester notices the difference.

Bewitched, Bothered and Belittled starts on a  great comic note, with Richard confessing to swallowing the Jewel of Valencia (with loads of bacon grease) and then exiting the huge jewel from his other end…

After this, Richard realizes that the volunteer is his old childhood pal Roberta.  Back at Hortensia, Gwynne also notices that Isabella is not her usual self:

“your pupils just spun ’round then, and your tiara started to glow…”

Chef and Gwynne sing about how good they have it, after he admonishes her for eating the “throw-away” food.

Queen Madalena is invited to a Sunday Roast by the Von Falconburgh sisters (or as King Gareth says, “a couple of old tarts,” and she obsesses over what earrings to wear.  She protests that the sisters are the most popular Queens in “all the seven realms” and she recounts her first meeting.

The “younger” queens pull a cruel prank on Madalena by offering her a ride on their coach and then haltingly moving the vehicle out of reach.  With this Sunday roast invite, the grown-up Madalena thinks she has “arrived.”

Galavant attempts to extricate himself from Richard by passing the former king off on “Bobby.”  Madalena learns that the Sunday roast in, in reality, a “friars roast” of Valencia’s Queen, in other words, her.  After the two vicious sisters zero in on those earrings, the meal finishes with a repeat of the “coach trick” from Madalena’s childhood.

Standout Moments in “Bewitched, Bothered and Belittled:”

The “Maybe You Won’t Die Alone” song.

Queen Madalena (Mallory Jansen) tearfully singing about “feeling” (which did bring a lump to the old throat) and then King Gareth bringing in the ears of the Von Falconburgh sisters, complete with earrings. 

It has to be mentioned that in terms of guest cameos, it was delightful to see Sally Phillips and Sarah Hadland as the two “evil” sisters. Phillips is another comedy favorite; from television Smack the Pony and film; Bridget Jones 1 & 2 and she has worked with Jones at least once before in Mean Machine.


All right Galavant the white flag has gone up and an unconditional surrender is in force.  Even the songs are becoming “earworms” (helped no doubt by at least two songs in the above episodes feeling decidedly “Little Mermaid Sebastian-ish.”

Even for viewers who do not fall into the category of “Musical Geek/Nerd,” the guest list, the comedic onslaught, the lyrics of the songs and the performances all take this into a higher sphere than initially realized by at least one reviewer.

On a personal note, I realized the battle  was over when I began laughing at the song lyrics…and of course those brilliant guest stars; most, if not all, personal favorites for years…

Well played Galavant.

Superstore: The Office with America Ferrera

The fact that the new NBC comedy Superstore is basically The Office, but with America Ferrera and set in a “big box” outlet is not surprising.

Superstore - Season 1

The fact that the new NBC comedy Superstore is basically The Office, but with America Ferrera and set in a “big box” outlet is not surprising. The show’s creator Justin Spritzer worked on the 2005 American version of Ricky Gervais’ awkward comedic show as story editor and producer.  The Gervais original was brilliant at those awkward interactions between the weird and wonderful colleagues in that workplace environment.

According to all reports the American The Office was equally adept at provoking those “cringe-worthy” moments that Gervais did so well.  While Superstore is not quite as unique, it is funny.  Not looking through your fingers while laughing guiltily, and more than a bit hysterically funny, but close.

Having missed the beginning of the series, a brief spot of binge watching was required to catch up on the Superstore.  Each of the half-hour episodes were chuckle-worthy, even without a live audience, or thankfully a laugh-track, and by the fourth one the series was outright hysterical.

Episode four also had that first “cringe” moment. When Justin buys a sex-doll that he thinks looks like Amy.

Superstore - Season Pilot
Mannequin Justin and the real Justin (Ben Feldman)

America Ferrera proves that she does not need “Ugly Betty” to be funny.  She stars as floor supervisor Amy who new employee Justin (Ben Feldman) manages to annoy on his very first day.  These two have a great chemistry together with the series immediately putting them into a “will they/won’t they” dynamic.

Later in the fourth episode, disabled employee Garrett (Colton Dunn), aka the “cool one” points out that Amy is having a “work flirt” with Justin, and when she believes that Justin has worked this out, she gets flustered. 

Essentially The Office set in the world of K-Mart, WalMart, Target, et al, the “shenanigans” of a discount shopping store, aka Superstore do not really match up to the intricacies of the white collar comedy set up by Gervais originally, and then adapted for the American market later.


Superstore is funny, despite relying a bit too much on stereotypes. Example: Store manager is a social inept and overly religious buffoon – Glenn (played with toe-curling sincerity by Mark McKinney) , another floor supervisor with an immediate crush on Justin, Dina (brought to brilliant life by the superb Lauren Ash) and the other new employee, Mateo; an annoying sycophant wannabe (played annoyingly by Nico Santos).

Superstore - Season 1
Justin and Dina (Ben Feldman and Lauren Ash)

Superstore is, if anything, more applicable to a wider audience demographic. While The Office did pander to office white collar workers the world over, this version, set in the “big box store” world that many have passed through as employees, or indeed customers, should tickle even more funny bones.

Each episode thus far has managed to look at the minefield that makes up the workplace of the new millennium.  Ben Feldman is brilliant as the new guy who just does not quite fit. His Justin already realizes that he can have fun, check out the trolley (shopping cart) race with the manager Glenn and Garrett, and that he really likes Amy, but he misses on the group dynamic.

It may well be that Superstore does use stereotypes a great deal, as did The Office, but both shows do so go great comedic effect.  So far, at four episodes in, Ferrera is proving that comedy is her forte and that she and Feldman have a great give and take as Amy and Justin.

This new comedy does have an “almost” ensemble feel, with a core set of characters; the pregnant teen, the Latina floor supervisor, the ineffectual outlet manager, the two new employees, one a nebbish yes man and the other the good looking younger man and the store “crush.”  Not to  forget the cool employee Garrett.

Superstore does  utilize stereotypes, but there has been an attempt to give a little depth to the characters. Ferrera’s “responsible” supervisor takes off her wedding ring when at work and was a teen mother.  In one episode Amy  speaks about the sameness of her days; 10 year’s worth, while looking at glow-in-the-dark sticky stars. Justin, in an attempt to prove his “American Beauty” quote, placed them on the ceiling.

The payoff comes when the very pregnant Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) is serenaded by her “thug” boyfriend and Dina turns off the store’s lights.  A little gem, hidden in the comedic offering of Spritzer and co. 

Superstore - Season 1
America Ferrera, Mark McKinney and Nico Santos

Superstore airs Mondays on NBC and is splendid comedy of the “more normal” absurd. A world populated with mannequins that look like employees and a store manager who is not above racing his employees in a shopping cart. Tune in and marvel at the comedic talents of the cast and have a giggle at the storylines and gags.


%d bloggers like this: