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…)
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.