Galavant Season Finale: “Here All Week Unless I die”

How can one not love the two-part season finale of Galavant, when it starts with such a brilliant recap song by the Jester, “Thank you. Here all week…unless I die.”

KAREN DAVID, JOSHUA SASSE, GENEVIEVE ALLENBURY, STANLEY TOWNSEND, TIMOTHY OMUNDSON, VINNIE JONES

How can one not love the two-part season finale of Galavant, when it starts with such a brilliant recap song by the Jester, “Thank you. Here all week…unless I die.” Followed by a running argument between Gareth and Madalena (with interjections by Wormwood) and a rousing speech by Isabella.

Galavant and Richard lead their army of  “half-dead” soldiers onto the battlefield while Chef and his “bae” realize they are right in the middle of everything.  Chester Wormwood turns into an evil, and male, Mary Poppins for the “Do the D’ew, D’ew D’ew” (which may, or may not be the title but it looks right…) just in time to keep Madalena from changing her mind about using dark magic.

Chester turns the zombie army against everyone. “You make a cake, you break a few eggs,” is his response when  Madalena complains. Later, she goes to save Gareth who is taking shelter from the dead soldiers with Isabella, Galavant, and his old pal Richard.

After the first half of Galavant’s season finale ends, the second half starts with a musical flashback where Richard and Gareth are children. (Keep an eye out for a splendid in-joke.) The entire opening takes a leaf from “The Kid” with Richard playing Bruce Willis’ part.

The zombies surround Gareth and Galavant while the “one true king to rule them all” goes after Wormwood.  In the interim Madalena and “Tiny Tot” do battle and Sid arrives with reinforcements (but no one famous due to budgetary reasons) and viewers with keen hearing will notice a Wilhelm scream at the end of one comic fight.

DARREN EVANS, SOPHIE MCSHERA
Chef and “bae.”

Happily ever after is a low key affair for one couple, or two if one includes a certain former royal staff member and his “bae” while the other two lovers manage to have a happy ending that could be termed a ball of fire.

There is one last surprise guest on the series as Weird Al Yankovic shows up as a marital monk, who sings what just may be the best song of the second season, and also performs a musical marriage ceremony.

Galavant, in its finale,  manages to have some really excellent sequences: The armies all rushing together to do battle. Gareth and Madalena expressing how they really feel.  Wormwood and Richard with their confrontation and the physical followup to the “cat-fight” song by Isabella and Madalena.

It is no secret that this show took some getting used to.  However, repeated viewings and a steady appreciation for what Menken and the writers were striving for (under the guidance of show creator Dan Fogelman) turned this reviewer around. 

VINNIE JONES, JOSHUA SASSE
Gareth (Jones) and Galavant (Sasse).

The season finale, where the players break the fourth wall repeatedly, brings up that Galavant may not be renewed for another run.  If that is the case, then fans can take comfort in a cracking end to a series that entertains and is able, just like the finale itself, to make the viewer laugh and perhaps shed a little tear.

(Although that could have just been me…)

The stars of the show,Timothy OmundsonJoshua Sasse, Vinnie Jones, Karen DavidMallory Jansen and Luke Youngblood all do  brilliantly in their respective roles. (Praise is also to be lavished on the Welsh actor Darren Evans who kills it every time he is on screen.) In terms of guest starring roles, Galavant has proffered the “creme de la creme” of talent from across the pond.

The actors who all appear in cameos, guest roles and recurring ones (Robert Lindsay for example) all went above and beyond the call of Galavant and apart from thrilling at least one certain fan, made the show a lot of fun.

WEIRD AL YANKOVIC
Weird Al and his Monks…

Galavant sails off into the musical sunset tonight after another rapid round of episodes. May the network demigods approve the show for further seasons and make room for even more great guests. After all, at least one character did not get her happy ending and it would be brilliant to see where this storyline could lead.

ABC airs the season finale tonight, tune in and see how many musical homages you can spot.

 

 

Galavant: A New Season, World’s Best Kiss and Simon Callow

Galavant has now aired. Its first two episodes, A New Season (AKA Suck it Cancellation Bear) and World’s Best Kiss were inexplicably slapped together for the season two premiere and repeated viewings have, admittedly, made the show grow on this reviewer.

KYLIE MINOGUE, JOSHUA SASSE

Galavant has now aired. Its first two episodes, A New Season (AKA Suck it Cancellation Bear) and World’s Best Kiss were inexplicably slapped together for the season two premiere and repeated viewings have, admittedly,  made the show grow on this reviewer. It is difficult to dislike a show that has Kylie Minogue and Simon Callow in its season two premiere.

Minogue is a personal favorite and Callow (who was easily the best thing in Four Weddings and a Funeral) is a delight no matter what he is in. Although it was interesting to hear Vinnie Jones sing, albeit with a very short little verse, once one got past the tunes all sort of sounding the same, the series became more entertaining.

The lyrics are funny as are the some of the sets. Princess Isabella’s “royal cell” looks amazingly like a big-sized “Polly Pocket” vanity case and while American audiences may not “get it,” the likeness to  this 1990s girly toy popular in England, made at least one viewer laugh a lot.

(The fact that Karen David, who plays Isabella, is 5’3″ tall helps create the illusion, it has to be said.)

There are bits of the show’s “double episode” season two premiere that could upset the more politically correct in the audience. The entire “Enchanted Forest” gay pub schtick was funny, the very fact that “gay icon” Minogue was used in the scene was, in itself, hysterical. The gag where Richard and Galavant escape via the nonexistent “Ladies Room” is also pretty giggle worthy. This could offend those who think this could be in poor taste…

The jokes, as pointed out in a previous season  two preview/review are unremittingly flung at the audience and, to be fair, most are  pretty damned funny.  Even the songs, once one gets past that “Blah-de-blah-de-blah-blah”  delivery (of all but the death song later in the season),  have a lot of clever and witty jokes included in the verses, and some choruses.

Apart from the songs, the storyline is pretty funny as well, although it does rely on an adolescent level of delivery, ie. fart jokes et al.  But…

There are many things that work well, once you get past those songs.

Things that work well:

The entire amulet gag.

The “Skype” amulet and crystal headed cane gag “Marry Harry, you’re gross…and a brown cow.”

Simon Callow.

The argument between Vinnie Jones (as the newly titled King) and the Queen, played by Mallory Jansen. “Who threw my painting in the toilet (moat)?” 

The unicorn.

Richard pulling the “golden sword” out of the “stump” (which may have been meant to represent a stone as in “Sword in the Stone.” (And in keeping with the “juvenile” level of humor the object is called the “hero sword.”)

The cast all bring something to the table. Brit actor Joshua Sasse and Missouri-born Timothy Omundson make a great double act and their reluctant “bromance” is entertaining.  Omundson delivers his lines with all the panache of a true upperclass English twit:

“Hey. Can you get cancer from walking? Because I really feel like my feet are getting cancer.”

Jansen is brilliant as the beautiful but “mean-girl” Queen as is David as the plucky heroine doomed to marry her pant’s wetting 11 year-old cousin. Luke Youngblood is good value as the “assistant” to the King, who almost gets thrown in the moat (toilet). 

Galavant manages to make fun of everything.  From replicating the opening of  The Brady Bunch to parodying the Sword in the Stone, nothing is sacred and no comic stone is left unturned.

After the two episode’s end, with the second one coming pretty close to matching the first for hilarity, Richard pledges his help to Galavant only to find that, despite having the “hero sword,” his kingdom has vanished.

Final thoughts on the return of Galavant:

Vinnie Jones is funny. There is no doubt that the former footballer turned actor can do comedy. Granted Jones has done so before  but generally more as an actor and less as a comic performer, but,  in a pantomime sort of way, he is funny and effective.

Once one gets past the “sameness” of the songs, as in tune, not lyrics, the comedy of the show shines.  Kudos to  Darren Evans, as Chef, who manages to make the line about keeping one daughter and throwing the rest to the “white walkers,” quite funny. 

It should also be mentioned that it is not necessary to watch the entire first season to “get the jokes” as they are not all plot specific. For instance, the whole “Enchanted Forest  gag” does not require previous knowledge of any plot points.

Verdict:

Galavant is a fun comedy which parodies musicals and provides a lot of “earworms” for the viewer.  One word of warning, do not overthink it, doing so takes the attention away from the clever and witty. There are a plethora of guest stars who impress in their own right, Simon Callow and Kylie Minogue in the first two episodes alone, not to mention the tiny cameo by John Stamos.

HINT:

Repeated viewing helps, because the show does grow on you…