[Update] After having disliked Galavant pretty much on sight, it was then decided to watch the entirety of all seven screeners on offer at ABC. After viewing said episodes, the below vitriol has been redacted, somewhat, and for a “fairer” assessment of this musical series read the other review by MikesFilmTalk by clicking on this link. Thank you.
Having missed the first season of ABC’s Galavant, it came a surprise to see not only Kylie Minogue, but Vinnie Jones in the season two premiere, which will air on January 3, 2016. Created by Dan Fogelman (Cars, Tangled) this odd “Disney-esque” type of musical offering, with a mixture of US, Australian and English performers, feels like a Mel Brooks (think The Producers, a’la the Bialystock song) song and dance without Brooks’ genius.
It is amusing in a sort of Monty Python-ish way, although the humor feels forced. There are funny moments, like Vinnie Jones…singing, for instance and the elfin Minogue as the landlady of a gay pub called the Enchanted Forest. While all these gags are funny…ish, it is hard to believe that this show was given a second season.
Not having seen the first iteration of Galavant, which presumably had former bad boy footballer Jones but not Kylie, there are obviously a lot of jokes and routines that have been carried forward from season one.
The show comes over like an Abrahams and Zucker Bros production:
“I’ve got to stay its my destiny.”
Ha, bloody ha…
The clue may be in the title of the premiere episode of Galavant. “A New Season Aka Suck It Cancellation Bear” may be meant as an “in-joke” but without seeing the first season, which may actually be much funnier than the season two opening episode, it is hard to tell.
Somewhat amazingly, on IMDb, the show pulls in huge 7.7 in rankings. This after offering up cardboard cutout character’s who all sing like the people in that furniture commercial on telly. Granted all the songs are a bit naughty and cater to that inner child who still finds jokes about sex hysterically funny.
Galavant actually feels like a one trick pony that has worn out its welcome before the first act finishes airing. A Disney “wanna-be” for the more puerile in the audience. Show creator, Dan Fogelman did after all write Cars…As Stan Lee would say, “Nuff said.”
Attempting to binge watch the whole eight episodes of Galavant, which are about eight episodes too many, one can only wonder how desperate Rutger Hauer must have been to take on three episodes as a “major” character. Of course the actor may be trying make up for the abysmal 2014 film 2047: Sights of Death.
None of the songs really deliver, in terms of being genuinely funny or delivering real laughs. Each tune has the same tempo and beat, despite the different lyrics, each song still sounds amazingly like “Gal-a-vant…” Even the furniture advert’s songs sound more impressive and individualistic.
Both season one, and now two, sound like a musical version of Leslie Neilson’s 1982 small screen Abraham and Zucker Bros Police Squad!. Although the focus on English, real and faux, or just annoying like, say, Ricky Gervais, does make the show feel like a tepid homage to funnier Brit comedy shows like Fawlty Towers or Monty Python’s Flying Circus.
(It is hard to outdo the original chaps, with or without musical accompaniment, who can come near the off-beat humor of the “Dead Parrot Sketch” or “No expects the Spanish Inquisition!” Just to point out the obvious.)
Repetitious songs, jokes that feel like retreads from other, funnier, comedic situations and a cast trying too hard to please and be funny all sum up the parts of Galavant which do not really gel. Still, there must be some who find the show irresistible, as proven by its returning for a second season.
Perhaps American audiences are drawn to “mockney” accents stridently calling out “Fat A**.” It has to be said that the appearance of Kylie Minogue, who unfortunately was forced to sing songs that sounded similar to “real” songs sung by the tiny star with the huge voice, was enough to make one giddy for a split second.
The fact that this show has been developed for a US demographic who most likely recognize Vinnie Jones from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, or more recently as the gritty, two dimensional baddie from Awaken, says volumes about this unfunny and stale musical comedy. (Or even those who recognize Minogue as “The Green Fairy” from the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!)
Galavant tries hard to be wildly funny and it is this that lets the show down, along with all the songs that sound pretty much the same. This show is not big and it’s not clever, just annoying and rather flat, like the humor and jokes in each episode. Give this one a pass and watch reruns of Monty Python instead.
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