Way back in days of old,
There was a legend told,
About a hero known as...
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that there are few good shows on TV these days—let alone musicals. Glee has had its day in the sun (if you liked it), Nashville is…an acquired taste not everybody acquires, and Fame is a tale told of days gone by. Fact of the matter is, TV musicals are rare animals because they’re risky. But as of last winter, and again this January, one such unicorn is breaking all the rules. This hero’s name is Galavant, and I’ll give you five good reasons to come and see his legend told.
1. The characters. Galavant’s not your typical knight; he’s human—a heart of gold but rude and arrogant at times and also charming and genuine. Princess Isabella can use a sword as well as Galavant; she's smart, a little bossy at times, but brave and compassionate. King Richard comes off as the typical bad-guy, but he wouldn’t hurt a flea and he’s got a surprisingly whimsical and innocent side.
2. The humour. Timothy Omundson, who plays King Richard, describes Galavant as The Princess Bride, Monty Python, and Mel Brooks all getting together and having a baby and that baby singing songs written by the great Alan Menken, godfather of Disney music. I could not have described it better myself.
3. The length of the episodes and season. Galavant is a “Four-Week Extravaganza,” and this year it’s a “Five-Week Extravaganza.” That means that every Sunday, two twenty-minute episodes air back-to-back, making for an eight-episode—and this year a ten-episode season. No grueling twenty-two episode seasons here, thank you very much.
4. The story. Because of aforementioned short season, there are no “filler” episodes, and the action can keep marching right along from Episode One on through Eight (or Ten). It reads like your typical Princess Bride-style fairytale, the brave knight going to save his lady-love when she’s kidnapped by the evil king. But within the first fifteen minutes, the writers turn that on its head. The lady-love turns around and happily marries the evil king for fame and fortune, and the brave knight is literally knocked down and has his world turned upside-down (not literally).
5. Did I mention the songs? Who of us has not at one time or another fallen in love with a Disney song? If any of them were from Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas, Tangled (do I have to name them all?), odds are that they were written by the great Alan Menken, who also incidentally has written all the songs for Galavant. They’re witty, catchy, sometimes gut-bustingly hilarious, poignant in the most unexpected of ways, and yes…you will probably find yourself humming and singing a few.
So tune into ABC on Sundays this winter or set your DVR, and come and attend the tale of…
Have you already seen Galavant? Are you interested?