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When I first heard it – coming to me well-recommended by a friend, on whose judgment in nerd matters I can usually trust – I was very skeptical of the show called Galavant

While, if you look at it from a certain angle, a musical set in medieval (or almost medieval, or fantasy, or whatever the heck…) times should be something right up my alley, I was still sceptical. I do have a certain fixation concerning everything that resembles medieval (and yes, I know, it’s romanticizing!), and although my intense phase of worshipping musicals is a thing of the past, there is still something lingering, like a fondness for a not-so-old love.

Upon the description, I was not quite sure what to expect, given this was one of those things that could turn out to be incredibly cool, or tremendously bad. Or, in more geeky terms, like Spamalot or Cinderella. (Nothing against Cinderella, but I think I would have quite outgrown that, and thinking of said friend recommending me anything in the Cinderella regime is actually a fairly disturbing thought.

Eight episodes later I think it’s safe to say the Spamalot part won.

So here’s my review.

Spoilery, obviously.

The story:

Is fortunately wacky. Standard on the surface: wronged princess goes to run-down hero for help, he (after a few difficulties) indulges her and off they are on a quest to bring down the evil king, rescue the hero’s lady love in the process and well… find out not all is quite what it’s supposed to be.

So far so good, but the way it’s done and the things they encounter along the way (singing monks! Pirates, for crying out loud! Jewish adoptive parents of the person-of-color-squire!) are almost Monthy-Python worthy and definitely well enough on the absurd side to keep me both grinning and watching. Which brings me to

The characters:

Definitely the biggest plus of the series. Big on the diversity side – although that’s for comedy reasons, obviously – the creators managed to assemble quite a wacky group there that is definitely driving the show. The evil-king-forcing-his-lady-to-marry-him-and-turning-sissy-in-the-process, Galavant’s lady love who’s not quite the nice dove he believes her to be, the “slightly ethnically obscure” princess, the whimsy chef only trying to survive his job (and maybe win Gwynne, who is sweet and shy on the outside, but there’s a little more to her than just that…), singing monks, pirates on land (“We’re the lords of the sea” “Well, technically next to the sea” – everything’s better with pirates!), all of them are downright hilarious and truly make the show.

The singing

Well, since this is a musical, one kind of has to review the songs, right? I would say, standard musical material. Well done on the music side, the lyrics a good mixture of Spamalot and Avenue Q with a healthy side dish of their own comedy. The singers obviously know what they’re doing. Musically, it’s more or less what I would expect, but the lyrics fit the theme well enough.

The screenplay and set

Well. It’s I guess, a low to medium budget medieval production from the US and that’s exactly what it looks like.

Which is ok.

The acting

Is again more or less what I would have expected. Solid comedy (Comedy gold…), no one truly standing out either in the positive or negative way. Or maybe. Hm. Timothy Omundson as the king was good.

All in all

Geeky enough to watch, definitely geeky enough to enjoy. Not a revelation in itself, but a good, solid geek’s entertainment for a couple of nights.

So everyone go enjoy 🙂

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