Galavant Recap Episode 1 (VIDEOS)


I thought I’d check out this new fairy tale-themed musical comedy, Galavant, which premiered Sunday night on ABC. The limited TV series is 8 half hour episodes, airing over 4 weeks and is written by Dan Fogleman (Disney’s Tangled and the TV comedy, Neighbors) with lyrics and music by Alan Menken (tons of Disney movies) and Glenn Slater.

The series is a cross between Glee, Spamalot, Princess Bride and Robin Hood: Men in Tights.  The songs are smart, there’s plenty of 4th wall breaking and snarky humor.  Galavant isn’t gut-bustingly, hilarious, but it did elicit quite a few chuckles from me over the course of the hour. First rate performances from the cast will probably have me tuning in again next week.

Episode 1 kicks off with the Galavant theme song. You pretty much get the backstory right here!  Galavant is a brave and beloved soldier, in love with Madalena. And she was in love with him. That is, until the evil King Richard, set on making Madalena his bride, kidnaps her.

Heroically, Galavant shows up to the royal wedding to rescue Madalena from King Richard’s evil clutches. But, as it turns out, while Galavant can offer great love, Madalena has changed her mind. “I’m going with the fame and fortune,” she says. “I hope we can be friends!”

Oh noes. Madalena turns out to be a selfish, money grubbing bitch. She carries on an affair with the court jester, while the murderous but cowardly King Richard frets. In order to win her favor, he agrees to procure the priceless jewel of Valencia to make her happy.  The king blackmails the princess of the kingdom, Isabella, to lure Galavant into a trap. The king’s nagging wife insists on making unfortunate comparisons between her former love and the prissy king. The idea is to do away with his arch nemesis, Galavant, once and for all.

Princess Isabella (with an impossibly long name I will not attempt to repeat here) first approaches Galavant with an offer of the priceless jewel if he’ll only help her save her kingdom from destruction. When he doesn’t bite on that, she reveals that it’s King Richard behind the evil doing. He imprisoned her, killed her parents and subjects of her kingdom. This isn’t true, by the way, as the princess’ parents are alive and hostages to the blackmail plot.

Unfortunately, Galavant has totally let himself go since Madalena jilted him. He’s drunk, fat and smelly and has lost his mojo. But he certainly wants his revenge on King Richard, and agrees to help the princess. In the second half hour episode, in order to raise money for their journey, Galavant enters a jousting competition against Jean Hamm (GET IT? Heh) played by John Stamos. Madalena, a warrior princess, whips Galavant back into shape for the competition. He trains so hard, he’s too stiff to compete on the day of the final face off. Since the priceless jewel was put up as collateral for the entrance fee, Madalena isn’t going to hedge her bets. The day before, she entered Jean’s tent in a sexy dress and fed him a spiked drink. He vomits everywhere the next morning and looses the match.

In the meantime, King Richard is also in need of some coaching. His right hand man, Gareth, teaches him how to be a “manly man” so the princess will respect him. After Gareth butches the king up sufficiently, he attempts to impress Madalena at dinner. She seems to be taking the bait (they sing “Maybe Your Not the Worst Thing Ever”) but in the end, she continues to be awful, asserting that the the King’s first wife only pretended to love him because she was paid. Gareth and Isabelle sing the same song in counterpoint. But unlike the king and his wife, sparks are actually flying here. Isabelle, however, has yet to confess the truth to Galavant–that she’s luring him to his death at the King’s behest.

And that’s where things are left until next week. Timothy Michael Omundson (Judging Amy, Xena: Warrior Princess) steals the show as the clueless King Richard. There are shades of  Game of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister (without the incest!) in the comically malevolent Madalena, played deliciously by Mallory Jansen. In one of the series inside jokes, Galavant and Princess Isabella come to a fork in road. One sign points to “Winterfell” one of GOT’s mythical kingdoms. That would be quite the crossover, GOT and Galavant. I’d kill to see Peter Dinklage dance and sing. Karen David, as Isabella, kicks butt wherever she goes, and is appealing while doing so.  Joshua Sasse manages to be both pathetic and dashing as the hero, Galavant.

Watch for more celebrity guest stars including: Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Weird Al Yankovic, Ricky Gervais, Anthony Steward Head (Buffy) and Rutger Howard.

I’ve got that damn theme song stuck in my head, though…


About mj santilli 35002 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!