Pilot: “Galavant”

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/9c1/68294143/files/2015/01/img_50101.jpgSeldom, especially with comedies, do I get excited or even interested in the shows that pop up during the mid-season period. They’re rarely good and I don’t have time for another show, particularly when I know it’s, more likely than not, going to fail and get cancelled early.

The ABC Studios “Galavant”, while looking somewhat stupid, is also something, that offers a silly and fun time, complete with music that will get stuck in your head. Seriously, one song is already there, and I want it gone!

This musical comedy series stars Joshua Sasse (“The Neighbors”, “Rogue”), Timothy Omundson (“Supernatural”, “Psych”) , Vinnie Jones (“Arrow”, “Throwdown”), Mallory Jansen (“Young & Hungry”, “Baby Daddy”), Karen David (“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”, “Castle”), and Luke Youngblood (“Community”, “Lie to Me”).

The series was created by Dan Fogelman (“The Neighbors”, “Last Vegas”).

The series premiered on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) on Jan. 4, 2015.

Now, normally I’d only be talking about the pilot in a relatively general and broad sense, but this time I won’t be doing that. I also don’t envision that it will be the last time either (ahem, “Marvel’s Agent Carter”), among other series that do this. What I’m referring to is a doubling of episodes during the series, sometimes season premiers, of shows. This show had a one hour series premier, which means that this show is a half hour musical comedy! Wait. What? Really? I’m a little sad. Okay then. Moving on. Time to talk in a broad and general sense, two episodes!

Since I’m sure it’s the main selling point of this new and ridiculously fun series, the music. Not just whatever score is playing during some scenes, but the songs themselves. The music with these songs sound pretty great already, and fun, but it’s the lyrics serve two purposes. The lyrics are, as they should be, and would be expected, funny. Just think about all the types of comedy that could be used, and chances are, it’s probably there too. Then, there’s the use of the songs to push the story forward. The songs may not push major bits forward, but enough where you can also get enough backstory for any given character.

I find the success of the songs to be, in part, because of Alan Menken (the man responsible for just about every song and score for a Disney film). It’s what made the opening song called, “Galavant”, so much fun, catchy, and also sets the tone of the entire show.

“Galavant”

Just because I can, I’m going to give you the previously mentioned song stuck in my head, although it’s not complete for some reason. That shouldn’t matter though, as what’s available should give you the idea of what these songs are like.

“Hero’s Journey” (*slight spoiler included*)

And, hey, if these songs don’t spark interest, or if you’ve already seen (or will), the first two episodes and don’t like what’s given, that’s fine too. This music and comedy might not be for everyone. This isn’t trying to be serious, but at the same time, it doesn’t seem like it’s just flat out stupid.

For a show that’s not really going to spend time growing the characters, at least in any original or interesting way, they’re no doubt going to be a joy to watch. It’s another thing that makes this, so far, an absolute blast to watch. The characters just work well together, especially from a comedic standpoint. I’m not going to go so far and say the acting is good, but it could be worse. There could be really bad line delivery, and that’ll just ruin the fun of an already ridiculous show.

The hardest thing, I discovered from the end of the pilot, is that having a song at the end of the show, to push the story further and give you reason to come back, along with a fun ending, is it doesn’t work. Okay, that’s not entirely true. It does work, but not in the way it’s being set up. If the show had stuck with, what I’m assuming was an original eight week run, then this would be fine. As it’s not that way, it’s painfully obvious that this wasn’t the original intention. I do hope this isn’t how each half hour transition will be like for the next three weeks. If so, it’s going to get old real fast. Another reason why networks should stop trying to fill every moment with new programming and just revert back to showing reruns. Reruns are just as, if not more, fun as new shows!

When I think about this without the music, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. It’s network television for crying out loud, and I’m pretty sure no one wants to watch a medieval comedy series. Most people are barely watching that stupid show about Mary, Queen of Scots on that one network that barely averages what is a low rated episode on any other network.

As far as what the second episode, in this hour premier, offered, well, not much. It was basically silly and fun antics. The same stuff showcased in the first half-hour, that dictates the tone of the show, but allowed for the overall plot to continue on. There was enough where if there’s a younger viewer around, it’ll be safe, but primarily humor and content better suited for adults. It also shows that this show is what you’d expect of a knight on a journey. Long and many other obstacles and people showing up.

Whether it’s the costumes and period, the comedy or the singing that draws you in, there’s plenty to enjoy! I’m amazed by how much I’ve changed from my original, less enthusiastic thoughts on this, to how much I’m absolutely loving this show. Is it particularly good? More good than bad, but don’t expect too much high praise. It’s first and foremost silly fun, that’s telling some sort of story. I’m not all that sure what the story is, but I know there is one! The drawback of having an episodic “mini-series” or whatever title they’re using. I’m seriously hoping the network, if it does well, doesn’t try to make this an actual series. I think it’ll fail and become the most tiresome thing on TV, after “Gotham” that is.

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