Review of Galavant: A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear/World's Best Kiss
Guys, I am one of Galavant's biggest fans. I laughed until I cried, I can quote it all day, and I even know all the words to that damn earworm of a theme song. (Alan Menken is basically my hero.) So I was over the moon when, surprise of surprises, Galavant somehow managed to get renewed.
Saying I was on the edge of my seat watching these episodes was a huge understatement.
I've seen a lot of shows go horribly wrong in season 2 (::coughSleepyHollowcough::), so I was worried. Would it be good?
The answer, obviously, is yes.
Season 2 of Galavant preserves everything I loved about season 1: the whimsical and oft-ridiculous humor, the subtle perversions of fantasy tropes, the catchy-as-hell songs and, my personal favorite, the shameless breaking of the fourth wall.
There was plenty of that in the season 2 opener. In fact, they didn't so much break the fourth wall as ram it with a bulldozer, accompanied by lots of singing. The opening number, encompassing pretty much every major cast member seen thus far, is one avoided-cancellation joke after another, all set in a very Broadway tune complete with kicking chorus line.
The humor is here in spades too, combined as usual with new takes on fantasy tropes. The highlights of the two episodes were, for me, the Enchanted Forest gay bar (where Richard's "uncle" Keith was lost, never to be seen again) and the unicorn (which I honestly thought was going to be a fake that Richard would fall for and buy until they went the OTHER route with it).
Then it adds to all that by re-combining the characters and starting to explore new situations. Galavant and King Richard's budding bromance is the highlight of both episodes. The two actors have so much chemistry together, and I would gladly watch an entire program just about the two of them. It's refreshing to see Galavant away from his women and Richard away from Garth and Madalena, because it lets them out of their stereotypes a little. Galavant is now protecting a friend, not a romantic interest, and Richard is growing into a hero in his own right.
The Gareth/Madalena/Sid plotlines are also well executed. It's nice to see a character with backbone stand up to Madalena (no one throws Gareth's painting "Dogs Jousting" in the moat!), and it gives her character a place to go. I also enjoy Sid far more as their steward than I did as Galavant's squire.
In fact, the only place I felt the plot somewhat lacking was the Hortensia setting. I'm curious what they'll do with Isabella, because she started and ended these two episodes in the same place (just with more despair). I must admit, however, that Joker and Chef (who were woefully under-used in season 1) came out batting hard, with the running jewel gag providing continual humor in World's Best Kiss.
As far as the music goes, I was less impressed with these songs than I was with some of the season 1 classics (was anyone else hoping for more "Lords of the Sea"?). "World's Best Kiss" was probably the best of the music, though Gareth and Madalena's arguing song is a close second.
Overall, it was a great start to the season, and I can't wait to see where it goes, particularly for Galavant and Richard.
Other Assorted Thoughts:
- SPANK BANK. (Mental note: use this term ALWAYS going forward.)
- Kylie Minogue was a nice surprise.
- I'm glad we resolved whether or not Gareth actually became king. But I felt so bad for Richard when Chef broke the news!
- "You didn't f****** give me the jewel."
- The fortune-teller and the "communication device" bit killed me. Somebody deserves major props for cooking that one up.