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S01.E01: Pilot / S01.E02: Joust Friends 2015.01.04

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I just watched this on demand last night and liked it more than I thought I would. I actually got a bit giddy when I recognized the king as Timothy Omundson and Sid as Luke Youngblood (Lee Jordan from the first two Harry Potter films), usually I'm terrible at that sort of thing. This show might be something that would grate if it were 13 or 24 episodes long, but I can deal with it for a few more weeks. I'm with everyone who sensed a Mel Brooks-type vibe to it and as soon as the first episode started it put me in the mood for Robin Hood: Men in Tights.

 

My favorite parts were the sign (Valencia-left, Winterfell-right, Hell-down) and the slowest joust on earth. I lost it when the horses just moseyed off and "first one to stand wins."

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They also don't explain why the daughter of two people who look and sound Spanish looks Indian, but oh well.  

 

 

 

I thought she looked New World Hispanic. Since this is set pre-Columbus, it would still be wrong, but maybe slightly less wrong than Indian.

 

ETA: I realize the actress is Indian, I just thought they had cast her as "Spanish" because she looks similar to what "Spanish" looks like in the New World.

Edited by majormama

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The lyric "Thus begins our plot, of which there's quite a lot" jarred me since it was so similar that sung by Danny Kaye in the credits to The Court Jester: "Which brings us to the plot - plot we got - quite a lot" ...but I guess I'll view it as an homage.  Despite some quibbles and dud time, anything that can make me laugh as hysterically as the Slooow Joust and "Maybe you're not the worst thing ever" gets a thumbs up from me.

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On my 3rd viewing...can't believe it...I think I caught something new. After, Galavant gets up and win the tournament Isabella goes to congratulate him, Galavant makes a comment like, I've still got it, King Dick won't know what hit him.. Did I hear that right?

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I'm turning in my Psych fan card, because I didn't even realize that was Tim Omundsun!  I feel so ashamed

 

Really, you shouldn't feel bad. I think he'd love that you didn't recognize him (for the record, I didn't either, and I'm a huge fan of his).

 

I can't currently find the post, but the "hand over stomach" gesture came after Magdelena told the king Pearl only loved him because she was paid to, accompanied by a line something like "I told you not to make me the bad guy". To me, that didn't indicate pregnancy, but rather that she really didn't want to hurt him, and it hurt her a little to do it.

 

I'm on the plus side of this show. It doesn't try to pretend it's anything but a broad, derivative silly piece of fluff. It's fun to watch actors cut loose and go over the top. I get that it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I think this show does exactly what it set out to do.

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Here's something else I realized: Madelena and Galavant, shall we say, "knew" each other (often thrice a day). King Richard and Madelena never consummated their marriage because he said he respects Madelena's chastity request. Does he think she's a virgin?

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Here's something else I realized: Madelena and Galavant, shall we say, "knew" each other (often thrice a day). King Richard and Madelena never consummated their marriage because he said he respects Madelena's chastity request. Does he think she's a virgin?

Yes, I believe he does. He certainly had no idea she was messing around with the jester.
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I watched a little of this on Sunday and some more with my father yesterday. 

 

My problem with it, beyond how wooden the main lead is, is that if you're going to have songs...they really should be good songs. The songs and the choreography feel like stuff thrown together for a local school production. Some of the arrangements, which remind me of D-grade power ballads from 25 years ago, don't help. The "training" song was especially bad. I can't say "oh it's supposed to be bad," because you can have deliberately bad songs that are still catchy and memorable. 

 

I can't help thinking back to the musicals Xena and Hercules used to do, and they were much better, livelier, and original than anything I saw here. 

 

The show in general felt unpolished and very "hey kids, let's put on a show!" It's great to have ideas, but you shouldn't just throw the ideas onscreen.

Edited by Pete Martell
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My view is that if you go into this show expecting an Oscar-calibre show, that you will be very disappointed.  It seems to me that the show isn't pretending to be this fantastic work of thespian greatness.  It's just supposed to be a light, campy, irreverent musical comedy.  I think it succeeds very much in being what it set out to be.

 

I also find the lead very engaging.  I remember him as a crimelord's son in "Rogue", so I was a bit interested to see if he could pull this off, and I think he does well.  I was surprised at how charmingly earnest I found him.

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My view is that if you go into this show expecting an Oscar-calibre show, that you will be very disappointed.  It seems to me that the show isn't pretending to be this fantastic work of thespian greatness.  It's just supposed to be a light, campy, irreverent musical comedy.  I think it succeeds very much in being what it set out to be.

 

I don't expect that at all. Like I said, the Xena and Hercules musicals were what I was aiming for. They weren't exactly Oscar-caliber, but they had catchy songs and choreography here and there, and performers who were able to make the material seem less thin. In this case, I mostly just saw somewhat awkward performers (some less awkward than others) stuck in a parody of a parody of a parody of a parody, with slapped together music. 

 

It's one thing to say "look how irreverent we are," which this show did, but when you have material like this (which has been done dozens of times over the last 30-40 years), I think you need to have a quality beyond just tweaking and winking because hey, this knight is kind of an idiot, or hey, that damsel in distress is mouthy. 

 

I don't think this show did. Instead it mostly just felt self-conscious and I thought the score came off like something that had sat in someone's bottom drawer for a long time. 

 

But we can agree to disagree.

Edited by Pete Martell
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I don't expect that at all. Like I said, the Xena and Hercules musicals were what I was aiming for. They weren't exactly Oscar-caliber, but they had catchy songs and choreography here and there, and performers who were able to make the material seem less thin.

 

I don't think this is a fair comparison.  Shows that do a very special musical episode once or twice in the series likely work on them or hire someone to work on them while they are writing/filming all the other episodes. 

 

I saw an article that said that the speed of doing a musical television show is much faster than any other musical experience they had.  They average 2 1/2 days per song for Galavant.  There is a reason that Glee does all cover songs.

Edited by ParadoxLost
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I don't think this is a fair comparison.  Shows that do a very special musical episode once or twice in the series likely work on them or hire someone to work on them while they are writing/filming all the other episodes. 

 

I saw an article that said that the speed of doing a musical television show is much faster than any other musical experience they had.  They average 2 1/2 days per song for Galavant.  There is a reason that Glee does all cover songs.

 

I see what you're saying. I was using that as an example mostly because of the setting. 

 

I don't think I'm holding Galavant to an impossible standard. If a show is going to have a lot of songs and have a whimsical setting, I just think that it's imperative to have a decent standard of songs (instead of a lot of generic time-fillers with cringey lyrics, and one or two numbers that are a little better) and to have an atmosphere where it doesn't seem like somewhat awkward-looking actors wearing costumes and wigs. To me, this show didn't do it; it felt self-indulgent and forced and like it was waiting to be patted on the head. Clearly other people enjoyed it, and I respect their opinion.

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I originally intended to give this show a hard pass based on the initial commercials, but then I found out it was from the creator of The Neighbors. As one of the few people still lamenting its cancellation, I decided to tune in, and I'm glad I did. I just wish Fogelman had tapped Toks Olagundoye for this one, as she's one of my favorite new stars to come out of the last couple of years of TV (it's basically her and the entire cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine).

Ah ha! I was wondering why it was making me miss The Neighbors.

 

 

It does crack me up that this priceless jewel the royals were so eager to get they went to war over it looks like an oversized ring pop. How exactly does Madalena plan to wear that thing, set in a tiara so it sticks out like a green unicorn's horn?

It did look like a ring pop. It even looked like it was actually made out of sugar.

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...I realize the actress is Indian, I just thought they had cast her as "Spanish" because she looks similar to what "Spanish" looks like in the New World.

I understood what they were pretending, ethnicity-wise, but then I'm of an older generation and recall the 1960s-70s--and maybe even the 80s, when Jewish and Italian actors played each others' ethnicities, and both played Native Americans. Sometimes it felt like the casting was an effort to show that everyone had an equal opportunity at the role, and sometimes it felt like they couldn't be bothered to find a minority actor for the role.

Here's something else I realized: Madelena and Galavant, shall we say, "knew" each other (often thrice a day). King Richard and Madelena never consummated their marriage because he said he respects Madelena's chastity request. Does he think she's a virgin?

Either it was a "celibacy" requirement rather than a "chastity" requirement, or King Lassie must subscribe to the Bill Clinton definition of sex with a woman. But then, also:

...He certainly had no idea she was messing around with the jester.

Edited by shapeshifter

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I don't think I'm holding Galavant to an impossible standard. If a show is going to have a lot of songs and have a whimsical setting, I just think that it's imperative to have a decent standard of songs (instead of a lot of generic time-fillers with cringey lyrics, and one or two numbers that are a little better) and to have an atmosphere where it doesn't seem like somewhat awkward-looking actors wearing costumes and wigs

 

 

 It's an experimental low budget fill-in show. The songs are meant to sound generic, the lyrics cringy, the actors awkward. It's also intended to be "self-indulgent and forced". All of this is deliberate, plus, as others have mentioned, they haven't the budget nor the time that Hercules, Xena, Glee, etc have to polish it.

 

The show is clearly not to your liking. Fair enough - but you seem to be going around in circles with your criticism.

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It's an experimental low budget fill-in show. The songs are meant to sound generic, the lyrics cringy, the actors awkward. It's also intended to be "self-indulgent and forced". All of this is deliberate, plus, as others have mentioned, they haven't the budget nor the time that Hercules, Xena, Glee, etc have to polish it.

It is satire. The actors and songs are quite acceptable - much better than some I have seen in out of town tryouts of shows that believed they could make it on Broadway.

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It is satire. The actors and songs are quite acceptable - much better than some I have seen in out of town tryouts of shows that believed they could make it on Broadway.

Maybe it's because I'm not a huge lyrics girl when it comes to songs--I can appreciate good ones but it's rare for me to like a song because of lyrics.  It's usually the melody that draws me to songs and darnit if the melody isn't stuck in my head even if I don't know the words.

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Don't have much to add except that this is hilarious (actual laugh-out-loud moments!) and I love the tone and the approach. I hope they can get another gap-filling season.

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It is satire. The actors and songs are quite acceptable - much better than some I have seen in out of town tryouts of shows that believed they could make it on Broadway.

 

 

Hey, easy on Broadway, huh? Alan Menken has a half decent track record on Broadway ;)

 

Actually, Galavant is more of a a farce than a satire. There was a show on Broadway a few years back, called [title of show]. It's "Untitled Opening Number"deconstructed (in song) what an opening number "should" sound like. It was very silly, clever and didn't take itself a bit seriously. Much like Galavant.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oWrZ70Ijc8

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It is satire. The actors and songs are quite acceptable - much better than some I have seen in out of town tryouts of shows that believed they could make it on Broadway.

I partially agree. A lot of supposedly great plays have a lot of mediocre tunes and pathetic comic delivery. But that doesn't make it stop being a bad thing.

Bad, hammy satire works best in small doses. If I'm watching an old Simpsons episode, and they show a scene from one of Troy McClure's bad movies, it's funny. For like 45 or 50 seconds.  But with the possible exceptions of "The Muppets Go Medieval" and that "Planet of the Apes" musical, watching a full half hour of one of those gags would be kind of painful.

And this thing is four hours. Not polishing it up to the next level isn't some deconstructionist stylistic whatchamageniusthingy. It's just laziness.

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Bad, hammy satire works best in small doses. If I'm watching an old Simpsons episode, and they show a scene from one of Troy McClure's bad movies, it's funny. For like 45 or 50 seconds.  But with the possible exceptions of "The Muppets Go Medieval" and that "Planet of the Apes" musical, watching a full half hour of one of those gags would be kind of painful.

And this thing is four hours. Not polishing it up to the next level isn't some deconstructionist stylistic whatchamageniusthingy. It's just laziness.

 

 

Again, Galavant isn't a satire, it's a farce. Satire is usually sharper, wittier, more refined and has a point to it. A satire's target is usually political or directed at a specific person or regime. It is intended (usually) to make you think.

 

Farce is silly, broad, ridiculous, improbable, crude and slap-sticky. Farce usually has no intent other than to make you laugh, by any means necessary. On the rare occasion, satire and farce can combine, but imo, Galavant is not one of those times.

 

It isn't exactly the same thing, but on Broadway, Spamalot was deliberately bad and hammy, with a running time of almost three hours and only one intermission. People paid good money to see it and it ran for around five years. A lot of people hated it. Some people don't care for farce - I get that. It doesn't make it bad - it's just not for you.

 

Thanks for "some deconstructionist stylistic whatchamageniusthingy", though. I'm dying to work that one into a conversation.

 

It's not laziness when it's what was intended.

 

 

Exactly.

 

 

eta: "Sara Ramirez - Diva's Lament (Whatever Happened To My Part?) from Spamalot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqQhbRILmys

Edited by basil
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This was the worst waste of my time I can remember.  They were trying too hard to be "clever" and just ended up being corny instead ... and dull, duller, dullest.

 

I'm with CletusMusashi above.  Farce is only good in small doses.  Otherwise it becomes a total bore.

Edited by green

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THIS.  I tuned in with low expectations for Galavant.  Instead, I was immediately charmed by it.  Unfortunately, the endless ABC promos and excessive commercials every ten minutes broke that spell pretty quickly.  I was so annoyed by 8:30 that I turned the channel and never looked back.  I'll wait and catch it on one of the streaming services. I just can't with ABC. Their promo dept. always manages to ruin my viewing experience.

I was extremely glad that I taped it rather than watching it live because I saw one of the singing promos and fast-forwarded through the rest.

 

That said, although I could do with less singing (yeah, I know, what did I expect?), I loved this.  As someone said earlier, it was like When Things Were Rotten with songs.  Timothy Ormundson is hysterical and so, to my great surprise, is Vinnie Jones.

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I started watching this randomly today for lack of anything better to do and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't even know it was a musical and I'm usually disinterested in musicals what with the 'impromptu' perfect choreography of crowds in dance routines but this was slapstick enough to make me laugh.

 

Maybe I was predisposed to like this as I had watched Glee earlier in the day and I actually enjoyed the characters here as opposed to Glee where I hate 90% of the characters. Admittedly the only song that stuck with me afterwards was "You're not the worst" so the music isn't great but the comedy is physical enough without being too repetitive and violent.

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Very late to this party, but I enjoyed it greatly. Could it have been more? Sure, but a fun, silly diversion is all I was looking for so I'm satisfied. I kinda appreciate how what it is lines up nicely with what it set out to be and isn't trying to be anything more.

 

The joust was pretty amusing and loved the "My pants are on. My pants are definitely on...whew, still got it!." Too much I liked to actually list here.

 

 

They are putting a lot of promotion behind this.  The commercials leading up to it, the repeat airing tomorrow after their new, popular comedy block and even doing the sing-songy commercials for other shows indicates financial support for this show.  As much as the back-to-back episodes in January would indicate a 'burnoff' all the promotion almost suggests ABC envisions some kind of future for the show. 

 

I'm curious to know what that future would be.  Special events every year?

 

I would love for there to be something like this every year. Not necessarily musical farce and all that, I just like the idea of a one-off mini series event. Not everything needs or deserves a follow up. I kinda miss the mini-series of my youth.

 

It does crack me up that this priceless jewel the royals were so eager to get they went to war over it looks like an oversized ring pop. How exactly does Madalena plan to wear that thing, set in a tiara so it sticks out like a green unicorn's horn?

 

Maybe she'll wear it like a hat! It also cracked me up that it was this most precious and valuable thing, but they would pull it out at every moment to show everyone that they have it. Like in the bar when Galavant is being cut off by the bartender, Isabella is sitting in the background mooning over her jewel. I was like, you need to put the valuable shiny thing away, sweetheart, before someone tries to steal it from you.

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I just have to say, I've been watching my episodes on DVR, and "Hero's Journey" still makes me crack up at the end: "Oh sh**, I'm out of shape. Oh, my tummy hurts. That was a long song."

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I just have to say, I've been watching my episodes on DVR, and "Hero's Journey" still makes me crack up at the end: "Oh sh**, I'm out of shape. Oh, my tummy hurts. That was a long song."

That's still probably my favorite song. And the jousting scene is my favorite still.

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I wasn't in the mood for this when it first aired, so I held onto it in my DVR until I was in the mood for something silly and light, and then I watched the entire season over the course of two days. In the right frame of mind, I found it charming, silly, funny and wonderfully weird. Very much in the vein of Princess Bride, Court Jester, and anything by Mel Brooks. I don't always like that humor, but when I am in the mood for it, I find it fun and that was the case with this show. I laughed out loud quite a bit, and though the songs weren't necessarily the most brilliantly written things ever, they were fun.

I also liked that they weren't afraid to make the hero Galavant look like an ass or a fool on occasion. Everyone had their moments of awesomeness and idiocy. And the asides cracked me up throughout.

One of my favorites? When Galavant sings a really long final note, then starts coughing and says, "Oh (bleep), I've gotten really out of shape." LOL.

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I just lost part of my afternoon to re-watching the first 3 eps on demand and had to tear myself away. My reward for doing all of my chores will clearly be watching the remaining eps tonight. They were a joy to rewatch! A delight! I forgot how frickin hilarious chef is - and this is before Gwynne!

 

The joust with Jean Hamm/John Stamos still made me laugh out loud. How have none of these actors, save Omundsmen and Vinnie, ever had a breakout hit role?? (now someone is going to tell me they are all big stars in their original countries, just not in US. ooops.)

Edited by betsyboo

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I just lost part of my afternoon to re-watching the first 3 eps on demand and had to tear myself away. My reward for doing all of my chores will clearly be watching the remaining eps tonight. They were a joy to rewatch! A delight! I forgot how frickin hilarious chef is - and this is before Gwynne!

 

The joust with Jean Hamm/John Stamos still made me laugh out loud. How have none of these actors, save Omundsmen and Vinnie, ever had a breakout hit role?? (now someone is going to tell me they are all big stars in their original countries, just not in US. ooops.)

Well, Luke Youngblood was in the HP movies (of which I'm completely unfamiliar) and had a recurring role on Community, so it's not as though he's been without steady work in his career.  Karen David and Joshua Sasse have had some success in British tv but nothing major, though Sasse is still pretty young (only 28 now, 26 when he was cast in the pilot for Galavant).  I'm not sure how old Mallory Jansen is but I'd say she's probably the most unknown of the original cast members.  And, honestly, while I know a lot of people are familiar with both Omundsen and Jones, I can't say that I was familiar with either of them before Galavant.  It's not as though any of these actors are names the way Jennifer Lawrence or Bradley Cooper (hehehe - and I always tease my friends that I knew who Bradley Cooper was, thanks to Alias, well before The Hangover, lol) are.

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It's not as though any of these actors are names the way Jennifer Lawrence or Bradley Cooper (hehehe - and I always tease my friends that I knew who Bradley Cooper was, thanks to Alias, well before The Hangover, lol) are.

Long live the Willage.

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Long live the Willage.

I knew you'd appreciate the Alias reference, betsyboo!  I have never been as obsessed with a show as I am with Galavant since Alias went off the air.  I still long for a re-boot.  Or, well, I kind of wish that Limitless was on ABC and that it was some weird spin-off from Alias.

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I knew you'd appreciate the Alias reference, betsyboo!  I have never been as obsessed with a show as I am with Galavant since Alias went off the air.  I still long for a re-boot.  Or, well, I kind of wish that Limitless was on ABC and that it was some weird spin-off from Alias.

See my earlier-this-year non-Galavant-related post: http://forums.previously.tv/topic/33372-s12e05-guess-whos-coming-to-dinner/?p=1633530

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Joshua Sasse was also in the DirectTV series Rogue, which I think was filmed in Canada. About as far from Galavant in tone as a show can get, but notable in that viewers get to see more of Joshua than anyone but his colonoscopy scanner tech.

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