GALAVANT Review: “Two Balls” and “Comedy Gold”
Well, Galavant has had its first missteps. In episode three, “Two Balls,” Galavant (Joshua Sasse), Isabella (Karen David) and Sid (Luke Youngblood) need a rest on their journey, so they stop at Sid’s village, where as it turns out, everyone thinks he’s a hero and that Galavant is his squire. This was the first time that I felt that the show didn’t live up to its potential. The pitstop did practically nothing to advance the plot, which only has eight episodes to tell a full story, so any tangent is a waste of time, and the songs were lackluster and little weak.
The other side of the story was King Richard (Timothy Omundson) trying to liven up the lives of the conquered people of Valencia by throwing a ball. This bit was slightly more entertaining than the Galavant storyline, as the king tries to recruit the executioners to play as a band, and succeeds in briefly getting the people to dance before inviting them to roast him. This backfires, as he learns that his wife, Madalena (Mallory Jansen) is sleeping with the Jester (Ben Presley).
Overall, the episode was kind of boring, and I’m glad that there was another episode after it. In today’s fickle world, with audiences looking for reasons to drop watching a show, an episode like that might lose some of the audience before another week rolls around, but with the fourth episode immediately following, it gave the show the chance to show it could survive past the premise.
In the fourth episode, “Comedy Gold”, King Richard decides not to kill the Jester, but instead demands that the Jester teach him how to be funny so he can woo Madalena with humor the way the Jester did. Richard doesn’t quite get it, using the “element of surprise” to push a guard off a balcony, or making a “three peasants walk into a bar” joke. While Richard’s sense of humor doesn’t garner him any laughs with his medieval audience, it was hilarious to watch from behind the fourth wall. Ultimately, Madalena remains unimpressed by her husband, and since the Jester is no longer comfortable sleeping with her, she banishes him to the dungeon.
In the meantime Galavant, Isabella, and Sid are continuing their journey, singing about how they get along so well (“Together”), which quickly and predictably devolves into how much they can’t stand one another. In fact, their bickering gets so intense that during an argument about who was supposed to be singing the big note at the end of the song, they don’t notice the pirates surrounding them until swords are at their throats.
The pirates lead our heroes to their leader, the Pirate King, deliciously played by Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey). As it turns out, the pirates are the lords of the sea (“We’re the Lords of the Sea”), despite the fact that, as the song points out, they are stuck on land. Our heroes, however, are not to be subdued for long. They overcome the pirates and then help them return their ship to the sea in exchange for passage on the ship to Valencia. See? Hilarity AND plot moving forward.
I’m glad “Comedy Gold” was as clever and purposeful as the first two episodes, because “Two Balls” gave me a few doubts. But, believe it or not, the season is already half over, with only four more episodes that will hopefully be as delightful as the show has been so far.
Are you enjoying Galavant as much as I am?