TV Review: Galavant

Last week, I started watching ABC’s Galavant. It was recommended to me by a friend – by which I mean she stood over me looking violent until I watched it – and if I’m being entirely, genuinely, hand-on-my-heart honest, it’s one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched.

Why?

It’s entertaining. Funny, irreverent, and often simply inappropriate, it takes ridiculous to a whole new level of, well, ridiculousness, and left me grinning somewhat madly at the screen – it had been a long day – and wanting more.

It’s also a musical, with unbelievably clever writing, kick-ass harmonies, and self-aware characters that, despite your best efforts, win you over in roughly three seconds flat. Every musical number is, to put it simply, and not too cloyingly, I hope, a treasure that is never out of place and never too much.

Lastly, it’s a silly show that knows it’s silly. That’s trying to be silly. And oh, it works. The narrative is told with a nod and a wink, and yet, I’m invested. I want to know how it ends. I want our dear heroes to prevail. Ultimately, that is what I’m enjoying the most about Galavant. It wants you to laugh – and usually gets its way – but it also manages to tell a story about a man that falls in love far too hard and far too easily without compromising on a single joke.

Galavant portrays steadfast, recognisable norms – the chivalric Knight, the beautiful, intelligent Princess, the long-suffering Squire, the Quest – but, simultaneously, subverts them, with such ease, such grace, and such enduring humour and fun, that it simply fails to be anything less than masterful.

Not to mention, downright entertaining.

Even when I think it can’t do more, can’t be more, we turn a corner and there’s Hugh Bonneville as a pirate King, singing sea shanties – although they’re not actually at sea – and it is. It doesn’t run contrary to expectations; it takes them, runs with them, and turns them into a joke.

To conclude, Galavant is a breath of fresh air. The cast is supremely well chosen and a constant surprise, the characters are well shaped and intriguing enough to sympathise with, without ever failing to be funny, the music is catchy and a perfect fit, and the harmonies are, to coin a cliché, to die for.

Whether you can be persuaded to watch it for the aforementioned cast, a laugh or two, or because you have twenty minutes spare and you want to see what all the fuss is about, fear not – you won’t be disappointed.

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