Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Pilot Review: Galavant

Galavant (ABC)
Premiered January 4 at 8pm

It didn’t take long for 2015’s first show to premiere, and it’s quite an eclectic pick. Shows with regular singing in them are rare and usually not fondly remembered. Consider the short life spans of “Cop Rock” and “Viva Laughlin,” and look at how long it took for “Glee” to get old. “Pushing Daisies” has its share of singing, but that was really just an excuse to feature Kristin Chenoweth. This show embraces its musical comedy nature wholeheartedly, creating a medieval mockery that seems truly fitting for the stage. While it’s not particularly hilarious, it is somewhat charming and endearing. It’s certainly silly, but digesting two half-hours worth of this show every week for four weeks doesn’t seem like an awful idea. Of the cast, Joshua Sasse, Mallory Jansen, and Karen David, who I’ve never seen before, are great as Galavant, the spoiled Madalena, and the spirited Isabella, respectively, but I enjoy seeing two actors I know from other projects most. Timothy Omundson of “Psych” is the perfect person to play the king, and Vinnie Jones is a fantastic and unexpected choice to play his serious sidekick. I wouldn’t go so far as to classify this show as good, but it is a lot of fun and not nearly as grating as most other comedies on the air today. Taking it seriously is another question altogether, but I’d categorize this one as a pleasant if over-the-top surprise that I definitely wasn’t expecting to find memorable or worthwhile.

How will it work as a series? A second episode helps to paint a picture of what this show will be like on a regular basis, and it’s a promising one, since it adds considerable depth – or rather, surface levels of personality – to all of the characters. Eight episodes is not a tall order and is sure to fly by in just four weeks. Having John Stamos guest star in the second episode is a strong indicator of the show’s sense of humor.
How long will it last? All ratings reports term its debut “solid,” which suggests that it may just have the chance to outlive its initial set of episodes. I’m not confident that those numbers will last, though, and so I think that what was initially ordered is all we’ll get.

Pilot grade: B-

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