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Galavant, “Completely Mad…Alena” & “Dungeons and Dragon Lady”, My Thoughts

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The comedy musical fairy tale has brought laughs with every episode. It’s given us songs to carry with us throughout our daily activities–whether we wanted it to or not. But none of those episodes could compare to this week’s “Completely Mad…Alena” and “Dungeons and Dragon Lady”.

This Sunday brought us the meatiest, funniest episodes of Galavant, yet.

Spoilers after the jump!

Making one last stop before carrying out their rescue mission, Galavant (Joshua Sasse) and the gang pay a visit to ‘the most famed and revered monastery in Valencia’ for a bath and some rest. Weird Al Yankovic (UHF, Drunk History) was so very perfect to lead the boy band of acapella doo-wop singing monks that welcome them to the Abbey. I had been waiting for Weird Al’s appearance since first hearing that he was going to guest on the show, and the monks were well worth the wait! Their song, “Hey, Hey, We’re The Monks”, is catchy (but aren’t they all?), they have a ‘shy one’, a ‘cute one’, and a ‘bad boy’ (“but not so bad” because he’s a monk!), and the best jazz hands this side of Valencia! Isabella (Karen David) takes the opportunity to confess that she’s lured Galavant into a trap and asks the confessional monk (Yankovic) for advice.

In the meantime, a lot is happening back at the castle. Richard (Timothy Omundson) is eagerly awaiting Galavant’s arrival, Chef (Darren Evans) is trying to woo the heart of Madalena’s handmaiden, Gwynne (Sophie McShera), and Madalena (Mallory Jansen) is having a self realization that she loves–well, herself. Jansen finally gets to show off her vocal talent in Madalena’s song, “No One But You”, and she does incredibly well– all ten–or twenty of her! Not only do we get Mallory Jansen on lead vocals, but she has ten of herself (as Madalena) singing back up! In other words, it’s aaaall about Madalena. It was a really fun number that reminded me a lot of “Surprise” from the musical version of Young Frankenstein, if you’re familiar with it. I really enjoyed Jansen’s performance and I’m glad that she got a song of her own. In addition to Jansen getting her own musical number in this episode, we were also given an adorable little look into Chef’s life– or the life that he’d like to share with Gwynne in a duet of their very own, “If I Could Share My Life With You”. The number is set up with Madalena trying to coax information from Chef about what the King is up to. She uses her ability to order her hand maiden to have dinner with Chef to her advantage, and manages to get what she needs from him.

The Tredegar born actor is already part of the Richard+Gareth+Chef trio that steal the show, but as soon as you see Darren Evans and his adorable little British self singing to and dancing with Gwynne, he’ll steal your heart. He’ll steal your heart and run with it, and there won’t be anything you can do about it! With the combination of his voice and the sweet, little daydreamy tune of “If I Could Share My Life With You”, Evans is like a Davy Jones for 2015. Is it too soon to refer to this episode as the MONKees tribute? Sophie McShera holds her own against Evans’ adorable-ness too. Together, they had me grinning happily from ear to ear and I hope we get to see more of them together because dammit, do I ship the hell out of them!

But back to Galavant (Joshua Sasse), Sid (Luke Youngblood), and Isabella (Karen David)– they finally put their rescue mission plan into action and the first half-hour episode ends with our hero being captured by King Richard, just as he had planned (with Isabella’s help), and tossed into the dungeon. BUT not before finding out that Isabella did, in fact, betray him….and just as Galavant is about to be executed ten minutes later, it is revealed that Madalena has carried out a plan to switch Galavant with Chef, and has Galavant delivered instead to her room. Thankfully, Richard goes to remove the hood from his prisoner’s head just in time to realize that he too had been tricked into almost killing his ‘favorite Chef’.

“Dungeons and Dragon Lady” picks right back up where “Completely Mad…Alena” left off. Galavant and Madalena share a tango together, and while Galavant sings of his love for her, she admits that she loves our hero just as much as anyone like her could. Unrequited love a bit much? But the fact that Galavant prefaces the number with, “I’ve got something to say and I’ve come a really, really long way to say it…” The music starts, and Madalena rolls her eyes with an “Oh, no,” is the reason that I love Galavant. They constantly break the fourth wall. The show knows what it is, and it makes fun of what it is.

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Because being Madalena’s ‘boy-toy’ obviously isn’t what Galavant wants, she has him tossed into the dungeon with Sid and Isabella. While trying to figure out their escape, Galabella share a lovely song about how if you love someone, you’d do anything for them (“Love Is Strange”), and Galavant finally realizes that Madalena never loved him. He and Isabella share a sweet moment together and Galavant, at last, has his heroic moment where he declares that he’s going to save the day.

On the other side of the castle, King Richard is upset that his own wife has tricked him into nearly killing his favorite Chef so that she can save her ex-boyfriend. He proceeds to wonder why he continues to let people treat him poorly. In a comically frantic moment of worry from Chef, he offers to take King Richard to Xanax The Magician (Ricky Gervais), who he believes can help shed some light on why Richard is the way that he is. Now, the previous episodes of Galavant have made me giggle and laugh– but the scenes with Ricky Gervais as Xanax had me laughing out loud. The Character of Xanax is more or less a total stoner type that lives in his mom’s attic (which he insists is a laboratory) and provides ‘special herbs’ for those inquiring. “Xanax can help anything,” as he puts it, and yes. Yes, the character of Xanax totally helped bring the laughs to last night’s episode. Gervais even had a killer song that paid homage to the trippy rock songs of the 1960s and 1970s–and the scene was very The Who’s Tommy.

With the help of Xanax, Richard and Chef take a journey back in time to the day that Richard’s father died, and he was dubbed king. It turns out that Richard was not the first choice to wear the crown, but his older brother, Kingsley, was.

Kingsley, however, at first refused the royal sword, and as it was being handed over to Richard, changed his mind and stepped in to take it anyway, before leaving the kingdom. This is the moment that Richard decides is the reason behind all of his troubles, and he feels that he’s spent his entire life believing that he’s everyone’s second choice. The trippy flashback gave us a glimpse of young King Richard as well as a young Gareth– and those kids were spot on! Whoever was responsible for casting Alfie Simmons as young King Richard and Sonnyboy Skelton as young Gareth deserves a great big hug, because Simmons and Skelton made me so very happy!

The flashback is also important because we learn that Gareth (Vinnie Jones) swore an oath when he was ten years old to protect King Richard– and now that Madalena is in the picture, Gareth is at a dilemma over who to serve– He likes the King, they’ve been side-by-side since they were little… But Madalena has strength, and Gareth admires that. I think that Gareth wouldn’t have such a hard time deciding whose side to be on if the King would just man up, and show more assertiveness… Which is how the sixth episode of Galavant leaves us: When Richard returns with Chef from his ‘trip’, his sort of awakening has given him a new light on what’s been going on at the castle, and he decides that not only is he breaking up with Madalena, but he also wants to take back  his kingdom. There’s only one problem… Madalena’s evil plan has already been set in motion, and Kingsley (Rutger Hauer) has returned to help her and take back what he believes was rightfully his to begin with.

What do you think will happen? Will Gareth betray Richard? Or is the King’s newfound assertiveness enough to keep him loyal? Will Madalena and Kingsley take over? Is Galavant going to ride off into the sunset with Isabella?? What about Sid?? Is he going to join the monastery??  I have SO many questions! And yet, I want Galavant and Richard to shake hands and overthrow Madalena and Kingsley together with the help of their sidekicks!

This show has only gotten better with each passing week, and now we have reached our last with the comedy extravaganza. My only hope is that it is renewed for another season or at least another 4 week extravaganza! Certainly the tale they’re giving us isn’t all to the story. So spread the word, shout from the rooftops that you love Galavant, and peer-pressure your friends into enjoying it with you! We need more shows like this on tv. I enjoy the Breaking Bads, The Walking Deads, and the stabbing, and the murdering, and the blood and guts with my TV shows as much as the next person. But Galavant is truly a feel-good show that will make you happy, if you give it a chance. It has heart, and it’s one of this generation’s parodies like those of Mel Brooks and Monty Python.

Wherever the finale of the comedy extravaganza takes us or leaves us…. This week’s episodes of Galavant nailed it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Galavant airs two 30-minute episodes back-to-back on Sunday nights in January at 8:00/7:00PM central on ABC.

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About ifronkensteen

Zombie Slayer, Theatregoer, Instagrammer, and all around Adventurer with a McGuyver-like craftiness.

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