Galavant: Two Takes on Season 1, Including the Mildly 'Meh' Finale

Galavant Finale Review

ABC’s Galavant wrapped its eight-episode freshman run on Sunday night by installing a new face on the throne, leaving another princess to be saved and sending two frenemies on a slow boat to… where, Mist Haven? Who knows.

Here, TVLine’s two biggest Galavant fans (Galafans?), Editor-at-Large Matt Webb Mitovich and West Coast Reporter Rebecca Iannucci, reflect on the ambitious musical-comedy’s maiden voyage and express reservations about what any possible Season 2 would look like.

matt_mitovich_final_mini We come here to primarily celebrate ABC’s Galavant as a whole, though I admittedly came away from the finale feeling a bit “meh.” But we’ll get to that in a bit. First, would you agree that this musical-comedy was a breath of fresh air during these bleak winter TV weeks?

rebecca-iannucci-miniAbsolutely. I understand that the words “musical-comedy” only appeal to so many viewers (myself included), but this show was just so much fun. It wasn’t too cerebral or gloomy, and you could actually watch it with the whole family.

matt_mitovich_final_mini Well, mostly watch it with the whole family, if you’re prepared to explain to Junior why Gwynne only expected one of her and Chef’s 12 babies to survive, or to account for Madelena’s non-stop shtupping of the jester. Now, what did you think of the scheduling? Some have grumbled that two-episodes-per-week felt like a “burn-off,” though I stand by my original review that since the plot movement was so glacial, you needed that extra helping to come away sated.

rebecca-iannucci-mini I would agree with that. To me, the two-episodes-per-week idea came off like a “test run,” to gauge how viewers reacted to these eight episodes. Plus, it provided a perfect bridge between the winter hiatus and the string of midseason premieres that are upon us. (Which is different from, say, Parks and Recreation‘s two-per-week setup, which does seem a like a burn-off). The problem I have with the scheduling is that Galavant has repeatedly gone up against award shows and major football games. Since the premise appeals to such a specific demographic to begin with, I really felt that putting it up against huge TV events squashed its chances from the start. What I did love about the show, though, was how it brought out the sometimes-unexpected comedic talent of its actors. Did any particularly stand out for you?

matt_mitovich_final_mini Obviously, Timothy Omundson was the real joy here, getting to vamp — and sing — more than even Psych’s musical episode allowed him to. I liked how he was a slightly goofier, far more entertaining version of Robin Hood: Men in Tights’ sheriff. Big, bad Vinnie Jones? Perfect as the king’s No. 1. And I’m pretty sure that anything Luke Youngblood said as Sid made me chuckle.

rebecca-iannucci-mini And I just adored the relationship between Darren Evans’ Chef and Sophie McShera’s Gwynne. (The idea of poisoning an entire kingdom has never sounded so sweet!) Plus, the show really gave its guest stars a chance to shine. Ricky Gervais as the disgraced magician Xanax was a personal favorite.

matt_mitovich_final_mini I was about to say, Darren Evans is perhaps Season 1’s MVP. Poor Chef, always fearing fickle death, having to whip together a feast at a moment’s notice or laboring to “keep it cas” with Gwynne. My favorite guest star was Hugh Bonneville, whose pirate captain took such care to denote mid-song that weren’t quite on the sea. But of course — segue alert! — some of the series’ biggest stars were the songs. Which made your “playlist”?

rebecca-iannucci-mini Going back to Omundson’s fantastic goofiness, I loved “Comedy Gold,” as King Richard attempted — and kinda-sorta succeeded, I guess? — to impress his wife with laughs. And while I found Madelena more and more unlikable as the show went on, I did enjoy her “No One But You” sequence with those mirrors. Thirty-part harmony with yourself is no easy task!

matt_mitovich_final_mini “No One But You” was clever, especially when each reflection gave Mad distinct props a la “You go, girl!” I’m going to go with “Maybe You’re Not the Worst Thing Ever,” which spoofed every movie ballad about perfect romance, and the aforementioned “If I Could Share My Life With You,” which was alternately sweet and loaded with just tragic truths.
KAREN DAVID

matt_mitovich_final_mini With the praise now behind us, I need to talk about the finale. My misgivings can be summed up thusly: The plot was a mess — for one, why did Madelena track down Kingsley (played by Rutger Hauer) if she was only going to swiftly kill him? — and I’m pretty sure I don’t care very much about her being partnered with Gareth. I can’t imagine how their dynamic will be interesting.

rebecca-iannucci-mini I have to agree with you on the Madelena/Gareth front. I have nothing against the radiant Mallory Jansen, but I just don’t see how viewers could be expected to root for her character in any capacity, especially without King Richard’s personality to offset her icy nature. I did, however, like that the plot was left open-ended, especially for Galavant and Isabella. Many of us probably anticipated a happy ending tied up with a bow. But really, after seeing Galavant and Richard getting drunk together, isn’t that dynamic reason enough to come back for Season 2?

matt_mitovich_final_mini That’s what I am holding onto, if there is a Season 2 — that the “buddy comedy” side of the story will offset the weaker elements, as Gal and Richard set out to rescue Izzy and… who, Gareth? Before we go, any Season 2 predictions? Here’s mine: Sid will serve as Gareth’s No. 1 and/or figure into a love triangle with Chef/Gwynne. I mean, why else leave him behind at the castle?

rebecca-iannucci-mini I would really like to see that love triangle play out, if only to watch Sid realize how sick and twisted Gwynne really is — and I mean that lovingly, of course. Mine is a wish more than a prediction: that Gareth and Madelena actually hit it off, somehow. I do recognize the need for a villain, but if Madalena didn’t hate the man sitting on the throne next to her, for once, it could open up some really intriguing plot possibilities.


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83 Comments
  1. Mare says:

    It deserves a second chance if only so I can have more Timothy O acting hilariously as King Richard!

  2. ... says:

    They cancelled The Neighbors for this? Sigh.

  3. Steven says:

    While all of the actors were brilliant, Timothy Omundsen’s King Richard really stole the show. Every actor that shared the screen with him was elevated to a new level, and having a second season with Richard and Galavant in a buddy comedy would be priceless. Of all the guests,Ithe only one I was disappointed with was Weird Al Yankovic. I hoped his scenes would be longer and funnier, but the writers seemed happy with a single punchline (holy Guacamole that one stinks to holy hell). Criminal under-utilization.

    As for Gareth and the Queen, I’m okay with that situation as long as the second season (and there better be one!) focuses on Richard and Galavant, and a quest to free Isabella from imprisonment. Overall, well done, and one of the best shows to be released on one of the big networks in a very long time.

  4. Lysh says:

    I would have liked to see more girl power (I guess?) from Isabella; it seemed like the people in the cells were just pushed to the side. But there were a lot of great/hilarious moments in the finale two episodes. Chef and Gwynne get the more twistedly sweet songs. I’m really hoping for a second season. If they keep doing half hour episodes, they definitely should keep them two per night. It’d seem too short with not much happening if there was only one per night.

    • Alice says:

      While I was glad that we did get Gwynne and Madalena taking agency for their own story lines- albeit both in rather homicidal ways- I was also really frustrated with Isabella’s storyline once they put everyone in the cells. It’s an 8 episode season, you really needed to spend 3 episodes with half the cast in prison? Once they got locked up, they became pretty irrelevant except for a line or two per episode. Although the addition of her parents was pretty funny. But it was a shame because the three of them had been entertaining on the journey.

  5. Donna says:

    I find myself humming the Galavant theme song during the week, but what really intrigues me are the rhyming lyrics that move the story forward and use present day ideas intertwined with blasts from the Middle Ages past. Keep writing.

  6. laurelnev says:

    First, everyone was trying to create another “Lost;” now, they’re looking to create another Once Upon a Time. Their major issue: throwing together a plot that doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the concept, producing shows that are clearly in need of revision before being rushed to production. First, Wonderland, and now, Galavant. Both shows with a wonderful concept, but too rushed to fill a gap in the schedule.

  7. Marty says:

    I really did not want to watch that show. But now that I have watched all eight episodes. I am hooked. I need to know what happens.I will be very disappointed if you leave us hanging like this.in fact so much I don’t think I will watch another show on ABC if they don’t finish.

    • AthenaMay24 says:

      I was the same way!! My mom is really into that kind of humor, but I didn’t think I want til she forced my family to watch it. Some of the jokes were a little to, uh, mature for my little brother, but it was hilarious! I found myself excited for it to come on and explaining the whole plot line to my friends. I really want to know what happens. I’m only upset at how Isabella was the on That whipped Galavant back into shape for his jousting tournament, and yet she did nothing to get out of prison and had to go running to her cousin in the end. But, oh well, at least she and Galavant actually kissed!

  8. April Cervero says:

    Just caught it tonight – the finale. Laughed myself silly at the “we’re off on a secret mission . . . but first another drink . . .” song. Now I want to see the whole thing from the beginning! “Rat bits!”
    Bring on season 2!

  9. Wazzer says:

    King Richard was our favorite, he really stole the show. We watched every single episode, and I have not “followed” a TV show in years. We are hoping they bring it back. It’s great for there to be something fun on TV to watch for a change.

  10. Maureen says:

    Love it. Bring it back.

  11. Greg Yarbrough says:

    I’m not a big fan of musicals, I’m just not; I say this to impact what follows: Galavant is fantastic. Originally I started watching because I’m a big fan of Timothy Omundson, but continued because of, well, everything. Clever, engaging, great acting, and most importantly, genuinely and sincerely funny! I want to laugh out loud when I watch a comedy, but the reality of it is I rarely actually do. I’ve found myself rewinding my DVR just so I can laugh again at what I just witnessed with this show. I agree that the finale was a bit weak, but truthfully I don’t care. Season two? Yes, please.

  12. They have to put a 2nd season up. We cannot leave it the way it was.

  13. Emily says:

    Came for Timothy Omundsen as I loved him in Psych and stayed for the hilariously, we’re-not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously writing! I’m hoping for a 2nd season and for the budding friendship between King Richard and Galavant to continue! Best song of the night: We’re Off On a Secret Mission. Best line of the night: “Will all the singing kill our Nielsen’s ratings?”

    • Brandy says:

      I couldn’t agree more! The writing is so clever, I actually turned on my closed captioning so I wouldn’t miss things while I was laughing! Definitely agree on best song and line as well, though ‘A Happy Ending For Us (Poisoning the Royals)’ was also hilarious.

      And this wasn’t in the finale, but the singing monks had me rolling! “And we’re the monks!”

  14. Would love to see Galavant try to find someone to ‘deflower’ the The King. Would make for uncomfortable, awkward funny stuff. Buddy Comedy

  15. Bertie Brane says:

    Have really enjoyed the show. It’s silly but entertaining. The tune is catchy.

    Yes

  16. Tran says:

    NO FOR SEASON 2 but who gives.

  17. JenniferK says:

    I didn’t find the finale “meh” at all. I think Madalena summed up why she killed Kingsley pretty well (he criticized her, for one and for two, he was in the way of what she wanted). She used him (as she uses everybody) to achieve her goal. Get rid of her husband, get rid of the brother – who has claim to the throne – and then take over all by herself.

  18. Marsha Silveira says:

    There is nothing better than great music & Galavant is great musical comedy. I will be hugely disappointed if this is the end…

  19. GildedRose says:

    Galavant was a ton of fun. I enjoyed every ep. The finale was most definitely meh though. If you don’t know you’re getting a Season 2, this is how you end it? This?! I hate when networks do this. Either set it as a limited run thing and do it right or resolve Season 1 in a way that makes it ok with viewers if it doesn’t get a 2nd season, but don’t end it on a way that made me think — at the end — “If this doesn’t get renewed I just wasted how many weeks watching this?”

  20. ABC may have shot itself in the foot via its marketing of this show. What with the persistent “comedy extravaganza” billing , the up-front announcement that this was a limited run, and tonight’s promise of a “finale”, I made the foolish mistake of expecting the proffered eight episodes to tell something resembling a self-contained story. Only in the last half hour did the scripting make it clear that this was clearly NEVER the plan.

    As the small-screen twist on a stage musical I initially thought it was, Galavant is mediocre at best. As the comedy-serial it seems actually meant to be, it’s uneven, and it doesn’t help that between Bruce Campbell and the Muppets, most of this material has been done better — particularly the piratical bits. (See The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. for better land pirates, and Muppet Treasure Island for a better guest-starring sea chantey.)

    That said, I’m not opposed to a second season…but if they go there, the series badly needs to diversify its musical component. A little bit of patter-song rhyming goes a long way, but that was pretty much all we got from Glenn Slater and Alan Menken in the initial run.

  21. murley says:

    I really hope it gets a second season. I had so much fun watching it. In fact I am in the midst of rewatching it with my husband who is not a fan of musicals but still finds it funny and entertaining. There are jokes and asides I missed the first time that make it fun the second time through as well. I also was not at all perplexed by Madelena’s actions. She brought in Kingsley to get rid of Richard and then she killed Kingsley and now she is in charge. The finale was good and set up for season 2, especially Galavant and Richard together looks promising so fingers crossed!

  22. Stanislava says:

    ABC,please,please,pretty please,renew this show!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Penn says:

    I adored this show! It was a breath of fresh air, funny, charming, it made my Sundays!

  24. David P. Graf says:

    I quit watching this show after the first night when it became apparent that there was far too much innuendo and such for this to really be a show for the whole family. What a disappointment!

  25. retsim says:

    Please give us another season of Galavant .Loved all the musical numbers ,it,s the sort of irreverent humour that is lacking now a days poking a bit of fun at the PC brigade .Good work from the cast and crew.

  26. Chol H Yoon says:

    The show was demented, like a liver version of Shrek. I loved it.

  27. Jerry says:

    I love it!!! Galavant is finally something refreshing and original to watch. All the reality shows, the crime shows, the talent shows have left me jaded about television the last 6 or 7 years.

  28. Rose says:

    Galavant needs a second season!!! It was absolutely a breath of fresh air every week. SO much drama coming at us from so many other shows, it was just such a pleasure to have something like Galavant to look forward to. I will be so sad if it doesn’t come back. Please bring it back!!!

  29. Me says:

    I was at my sister’s home for the first episodes, and we really wanted to watch it. My brother-in-law begrudgingly sat and watched with us. By the end of the first episodes he was setting the DVR so he won’t miss it. This really is a good show, hope they keep it.

  30. David says:

    “Secret Mission” was amazing. I’ll be a very sad panda if we don’t get another serving of Galavant. I know the ratings were a bit underwhelming but hopefully they take into account they schedule directly against the NFL playoffs, everything else should just count on being down,

  31. What a marvelous breath of fresh air. I LOVED the ending. Not concluding anything was straight out of MP & the Holy Grail. But it even topped that by BEGGING for renewal in the final song. Galavant was just a wonderful little show. I sure hope it comes back.

    • Carolyn says:

      My thoughts exactly! I thought the writing was very clever and the actors just looked like they were having a wonderful time. And the songs . . . brilliant!!

  32. deede says:

    I enjoyed the show, but would have rather been able to see a big triumphant finish instead of it leaving us hanging. Would still have enjoyed watching next season with some new adventures for them. I was also confused a bit about why the king’s brother was involved. Seemed silly. Enjoyed the music very much.

  33. Luis says:

    I enjoyed this show a good deal more than I expected to. The songs were clever and I was particularly taken with the performances of Timothy Osmundson and Vinnie Jones. My wife and I both gasped out loud when we recognized Sophie Mcshea (please don’t let her get typecast as a kitchen maid!) The prospects of Galavant and Richard as a road comedy and Gareth as Maddalena’s consort are both enough for me to look forward to Season 2.

  34. Douglas Penilli says:

    “Why did Madelena track down Kingsley if she was only going to swiftly kill him?”

    She thought he could fulfill a purpose for her. When he was no longer of use (like the Jester), she disposed of him. She can’t see the future.

    “I don’t care very much about her being partnered with Gareth. I can’t imagine how their dynamic will be interesting.”

    Someone who respects her strength but won’t tolerate an ounce of the very qualities that her entire character depends upon. It will be interesting because she won’t stop being her and we haven’t seen her opposite an equal before.

  35. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    The finale to me was alright it was still funny as hell and I think it deserves a season2. Timothy O. aka King Richard cracks me up everybody on the show is great I hope ABC sees how much a lot people like this little show!

  36. robin says:

    Anyone who was shocked that this wasn’t a family show didnt pay attention to the creators. If you expect only family stuff on at 8, that was before the cable etc. revolution years ago. I know not everyone can afford cable satellite, me too. Don’t compare shows to other shows. Too different to be compared to ouat or anything else. I didn’t make it appointment tv because I didn’t like the queen after episode 2. Weird al not a draw either. Have to check to see if all the jokes were too cheap and easy.

  37. Karen Curnock says:

    I loved this show. The music was incredible. It was a show I could share with family and friends across the country. I laughed and sang- the songs stuck in my head. Loved ALL the characters, but my favorites were King Richard and the Chef

  38. Nick says:

    Refreshing, campy, tongue in cheek. Reminded me some of rocky and Bulwinkle. Surface story for the kids but adults laughing at the innuendos and under currents. Beautiful catchy tunes and lyrics. A totally pleasant surprise for ABC’s shot at competing with Peter Pan.

  39. Ayden says:

    So, i loved Galavant and the last episode was great but I was disappointed to see that it was going into season two. Of coarse I’m excited about but I was upset that it ended the way it did. Now I have to wait to see how the already existant conflict get resolved rather than see it end in a really humerous unexpected way like the joust.

  40. Sherlyn says:

    Loved something new and fresh. Something to laugh about.

  41. Shelby Lawrence says:

    I absolutely love this show. Its is creative, unique, the singers are very talented, and the story line is very good and the comedy component is excellent. I believe the musical numbers are great, and the way they leave you wanting to know what happens next! This show absolutely positively needs a second season. Any one who disagrees probably wouldn’t know good television if it hit them in the face.

  42. Caanan says:

    I wish they had’ve followed through on the poisoning plot line. That was out of left field and would have been ballsy! But… Not have Chef do it, because Vincenzo is right, he’s not a killer… but have Gwynne take over. Everyone dies (including Prince Harry – setting up war with another kingdom for season 2, should there be one) but Madalena and Richard survive.

    “Why aren’t you dead, queen?” – “I’m only mildly allergic to shellfish. It gives me a rash.” – “But your face looks fine.” – “It’s not ON my face.” *reaches behind her to itch irritably*

    “Richard, you’re alive! Chef told me you were allergic to asparagus!” – (childishly) “I only said that because I don’t LIKE them!”

    Chef is out, Gwynne is the Queen’s new cook. “As long as you don’t kill me, queen.” – “As long as YOU don’t kill ME.” *mutual nervous/evil laughter*

    Then wrap it up some other way. Maybe Gareth convinces the king it’s time to go out and make his OWN kingdom. Quit being a nance who gets everything handed to him.

    Plus you’ve got more time to bring Gal and Izzy together, who had criminally little to do. Where was the assertive sword trainer from episode 2??

    Oh how I wish they’d delivered on that inspired poisoning idea. (Even if they just killed all the official taste testers! I dunno. Why sing about it if you’re not going to do it?)

    ALL that said. Give us season 2! Make it longer! Even if it’s just an extra week.

  43. Dorothy says:

    I would usually eat Gwynne’s cooking before I would go see a musical, but my husband and I watched every episode, laughed out loud, and are ready for season two. It was a breath of fresh air and wickedly funny.

  44. Alan Weiss says:

    Absolutely charming, utterly clever and enjoyable, a real ball-buster of humor and music and comedy and great acting. Ratings came up in the end, and putting this up against college and NFL football, as well as all the noise about award shows … THIS show is what MAKES award shows! Brilliant performances, tongue in cheek yet sweet and sincere at the same time. RENEW, ABC, and make MORE.

  45. MaxBarsini says:

    I love this show! I’m totally addicted to it!

  46. barsini says:

    I love this show! I’m totally addicted!

  47. ace says:

    I’m irritated because I made the mistake of believing the network (I know, I know) that it was a MINISERIES. It was only during the final episode that I realized, Crap, they’re not going to wrap this up today, are they? Grrrr. Why can’t we have 6(ish) episode series like the BBC instead of dragging every show out indefinitely? Not every concept lends itself to an ongoing series.

  48. Lisa Gould says:

    This is the best show in years! I hope there is another season! I can’t wait for season 1 to come out on DVD!

    • Toni Sawyer says:

      Haters.. u people who don’t like the show have no sense of humor or can’t enjoy a funny show like this one. Just know that even tho u don’t like Galavant there are plenty of us who do so instead of hate messages u could just say it isn’t what u like but that ur sure a lot of people will enjoy it and I along with many others want it to come back on for many more seasons. Thankx

  49. Toni Sawyer says:

    I could really care less what the haters say I LOVE GALAVANT!!! And can’t wait for it to come back on. So those of us who love the show BRING IT BACK FOR MANY SEASONS!!!

  50. PK says:

    Love this show! So quirky & fun. I’m in my 50s and I think this is something that all ages can get a chuckle over. Loved the Richard/Gareth son/Dad dynamic and maybe the new Richard/Galavant bromance? LMAO “We’re off on a secret mission!” Please keep it going guys.