Galavant Review: “A New Season AKA Suck It Cancellation Bear”/“World's Best Kiss”

(Episodes 2.01 and 2.02)

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<i>Galavant</i> Review: &#8220;A New Season AKA Suck It Cancellation Bear&#8221;/&#8220;World's Best Kiss&#8221;

For almost a year, this viewer desperately awaited news from her tiny Manhattan apartment, whilst searching into the screen of her laptop,in hopes of an announcement that her TV show love, Galavant, would slay the dragon of its negative TV ratings, and return to her for a second season. My love for this show is so deep, I believe it makes up for all the others who “just don’t get it.”

This season opens up with a song and dance number, aptly addressing the criticism of the show. “A New Season… AKA Suck It Cancellation Bear,” shots reprise various settings where our heroes left off, all bursting into rhyme about not winning an Emmy, the expensive guest stars, and how “hell’s freezing if they get decent ratings.” Of course, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could not love the show. But to each his own, and to me: Galavant.

Galavant himself is back at saving damsels in distress, this time princess Isabella of Valencia. With his band of pirates and the de-throned King, Richard, in tow, Galavant lands ashore at Richard’s home kingdom. With Richard guiding them, of course it ends in shipwreck, conveniently killing off any inconvenient characters for season two. Galavant and Richard head towards Richard’s castle, when Richard realizes he’s led them smack into the dangerous “Enchanted Forest.” Richard, frightened, tells Galavant of this scary forest and its evil queen.

Stepping further into the forest, they see a sign, then Galavant realizes that “The Enchanted Forest” is actually a pub… then realizes it’s actually a gay club. Being the dashing knight that he is, he’s immediately adored by the clientele. The Evil Queen (Kylie Minogue) steps out wearing an Elsa-style ice blue dress, her tousled blonde hair glistening around her like a halo. Under her orders (sung in verse, naturally), Galavant is stripped down and narcissistically basks in the attention.

All the innuendos fly completely over Richard’s head (no one asked him to strip), but he does regain Galavant’s trust by finding an escape out of the bar through the ladies’ room. It’s refreshing to see some gay characters in a fairy tale/medieval comedy setting, however it’s still disappointing that none of the recurring characters are. However, since this show is obviously written directly for me, I’m sure the writers will fulfill all my wishes, if not this season, then the next. Galavant and Richard continue on their way, in their quest to rescue Princess Isabella.

As for what Princess Isabella needs to be rescued from… she’s being held prisoner and forced to marry her preteen, prince cousin. The room is really cute, but still a cage, and she absolutely does not want to marry anyone that’s not Galavant. Also, Prince Harry is her relative, and a CHILD. And on top of that, he’s really, really, really annoying. But mainly, the child thing. This is all highlighted visually when her parents bring in their mock-wedding toppers, where the groom is so much smaller than the bride. While she’s a feminist, she waits for her the day that her “plotlines reconnect” with Galavant. But, he’s taking a while, so she plans her own escape, enlisting Chef and Gwen’s help. Chef is pretty big into women’s rights, so he slips the guards “some sleepy time pie” to wrangle the key from them.

Back at the Kingdom of Valencia, Madalena is a full-on mix of Cersei and Queen Grimhilde with her out of control eyebrows and her deep purple gown. Gareth rules at her side, with the honorable title of “the guy that was with the Queen, when she killed the other guy, who was kind of the King.” Sidney got left behind at Valencia, and acts as mediator between the two squabbling rulers. With Sid’s helpful advice, Gareth gets Madalena to concede to call him King, but keeps the order, “Queen and King.”

Episode two, “World’s Best Kiss,” follows Galavant and Richard as they walk endlessly towards Richard’s castle. Galavant can’t wait to rid himself of Richard and continue on to save Isabella. Richard’s boot breaks, and they step into the closest town to fix it, ending up at a medieval fair. I must be attending the wrong medieval fairs, because I’ve never been to one with a unicorn. The unicorn in this episode takes a liking to Richard, who is thrilled until he finds out that unicorns seek out virgins. Usually in medieval tapestries, unicorns are represented seeking out female ‘purity,’ but with its modern twist, Galavant has them sniffing out pure dudes as well. Richard is none too pleased to have his secret outed, and unsuccessfully tries to avoid the unicorn.

Galavant has been having second thoughts about he and Isabella, as their kiss returns to his mind, and he remembers it sweetly… until he thinks more about it, and the adjectives “awkward” and “yeasty” pop into his head. Following the recent Disney Princess theme of anti love-at-first-site, Isabella is also having trouble remembering their first kiss as romantic. The song, “World’s Best Kiss,” tramples on romance with the realities of what a kiss tastes like when you don’t brush your teeth.

What Richard lacks in IQ, he makes up in EQ, and can tell exactly what’s troubling his pal Gal. He recommends that the two visit the tent of a wizard, Edwin the Magnificent. (Played by the magnificent Simon Callow, Galavant continues its superb guest star streak.) There, Galavant manages to reach Isabella through a crystal scepter, and she conveniently responds with her amulet. But like AT&T, the reception isn’t that great, and their conversation cuts out chunks, leading Isabella to believe that Galavant no longer loves her. She had been planning to escape during the change of the guards, but now, her love unrequited and forlorn, she willingly locks herself in her prison.

During the botched conversation, Richard also learns of Gareth’s betrayal, and in anger, pulls the sword from the stone. It’s actually the sword in the stone. Not sure if this is going anywhere, or just a throw away, but it made me chuckle. The duo eventually finds Richard’s castle, only to learn that it has mysteriously disappeared! Dun dun dun.

Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author and regular contributor toPaste. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.