Galavant adds a new twist to an old tale

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Promotional still via ABC

By Sophie Haddad, Carlmont High School

A damsel in distress who would rather not be saved. An oppressive king who means well. A hateful diatribe sung to the tune of a love song. Land pirates.

Galavant, a TV show which debuted Jan. 4, is essentially more comedic than it is cheesy. It sets out to depict the traditional tale of knights and kings, but pokes fun at itself in the process. The entire show is a satire, finding humor in petty jests and well thought-out song lyrics.

Try as he may, Galavant, played by Joshua Sasse, seems incapable of fitting the mold of a traditional hero. Jaded, his good name mired in debauchery, Galavant chose to leave knighthood behind when the love of his life was stolen. The tale commences when a gorgeous princess–from a village conquered by the same king who stole Galavant’s love–finds Galavant and entreats his help.

Each 22-minute episode is briskly paced and intelligently composed. Galavant is a musical as well as a comedy, with original tunes written by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, known for their work in Disney movies including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. The theme song redefines the meaning of the word “earworm” by striking the listener with an uncontrollable urge to sing.

With guest appearances from such names as Hugh Bonneville, Ricky Gervais, and “Weird Al” Yankovic, Galavant establishes itself as a legitimate production. Familiar faces and overwhelming talent help the show run smoothly.

Galavant contrasts the whimsical, capricious mood of fantasy with vulgar jokes and puerile quips. Much of the humor of the show lies in sexual innuendo, but it is not shallow to the point where it misses its mark. Above all the ne’er well-intentioned jokes and songs, though, down-to-earth morals lie. Galavant is certainly not for young children, but the meaningful messages it contains give it heart.