“I Smell Backstory!” - Galavant, a Great Show with a Short Lifespan

Now that spring break is over, it’s time to trade relaxing and binge watching for going to class and studying. However, if you still find that you have a little time to watch Netflix but ran out of shows during the break, I’ve got the perfect suggestion for you.

Galavant first premiered in January 2015 as a mid-season filler for Once Upon A Time. The show ran for two seasons, totaling only 20 episodes at 20 minutes a piece overall. While individual episodes and the series as a whole are relatively short, what it lacks in runtime it makes up for creativity and entertainment. The whole series only takes around 7 hours to watch and is available on Netflix, making it a perfect candidate for binging.

Galavant contains a wildly wonderful combination of music, drama and comedy that is rare to TV and more commonly found on Broadway. It shares its charm with Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Princess Bride, but is uniquely brilliant. In addition to the show’s already vast variety of appeals, it is set in medieval times, making it even more unique. With music by Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid), Christopher Lennertz (Alvin and the Chipmunks), and Glenn Slater (Tangled) and guest appearances by the likes of Al Yankovic, Ricky Gervais, and Kylie Minogue, Galavant packs a star-studded punch in addition to its ambitious style and setting.

The first season follows Galavant, a has-been knight, on his journey to save the love of his life Madalena and execute revenge on King Richard, who stole her from him. He is joined by his squire Sid and the princess of Valencia, Isabella. Throughout his journey, he becomes a hero once again and re-discovers himself, all while learning a few lessons and making a few friends along the way. The second season follows the struggle of Isabella and Galavant as they try to reunite with each other, as well as King Richard’s quest to define who he really is and reclaim his throne. Throughout both seasons, the characters are hilarious, exaggerated portrayals of stereotypes, the storyline is easy to follow but unpredictable, and the musical numbers are amusing while helping to move the plot along. There are even a few moral lessons hidden behind the clever rhymes and dumb humor! Overall, season one is slightly better than season two, but both are incredibly unique and enjoyable.

One of the reasons that the show is so enjoyable, aside from its quirky genre, is its tendency to be very self-aware. The cast and crew knew that the show was something that had not been frequently or deeply explored in the past, and that Galavant’s reception was going to be difficult to predict. In season one, they make light of the possibility of cancelation by closing the season with a song titled “Galavant Wrap Up,” which hints at what could come if there was a season two. In the beginning of season two, the show begins with an episode titled “A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear,” a nod to the websites that predicted its incredibly low ratings would not earn it a second season. The first song of season two is also “A New Season,” which pokes fun at the melody repeatedly used throughout the first season’s songs. In addition to making fun of its ratings, there are also plenty of jokes about the time period, references to modern day phenomenons (despite the time period), and comments on the structure and timing of episodes (suggesting that the characters are aware they’re in a TV show).

From the setting to the music to the humor, Galavant is a work of art that did not last nearly long enough. Even though it’s been three years since the last episode debuted on television, the wonderful oddity that is Galavant will live on for as long as Netflix keeps it on their streaming service. Whether you’re an original fan who needs to rewatch it or a prospective lover of the unusual medieval musical dramedy, Galavant is the best (and one of the only) of its kind.

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