[This is a review of the Galavant season 2 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]
For these past five weeks, Galavant has been an enjoyable spoof of all things medieval and fantasy, while also performing an average of three to four musical numbers per episode. That the series manages to squeeze in as much quality entertainment as it does in a 22-minute runtime is impressive, and especially on what is likely a meager budget at best. A third season might be a long shot given how unexpected their second was, but they’ve certainly earned the chance for another go.
Galavant is unlike anything else on television (except perhaps Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, though their episodes run twice as long), using their premise’s inherent goofiness to their advantage while still producing real moments of poignancy amidst the ridiculousness. It’s thanks to the writers – of both the clever dialogue and catchy songs – that the show can achieve this balance, but it’s the cast that really sells it.
This season’s real standouts were Mallory Jansen’s Madalena, Vinnie Jones’ Gareth, and Timothy Omundson’s Richard. Not only did the “villains” receive a larger focus this season, but much of it was spent exploring how villainous they really are. In the case of Madalena and Gareth, they actually fell in love over their shared enjoyment of being bad, but it wasn’t enough to sustain their relationship. Though that may have more to do with Madalena’s obvious commitment issues and a growing addiction to the D’Dew (a.k.a the dark, dark evil way).
And were a season 3 to happen this would clearly be explored further, seeing as Gareth asked Sid (Luke Youngblood) to join him on a quest to save Madalena from herself – a villainous twist on the knight saving the princess trope. Galavant does this frequently, often for laughs but also as a touch of social commentary, like when it’s Madalena and Isabella (Karen David) who take part in the finale’s stunt choreographed fight while the men argue over how to begin their final showdown. Isabella even says she’s all about the “deconstruction of the princess myth“, and much like the best of today’s Disney-produced properties, so is Galavant.
Again, without question the star of Galavant season 2 wasn’t really Galavant (Joshua Sasse), but instead Richard. And in fact, Galavant’s quest of reuniting with Isabella takes a back seat to Richard’s arc, which sees him start at rock bottom, a king with no kingdom, only to learn to believe in himself and what he can achieve. Obviously, wielding the sword that signifies him as The One True King To Unite Them All helps, but its Richard’s inherently kind nature that grants him that honor.
Omundson is a delight as Richard, allowing him to be buffoonish and pitiful, but also a character you can root for. Pairing Odmundson with Sasse was a brilliant move for season 2, but so was bringing in Clare Foster as Roberta, Richard’s childhood playmate and eventual love interest. She allows for a bit of realism as a counter to both Richard and at times Galavant’s absurdity, and since she’s no longer destined for Spinster Island with her complimentary cat and chocolate, Roberta would hopefully also return for season 3 were it to happen. As would Tad Cooper, we hope, now a full grown dragon (though that could pose budgetary concerns).
Galavant season 2 was a surprise from start to finish, with excellent guest stars (Kylie Minogue, Robert Lindsey, Weird Al Yankovic), memorable and moving songs, and comedy that never relies too heavily on parody (though still has obvious nods to Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and the like). We would only be so lucky for Galavant to be rewarded with another season, but if not then at least season 2 finishes on a strong note and teases just enough about where a third season would go.