Seven episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
It’s been a lonely, quiet year without the screwball charm of ABC’s Galavant on television. Although the first season of the “musical comedy extravaganza” somewhat fizzled out by the end of its truncated eight-episode run, its underlying silly spirit carried a lot of weight in sticking everything from the show’s characters to its songs and jokes inside of your head long after its January finale. Galavant‘s second season improves upon that memorably anarchic humor in a way that feels revitalized and once again energetic, for the first seven episodes at least.
And if you think creator Dan Fogelman and composers Alan Menken and Glenn Slater are just gonna regurgitate the same ballads from last year, think again. The minute Galavant (Joshua Sasse) begins belting the show’s classic tune in order to appease a seasick King Richard (Timothy Omundson), the pirates traveling with them opine in on the track’s overused history. “We’re gonna have to kill you if you try to sing that song/It didn’t win an Emmy so it’s time to move along” – that’s one of the first lines sung in Galavant 2.0, followed by a handful of characters asking you to avoid watching The Bachelor (particularly cutting due to its similar home on ABC) and the Golden Globes so Gal and company can have a chance at another renewal.
As in season 1, your appreciation of Galavant will directly relate to your tolerance for such fourth-wall breaking, meta mumbo-jumbo. There’s not really a nuanced angle to these specific jokes in the show; it’s kind of an all-encompassing, equal opportunity amalgamation of everything from Game of Thrones to FaceTime, but what makes it work is its consistent approach at attempting to be nothing more than oppressively fun. Season 2 does dip into a handful of more straightforward, plot-boosting songs, but for the most part the series is still one long joke.
Thankfully, it’s a really, really good joke, and one that may have gotten better this year, thanks to the odd couple pairing of Sasse and Omundson in the lead roles. With last year’s finale teaming up the former enemies to work together in reuniting Galavant with Isabella (Karen David) and Richard with his kingdom, the duo are in nearly every scene together and it creates a charming friction that season 1 never had (sorry Isabella and Sid!).
Omundson is still the best thing here, playing up the doofy sidekick role with aplomb and causing problems for Galavant at every turn. His shenanigans spurn some of the gutsiest tangents this season, including a blatant Once Upon A Time reference in the premiere that’s simultaneously hilarious and jaw-dropping in a how-did-they-get-away-with-this sort of way.