Galavant Review: “Two Balls/Comedy Gold” (Season 1, Episode 3&4)


Galavant - Episode 1.03 - Two Balls - Promotional Photos

“Oh great, another musical number,” bemoaned a character in Galavant‘s second week. The sentiment, gladly, shouldn’t be reciprocated by the viewers at home, as the show continued on a straight-and-narrow path of goofy endearment in both its third and fourth episodes. Although a bit of a formula is already showing its face, the show still feels energetic in a way a lot of the TV landscape nowadays is sorely lacking.

The night’s first half-hour focuses on the simultaneous adventures of Galavant, Sid, and Isabella taking a breather in Sid’s hometown of… Sidneyland. Turns out, he’s been sending letters home for years and not being entirely honest considering his stance in the world. So now Galavant’s his squire and Isabella is his fiance and the entire town is a bit of a hilariously awkward close-knit homegrown Jewish neighborhood that asks for Sid’s autograph on their breasts and sings lyrics like “Speaking as his rabbi why am I not surprised/Sidney is the knight who put the Sir in circumcised.”

The show, despite all evidence to contrary, is appearing to stay nimble-footed as it plows along. Though the music and pace are giving way to predictability, their content and delivery endlessly entertain. And they’re getting deeper, as well. Galavant, for instance, gets thrown into a number with the squires of Sidneyland, all singing their woes about serving their respective “Jackass in a can.” Galavant goes along with it, knee-slapping and belting out tunes, and then in the end realizes the harsh truth: they’re singing about him. There’s no great moment of him changing everything he is – especially when the night’s second hour sees him promptly ignoring a heart-to-heart from Isabella – but even the hints to self-awareness on his part make him more likeable. The hilarious squire ear-flap hat he dons throughout the episode doesn’t hurt, either.

Back in Valencia, the king decides to throw a ball for all of the Valencians left over from the war that he hasn’t murdered. Perhaps the greatest thing about the show is its absolute mining of every bit of minutiae from any one scene for a joke. Like, for example, when a eunuch responds to King Richards question of what Valencia did for fun before the war with, “We used to have balls,” his – and the increasingly lovable scene stealer in Vinnie Jones’ Gareth – burst out laughing. “You just can not write this stuff,” the king exclaims. Dan Fogelman has done just that, and it’s brilliant. The two balls of the episode’s title (and other various innuendos you can do so with what you will), seen in Sid’s homecoming and the King’s Valencian feast, coincide simultaneously and bounce off one another enjoyably.

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