The Dinglehopper

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Review: Galavant “Two Balls” and “Comedy Gold”

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I understand that we’re running about a week behind on this, since last night newer episodes of Galavant aired. I put my blame squarely in two camps: 1) the illness that has rampaged through our home over the last two weeks, making entertainment like television a near impossibility, and 2) the update to Hulu+ on the PS3 that crashes the playback every commercial and makes watching an episode of anything a Herculean task. So we only caught up with episodes 3 & 4 on Saturday night. Hulu tells me they’re working on it. They’d better be. The Flash and Vampire Diaries come back from hiatus this week.

“Two Balls”

The show has been sticking with a clear back and forth between King Richard’s castle in Valencia and Galavant and co. traveling on the road. In this episode, Richard attempts a new way to woo his Queen by trying to be magnanimous to the remaining survivors of the Valencia take-over/massacre. On the road, Galavant, Sid, and Isabella travel to Sid’s homevillage to find that Sid has made himself out to be the knight rather than the squire. He begs the other two to go along with it, and they do–Galavant grudgingly.

STANLEY TOWNSEND, GENEVIEVE ALLENBURYThe episode had a distinctly Mel Brooks flavor to it. The epicenter of this was the juxtaposition of Sid, a black man, being the adopted son of two Jewish parents and the song celebrating Sid’s victories which was full of Yiddish-type slang. Even the King Richard plotline felt Brooksian as he attempted to make a kind-of amends to the Valencians but epicly failed at every turn. For instance, the Valencians are vegetarians who eat from their own gardens, which King Richard burned during his conquest but kept some of the vegetables for himself. He wheels out the remains of these veggies at the ball he throws for the Valencians, but rather than sharing them, he sets them on fire and says, “If you can’t eat them, then neither shall I!”

The episode was largely forgettable and might be the low point thus far. I smiled at the jokes but never had the laugh-out-loud joy of the jousting match. The songs were all on the upside of “meh.”

The highlight of the episode was Galavant in the squire’s hangout learning how the squires really feel about their knights and having a change of heart about how he treats Sid. The song was average but entertaining, but at least Galavant became a better person for having gone through it. It supplied some nice character development.

“Comedy Gold”

“Comedy Gold” was the better of the week’s offerings. At Richard’s, the King asks the jester to teach him how to be funny. King Richard has learned that the Queen has been carrying on an affair with the jester, and rather than execute him, he’s trying a new tactic to woo his lady. Thus far we have: 1) being more manly, 2) being more magnanimous, and now 3) being more humorous. His part of the plot is pretty dull, though pieing Gareth in the face was fun, and I appreciated how the jester felt guilty about his affair with the Queen after becoming an ally to the King.

comedy goldHowever, the Galavant side of the episode was pretty satisfactory. It began with a really wonderful song about the three of them being together all the time and as the verses continued, that togetherness feeling turned to the loathing of too much familiarity. It gets them captured by boatless pirates. But despite their falling out, the three pull back together to get the upper hand on the pirates and even help them get their boat back in return for a ride to Valencia.

The pirate shanty was funny, as was the interaction between the pirates themselves. I especially liked their little side-businesses since they were unable to sail. Galavant raises himself up a little more on the hero-measuring stick by defeating the pirate captain and defending Isabella’s mouth-breathing (her deviated septum is a medical condition.) The episode threw quite a lot of romance-building between Galavant and Isabella, and it ended with Isabella trying to come clean about the trip to Valencia being a trap, but Galavant wasn’t listening. I would place this episode below “Joust Friends” as the second best one thus far.

What I’d like to see in future episodes is some deepening of Madalena’s character. The show has done a fantastic job making most of the characters, even Richard, multi-faceted and sympathetic. But Madalena has remained shallow and loathsome. Since it appears Galavant might be arriving at the castle in the next episode, perhaps it will be a good opportunity to make her more than she has been. I’m hoping so.

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Author: Erin Perry

I'm a high school English teacher specializing in AP Literature and Film Analysis. I'm interested in most things geeky, including superheroes, vampires, zombies, teen culture, postmodern philosophy, pop culture analysis, and combinations of the aforementioned. Follow me on Twitter @eriuperry.

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