The Dinglehopper

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First Thoughts on ‘Galavant’

galavant_kingdanceErin’s Take:

I was iffy on the Galavant pilot, so I’m glad that I was able to quickly follow it up with “Joust Friends.” The opening song showed great promise with clever, bawdy lyrics and a quick pace, but as the “Galavant” reprises wore on, I found myself getting a bit weary of it. Still, the Spam-A-Lot similarities were clear and kept me at a low-level giggle throughout.

At some point in the first 10 minutes, I started to think what this would be like as a Disney animated musical which, besides Spam-A-Lot, would be its closest relative. Certainly it would be scrubbed of much of its sexual references and innuendo, but the opening number did remind me a good deal of the opening song, “Belle,” of Beauty and the Beast. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the fast pace of Frozen–certainly earlier Disney musicals have not moved so quickly–but by the end of the pilot, I felt the biggest difference was pacing. Galavant moved more slowly. When the songs started up, it felt like action ground to a halt.

But that changed during the second episode, “Joust Friends.” With the major exposition out of the way, “Joust Friends” pranced straight out of the gate. The songs, now varying nicely from the anthem “Galavant,” were more diverse and developmental of character and emotion. But most importantly, I started laughing more in the second episode. A lot more. The Python-esque jousting scene had me in tears with laughter.

Mgalvant_sidy hope is that future episodes will continue on with the pace and humor of “Joust Friends.” The tone that I was left with was a Python/Xena mix which I will happily take from the rest of the episodes.

Additionally, I was tickled to see Luke Youngblood, aka Magnitude on Community, show his singing and acting chops on material other than, “Pop! Pop!” (Only after looking at his IMDB page do I realize he was also Lee Jordan in Harry Potter.)

Michael’s Take:

The “Pilot” episode was definitely finding its feet. FortunatelShuffley Vinnie Jones gamely knows where his are. Show me someone else who can pull off what he’s doing here and I’ll be all over that, too.  “She’ll Be Mine” sold Gareth to me and I’ll probably be waiting for his scenes throughout the show.

Erin’s right, though, “Joust Friends” is where things really get going. In Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!, Barry Humphries notes that every movie needs a good chunder scene. The Galavant folks apparently believe this is true for television as well and they deliver one of the best. John Stamos’s hilariously named Jean Hamm streams green out of his helm before the joust, but it’s when it squirts out of the side of his visor that the art is truly elevated.

Mallory Jansen’s character Madelena is pretty reprehensible. I’m sure there’s a valid point about making the best of bad situations and seizing her fate and all that, but it’s always going to be a resistive reading. She’s Mrs. Bird from The Best Nest to max on ecstasy. Jansen is, however, funny as hell. Her performance leading up to this masterpiece is a large part of what makes it work.

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The Joy of Shipping

What this is not: an effusive demonstration of devotion to UPS, USPS, or FedEx. That’s not the shipping I mean.

I’m talking about (relation)shipping, the act of desiring a fictional couple to get into a romantic relationship. Generally speaking, this couple is one that is being kept apart for various reasons: there is something “wrong” about them being together (Logan and Veronica on Veronica Mars, Buffy and Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), their relationship must remain platonic for professional reasons (Mulder and Scully on The X-Files, Mal and Inara on Firefly, Castle and Beckett on Castle), or the show is just milking the romantic tension (see all the above but also Maddie and David on Moonlighting, Sam and Diane on Cheers). Alternatively, this could be a couple that the show gives only a hint of an attraction, allowing a kind of camp or slash reading which could allow for non-hetero sexual pairings, like Xena and Gabrielle on Xena: Warrior Princess prior to the final seasons where their relationship became overt canon.

imageI love the charge of electricity in a great shipper couple. I shipped Mulder and Scully hardcore for many years, even going so far as to read fanfiction that would take them down romantic, non-canonical roads. I would pour over screenshots like the one from “Post-Modern Prometheus” on the left there and watch video clips on YouTube. Talented shippers often show their enthusiasm through images and videos splicing together key moments for the couple.

I think my last shipping excitement was for Logan and Veronica back in 2006. So imagine my joy when a few nights ago the feeling hits me again.

We are midway through season 3 of Once Upon a Time, and I find myself inexplicably pulled into the throes of shipping once again with Emma and Hook. To add to the wrongness of it, my husband has found Hook despicable. But he’s so cute with his tousled hair and black eyeliner. Of course, he’s exactly wrong for Emma, which is exactly what makes him so right. He’s the bad boy type with his black leather duster and his hook hand. But he’s also a great match for Emma. They get each other, understand each other’s tricks. As a former bails bondsman, she’s used these tricks as well as foiled them many times over. There’s clear chemistry. And, he’s not unlike Neil was 12 years prior–a thief and a liar, a criminal with a heart for Emma.

Is this line a Princess Bride reference, making Hook the Dread Pirate Roberts and Emma Buttercup? Suits them.

Is this line a Princess Bride reference, making Hook the Dread Pirate Roberts and Emma Buttercup? Suits them.

But coming to the shipping so late means that some of my normal shipper activities are risky. I realized this when simply seeking out the video clip of the S3.E5 first kiss. Though there are plenty of fan-made videos, images, and fanfic to indulge in, to do so means opening myself up to all of the spoilers for the episodes we haven’t caught up with yet. Boo.

I’ve found OUAT to be a mixed bag, but the shipping has renewed my interest and then some.

Emma + Hook 4-Evah!