Galavant S01:E03-04 - Two Balls and Comedy Gold
Chris Koch ("Two Balls")
John Fortenberry ("Comedy Gold")
Dan Fogelman ("Two Balls")
Kat Likkel and John Hoberg ("Comedy Gold")
January 11th, 2015
"Two Balls": King Richard throws a ball for the kingdom of Valencia, while Galavant visits Sid's hometown.
"Comedy Gold": Galavant and the team try to get along, while King Richard seeks the advice of the jester.
Night two of Galvant’s four night musical comedy spectacular was right on par with last week’s series kick off. It dipped into more-than-usual low-brow humor at times, but overall it was still a solid two episodes and a fun hour to experience.
The two episodes still have our titular character Galavant, his squire Sid, and the mysterious princess (who he doesn’t know is betraying him) Isabella making their way towards Valencia. In the first episode, “Two Balls,” the trio arrive at Sid’s hometown where he has slightly exaggerated his adventures with Galavant, and even reversed the tale so that he is the grand knight. This of course leads to the town worshiping Sid and treating Galavant as a lowly squire.
Taking heavy influence from Mel Brooks, the main song during this section pegs the town as a group of Jewish people, compete with a series of Jewish stereotypes. The song doesn’t quite hit the way it should, and in general, the whole sequence with Sid’s village doesn’t make a whole lot sense. It’s true that Galvant’s story has been far from airtight, and it’s not meant to be perfect, but the fact that Isabella went along with Sid’s lie of them being engaged is a bit strange and goes against her established character in a significant way. Her motivations to this point have been almost entirely to save her parents, even if it means betraying her friends, but all of a sudden she’s willing to go along with a lie that could ruin that plan? It also takes the unfortunate easy way out of just forgetting the whole thing happened by the time the episode is over.
In general though, Galavant being put into the position of the squire but still holding on to his knightly pride is decent enough. He has a song with a group of fellow squires talking about knights being the worst things on Earth, which he of course feels uncomfortable with. Nothing great or gut-busting, but it works.
On the King’s side of the story, he has completely taken over Valencia and is ruiling it in his trademark humorously incompetent way – including torching the remaining vegetables left over from the citizen’s farming efforts in a misguided attempt at appeasing them. There are a few easy jokes taken, such as kicking a eunich in his “two balls” (or lack thereof), but once again Richard is the highlight of the show. Just when it feels like the joke about his wife sleeping with the jester is wearing thin, the show turns it on its head and lets King Richard finally realize what is going on while the Valencian citizens are “roasting” him. A roast, for what’s it worth, that was pretty damn great.
By far the best part of the episode was King Richard, Gareth and Chef trying to find musicians for a ball for disgruntled Valencian citizens. After accidentally murdering all the local musicians the guys end up having to turn to the executioners as their musical guests. The whole scene with Richard telling the drummer to think of something new, then he plays the same thing, was completely unexpected and got a laugh out of me. In almost any other situation I’d expect the drummer to just suddenly be great as the punchline, but the fact the he just plays the same thing was clever.
From there, Galavant and his group leave Sid’s hometown on their way to Valencia, and King Richard’s wife still hates him as we move into “Comedy Gold.” Both of those points are addressed in this episode, which feels much stronger than the first.
We are treated to a lot of character development in this second episode. Right from the very first song – which has Sid, Isabella, and Galavant all singing their way through the wilderness as they travel – we get to see the dynamic of the group. Mainly it’s about Isabella’s growing regret over tricking Galavant, Sid’s desire to not be ignored, and Galavant’s ignorance to it all. Almost right away they get kidnapped and take to a “pirate ship” that’s on land.
Building off of the strife established from the last episode and the opening song, the three must overcome their difference and get away from the pirates. What they end up doing is slightly different, but it’s all done through some great songs and comedic moments. The sexual tension between Galavant and Isabella grows exponentially and it’s used for some genuinely fun humor. All of this is sealed as a great episode by the fact that the pirates themselves are very funny and have great chemistry with each other and the primary group of characters. Even the background pirates have their own role in the show and add to the charm of the show.
Also building off of the last episode, King Richard implores the Jester to help him make his wife laugh, thinking a lack of humor the reason she has been cheating on him all this time. This leads into a decent song, which also happens to be the episode’s namesake, “Comedy Gold.” It runs through the basics of comedy and has King Richard flubbing them. His story is honestly pretty weak in this episode, especially compared to Galavant and the pirate’s comical adventure, but I guess he’s allowed to not be great in one episode. He’s still the clueless, lovable, but strangely terrifying buffoon, but he just doesn’t do a whole lot this time around.
Overall, this second stint for Galavant was status quo for the short series up to this point. Still plenty to be excited about coming up if you like the show, but not much to convince anyone not already on board that they should start watching the series.