Review: "Galavant" Fails Where It Counts Most

by Chris Peterson, Moderator

With Glee ending its run and the "success" of NBC's live musical theatre broadcasts, it was only a matter of time before the other networks started to get in on the act. So ABC enters the fray with Galavant, a medieval musical comedy mini series that premiered tonight and will air for the next four Sundays.

While the premiere was full of witty humor and some of the best lyric work that Glenn Slater(Tangled) has ever done, the show fails in the one area that was supposed to make it special, music. Adding insult to injury, all the other characters are far more interesting than the one the show's named after.

I don't know if Menken has lost his touch, but much of the music in Galavant is forgettable. The opening number, which Menken generously borrows bars of "If I Can't Love Her" from Beauty & the Beast, is the most memorable mainly because ABC used it in every commercial break to preview its other shows. Other than that, most of the music is simplistic, sounding like more of a mailed in first draft than that of a 8 time Oscar winner. I've often thought that partnering with Glenn Slater was a mistake for Menken but its Slater's work that shines here and carries most of the numbers.

The cast is ultimately forgettable too. For a musical, the singing is slightly above average. Only Timothy Omundson as King Richard truly stands out. The other problem that Galavant faces, is that the story line is barely compelling or interesting. Creator Dan Fogelman has already made the mistake of revealing too soon the truth of Galavant's quest and his lady love. By doing so, the quest seems directionless and predictable.

It would seem that the producers had planned for an 8 week engagement but ABC has smartly downsized that to 4. Judging from its premiere, that still might too much.