Bottom Line: It strives to be a Monty Python/Mel Brooks type spoof, but falls short because it plays its humor too safe.
When I first heard about ABC’s plans to do a musical fantasy comedy called Galavant, I have to confess that the idea did not excite me and I had pretty much decided that I would pass on that one. But then I saw the previews and it looked like it would be much more Monty Python than Broadway, and I decided it was worth giving a look. And after having watched four episodes of the show (they are thirty minutes each and air back-to-back in the Once Upon A Time timeslot while that one is on hiatus), I can see that this show really would like to be a Python-esque comedy (or Mel Brooks or The Princess Bride), but it appears that a heavy hand from the networks is keeping it from going too far in that direction. Galavant has been enjoyable thus far and has delivered a few good lines and even a few catchy tunes. It also has an impeccable (and quite attractive cast) who seem up to the task of delivering on expectations. But the show seems to lack that anarchic spark or raucous inspiration that you used get from the Pythons or Mel Brooks (when he was hitting on all cylinders). Galavant seems all too safe and inoffensive as opposed to the edgy, irreverent attitude that it promised. Oh sure, it has its share of “adult” humor (almost ad nauseum at times), but too much of the innuendo comes off like something your crazy aunt might say or that young preacher in your church trying to fit in with the hip crowd. Too often you think that the humor should be funny, but doesn’t quite hit the mark. It doesn’t help that the directing seems rather bland as it misses many chances to drive home its punchlines. It seems certain that ABC reigned in too much boisterousness because the show airs in the “family friendly” 8 PM EST hour, and that keeps it from rising to that next level. Ultimately, Galavant is not a bad show, but it’s no standout either. And with the ratings numbers it has delivered thus far, this “limited run” entry will almost certainly not be invited back for a second round of episodes. And likely it will not be missed as it falls short of the comedy classic it could have been.