IHAO on ... Galavant season 1

ABC has been doing a pretty cool thing.  You see, television is changing as a medium to broadcast entertainment.  With Netflix and the increase in DVD sales, but mostly Netflix, television channels need to produce content not only more often, but more efficiently to keep the audience tuning in.  But there has been no way to improve the actual amount of time it takes to make an episode of a television show: roughly 7 days for a complicated 30 minute show and 9 or 10 days for an hour-long show.  Yeah, look at those numbers.  Simple math let's you know that they have to start airing things before they are done filming an entire season.  On top of that, human decency means that there are times when those actors, grips, props guys, producers and the like all get time off, like Christmas.  Add in scheduling conflicts and random accidents, making a television show becomes a much larger endeavor.

So, like I said, ABC has been doing a pretty cool thing.  They have been creating short-run shows, with smaller episode orders, to fill in the gaps of broadcasting when their regular shows have to take the breaks in broadcasting that are inevitable.  Agent Carter is the post-WW2 super-spy Marvel show that filled the gap of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  But considering I just cannot get into Agents of SHIELD, I also didn't really give Agent Carter much of a thought.  But I have heard good things.  Wait, I'm getting off track.

So, as I've said a few times before, ABC has been doing that pretty cool thing.  And even cooler, their big show Once Upon a Time had to take a break, so they brought together a super talented group of people to make a short 8-episode musical comedy miniseries show, Galavant!  Hit the music!

See what I did there?

Galavant is a musical, made by everyone involved that made Disney's Tangled, except it is a tongue-in-cheek live action comedy.  It is ... pretty good.  Good enough that I wanted to talk about it with all of you folks.  The characters are all interesting, the performances are all fun, the sets are amazing, the costuming mostly great, and the story is classic.  It is one of my favorite things to talk about, actually, when it comes to how "silliness" affects narrative.  There are a few ways to do it.  There's to have a silly premise and then treat everything as seriously as you can, despite the silly, which I have really loved in One Piece.  Then there's having a serious premise, which then some silly things can happen but you stay true to your goals, which is how I like to run roleplaying games.  Then there's Galavant, which takes the piss right on the whole binary concept I just made up and goes straight down the middle.  The characters are all thought out and serious, except thy are ridiculous and silly.  The plot is a great fantasy plot, except some of the details are just ridiculous.  The musical nature of the show leads to comedic songs all the way through and meta-jokes, like asking when someone learned how to dance after a number, but then there's other moments of just straight drama.

Galavant is not going to be for everyone, mostly because it doesn't do one things straight through.  It enjoys every element it can have.  Serious songs, silly songs, important character beats, ridiculous ones, they are all mixed in.  And with that mixed bag, I would absolutely call Galavant a mixed bag.  I enjoyed quite a bit of it, and then I found myself going "meh" for bits of it.  Especially some of the songs, as they tend to always shoot for joke songs, and I really would like there to be a non-joke song every once in awhile so that I could just hear these good actors sing.

So why should you be excited for it?  Because it is a cool new way of thinking about television!  It is higher quality programming with a smaller episode order that is used as a win-win between bigger shows, but in fact is way better than the bigger show that surrounds it.  Once Upon a Time looks fake and CGI-y all the time, and the acting is so ponderous and heavy that it gets bogged down.  Galavant is able to do most of the same tropes, with better sets and costumes AND actors, with an amazing team, but it is a quarter of the length, so you can enjoy it and be done with it.  On top of that, the season finale absolutely shows that ABC is planning to give its audience even more, which is only a good thing in my book.

I would say give it a shot.  At 30 minutes and episode, and only 8 episodes, even if you don't care for a small part of it, it'll be over quickly, and you can move on to great other things.  Me, I'm excited.  Rutger Hauer, Vinnie Jones, that guy from Frankenstein's Army, two hot chicks, Magnitude, and the only good thing from Psych, all working together to make something with the guys who made Tangled, the last Disney musical.


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