Right now, you can head to your local theater to watch the new movie adaptation of the hit musical Into the Woods featuring fairytale characters like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. ABC’s new fairytale musical comedy Galavant, however, does not have any of those iconic characters, but you’ll still love it just as much.

Once Upon a Time is currently on hiatus until March 1, so for fans wondering what to watch until it comes back, make sure to tune in during the next four weeks to what is essentially a filler show until OUAT returns.

Galavant is the perfect show to use as a placeholder. The series stars Joshua Sasse in the titular role of Galavant; he is on a quest to save the love of his life, Madalena (played by Mallory Jansen), who is forced to marry King Richard (Timothy Omundson). Galavant teams up with his squire Sid (Luke Youngblood) and a princess named Isabella (Karen David), the latter of which just might have ulterior motives for joining in.

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As the series progresses, you will see this trio embark on their mission towards Valencia. On this journey, they get involved in various mishaps and encounter strange folks. And, of course, there’s plenty of singing along the way.

Galavant enters himself into a jousting tournament, they run into a band of pirates who are land-pirates because they don’t have a ship anymore and visit an abbey where the monks have taken a vow of singing instead of a vow of silence. These are just a few of the things you’ll see during their journey. But does Galavant triumph over the King and win back the love of his life? Even I will have to wait until the finale to find out since I’ve seen all but the final two episodes.

Galavant may be the show’s hero and is involved in a lot of the action, but King Richard’s storylines are just as engaging and hilarious, and sometimes even more fun to watch. In fact, I’d say that Timothy Omundson’s portrayal of this character is the highlight of the entire series. The King is very flamboyant and he’s always thinking up ways to win over Madalena’s heart. At one point, he tries to “butch up” to make himself more appealing. And when he’s planning a ball, he doesn’t have any musicians, so he enlists the help of the executioners, who only know songs about death. These are just a couple of the comical storylines he’s involved in. There’s plenty more and viewers will eagerly anticipate every scene he is in.

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This series consists of only eight episodes airing over four weeks, but there’s still plenty of time to include a handful of guest stars. John Stamos plays Sir Jean Hamm (you gotta love that name!) and competes against Galavant in the jousting tournament mentioned earlier. I won’t give away the outcome, but it might not even matter because this scene will have you laughing out loud.

Then there’s Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley on Downton Abbey) as the Pirate King — he and his pirates sing, of course, and their musical number is one of the highlights of all the songs — and “Weird Al” Yankovic as a monk (the show certainly couldn’t pass up the opportunity for him to sing). And finally, Ricky Gervais guest stars as a magician named Xanax (again, the writers have given these characters the best names ever), who can’t legally call himself a magician anymore. Gervais plays this character in a way that only he can. There’s nothing bad I can say about any of these guest stars because all of them shine in their respective scenes. 

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Galavant is a musical comedy, and both the music and the comedy are out in full force in every single episode. From the witty dialogue (including lines like “I wish you were my cousin so I could marry you,” and “I put it with my girl supplies. Guys never look there. They must have sisters.”) to some Game of Thrones references (I won’t give them away here, but keep your eyes and ears peeled) and everything in between, there’s not much I can criticize.

As far as the music is concerned, once in a while there are songs that seem more like filler and are forgettable. That’s bound to happen, of course. But then there are plenty of songs that are catchy and, just like everything else on this show, will have you bursting out with laughter. The opening musical number, which you can watch below, is the most memorable.

The King and Madalena sing a song that has lines like “You’re worse than crabs” and “You’re growing on me just like mold,” and the monks do a parody called “Hey Hey, We’re the Monks.” Galavant ends one song very winded, saying, “That was a long song.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the music is so great since it was created by composer Alan Menken (who worked on hit Disney movies like Aladdin and The Little Mermaid) and lyricist Glenn Slater (Tangled).

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It’s hard to compare Galavant to any show on TV right now, but it’s essentially a mash-up of Once Upon a Time and Glee, with plenty of inspiration taken from the likes of Monty Python, The Princess Bride and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. If you’re a fan of any of these, then definitely check this one out.

Are you going to watch Galavant? Do you think this will be a great placeholder show while Once Upon a Time is on hiatus? And what do you think of the opening musical number above?

Galavant premieres tonight at 8pm (with two back-to-back half-hour episodes airing every week) on ABC.

(Image and videos courtesy of ABC)

Jeff Dodge

Staff Writer, BuddyTV

Jeff Dodge, a graduate of Western Washington University, has been a TV news editor for many years and has had the chance to interview multiple reality show stars, including Randy Jackson, Nick Cannon, Heidi Klum, Mel B and John Cena.