Television: Galavant, "Completely Mad . . . Alena" & "Dungeons and Dragon Lady"

Okay, so I can easily begin to picture Galavant as a stage musical. The plot is pretty rote. And there seems to be a definite end coming, as this doesn't appear to be the kind of thing that can be carried too long or too far.

We've skipped any and all high seas hijinks in favor of direct arrival in Valencia. Isabella grows increasingly anxious as the time for turning over Galavant nears. Weird Al turns up as a singing monk and is sadly underutilized.

We're supposed to believe Isabella and Galavant have at the very least grown fond of one another if not fallen in love. Unfortunately, there's been little to demonstrate that. They appear to have become friends, maybe, in the sense of high school movies in which the guy has a friend who's a girl or vice versa. Not love interest, just buddy. And maybe that's because Galavant is still nursing an ember for Madalena—again, the high school movie comes to mind: the guy in love with the mean girl and unable to see that his great friend is really a better choice. (Isn't this a Taylor Swift song?)

But if we're going with this high school movie metaphor, at the very least it should be clear that Isabella has fallen for Galavant, and I don't quite believe it. She's grown to like him and is feeling bad now that she's betrayed him, sure. But love? Nah. The chemistry isn't there.

Honestly, I'm disappointed the show didn't do something cleverer with the plot. It's just so by the numbers. Okay, so Galavant and Isabella and Sid are thrown in the dungeons (with Isabella's parents and the court jester). Madalena proposes to save Galavant and keep him as a "boy toy." Her plan is to overthrow Richard and assume the throne, since she's sure she could do a better job.

Meanwhile, Chef takes Richard to see the magician Xanax (Ricky Gervais, put to slightly better use than Weird Al had been). Richard wants to know why he is the way he is, and after some "medication," he flashes back to the day his father died and his older brother Kingsley assumed the throne. Richard concludes that his life is all about having been the second choice in everything, though how he plans to change that remains to be seen.

Madalena orders Gareth to torture Isabella, but after a crisis of conscience he refuses; he serves the king and will only take orders from him.

Both episodes were somewhat weaker than those before, in part (again) because the plot offered no surprises. The "Love Is Strange" duet was fun, but if they're hoping a song will take the place of actual character development—that we'll just take the song's words for it and believe Isabella and Galavant are now officially in love—they are sadly mistaken. Decent songs do not make up for poor writing.

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