TV Recap: Galavant: Aww Hell, The King/Bewitched, Bothered and Belittled, (02.03-04)



January 10th, 2016, 8PM, ABC

In “Aww Hell, The King,” Richard and Galavant return to Richard’s kingdom only to discover that his castle has been torn down, he’s been presumed dead, and in the interim the entire kingdom has discovered proto-democracy. Richard isn’t having any of that, and experiences a crisis of faith in his managerial abilities until Galavant’s belief in true love forces him to make a stand. Meanwhile, Isabella deals with heartbreak over her apparent breakup with Galavant and meets with her sinister wedding planner, who plans to control the throne with an enchanted mind-controlling crown. And Gareth deals with guilt over having supplanted Richard which fills his nights with scream-awake nightmares that put Sid in jeopardy once Madalena’s beauty sleep becomes endangered. In “Bewitched, Bothered and Belittled” Richard slowly starts to tumble head over heels for newcomer Roberta, the only member of his kingdom who agreed to quest with them and his childhood friend, and Galavant uses that as an excuse to force him into staying behind so he can try to proceed without Richard and tries to do everything in his power to make the two fall in love –while, elsewhere, Galavant tries to recruit fighters to liberate Isabella from Hortensia and free Valencia from Madalena’s rule. Meanwhile Isabella’s sudden glee over her marriage comes off as suspicious to Gwynne and she tries to ignore her qualms when Vincenzo points out that their station and class have been elevated by their new positions in Hortensia – but Gwynne is still unable to adjust to her new station. And Madalena’s invited to a party that doesn’t go as planned - a Sunday roast that is in fact dedicated to her, led by two sisters she once idolized – which quietly subjects her to something she hasn’t had in years…feelings.

This week we add a new recurring character to the cast; the spitfire warrior Roberta, who also happens to be Richard’s childhood playmate and possible intended. She’s not as well-rounded as the other women in the cast yet, but hopefully the show will make up for it soon. In the meantime, watching Richard fall in love and battle the pain of being deemed an unnecessary appendage by his own people is a great lot of fun; it all culminates in a sad musical number that’s Timothy Omundson’s best moment in the series, by his own estimation and by this reviewer’s. Watching Gal and Richard navigate democracy unsuccessfully is a hoot, but even better is Gal’s aborted attempt at uniting Roberta and Richard in love. Everything about the sequence works and brings on gales of laughter - but just as great is Gareth’s frantic battle against his own dark emotions upon realizing he feels terrible for getting between Richard and the kingship.

These two plot lines dovetail nicely, and it’s a banner episode for feelings in Valencia, as Madalena deals with a sadness she cannot cure when she’s mocked by her idols. This leads to surprisingly tender material between Madalena and Gareth, which serves to deepen both characters nicely. Sid’s along for the ride, and his friendship with both changes and grows as the episode goes on.

Also fantastic is Karen David, who nails absolutely everything about Isabella’s crown-dictated personality switch, yet the surrounding material – specifically everything about her evil wedding planner –provides the episode’s weak points. All that crown business feels like an excuse to extend her stay in Hortensia beyond the needed amount of time. As for Gwynne and Vincenzo, their romance remains the sweetest, even when reality come to turn their romance a bit tart.

Galavant remains a hoot, even though these episodes are ever so slightly weaker than the ones that preceded it.

The Roundup

  • ”Oh relax, chisled chin, you’ll get your army!”
  • Timothy Omundson’s “If I were a tailor” song is apparently his personal favorite moment this season.
  • Robert Lindsay portrays the evil wedding planner.
  • All of that fourth walling. I see you, show.
  • Isabella’s wedding is set for six weeks from now, but I sense we won’t be focused on that celebration by the end of the season’s run.
  • Richard on Roberta: ”She’s like a sister to me! And not the kind of sister you marry…”
  • Sid and Gareth’s friendship might just be the best part of this season.
  • My personal favorite song: Madalena’s ode to her feelings or lack thereof.
  • And yes, Gareth gave Madelena the sisters’ ears complete with earrings. I could not ship it harder.
  • Richard’s nickname for Roberta is “Bobbie” and they were apparently childhood playmates.
  • The game Sid and Gareth play is better known as Who Am I, and it’s a classic modern drinking game that’s often played sober on shows like Ellen and Hollywood Game Night.
  • Other items on Woodworm the Wedding Planner’s Itinerary: “Attractive waitstaff this time, Barry” and “Hire a Painter who can really nail those action shots.”
  • Next Week: Roberta takes charge when Richard and Galavant remake dazed, hoping to solve a crisis between the giant and dwarf populations of Richard’s kingdom so they’ll have aid for the coming battle; Isabella’s crown breaks; Richard takes training from Galavant’s father and Sid stabs someone in “Giants vs Dwarves” and “About Last Knight”.

A lot of lovely moments pepper this one, even though some sudden developments arise to cloud the show’s sunny sky.

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About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.