What if I were to tell you that there’s an episode of TV that features Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney Jr. trek out to a Chicagoland hotel to brainstorm horror ideas for a cooperative project?

You might not believe me. It sounds like something a horror fanboy would either pitch, or get their friends together to make a homemade version of said idea.

It absolutely exists. It was an episode of the hit TV show ROUTE 66 entitled Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing and was the fourth episode of the show’s third season.

PETER LORRE: “What frightened them in then in the dark ages, it still frightens now. Fear is born into people […] And don’t you sell it short, Boris!”

I wrote about ROUTE 66 a few years back so if you’d like to read a deeper dive on the series, I’ll point you in that direction.

If you are pressed for time, here’s a brief summary: NAKED CITY and THE NAKED CITY TV show creators Herbert B. Leonard and Stirling Silliphant pitched the idea of two younger men — the over-educated Tod and the suave lady’s man Buz — band together and tour the U.S. and picking up odd jobs along the way to fund their efforts. Unlike just about every TV show at the time, each episode was shot on location, turning ROUTE 66 into a weekly U.S. travelogue.

Lizard’s Leg and Owlet’s Wing does take place in Chicagoland.* As previously mentioned, Lorre, Karloff and Chaney Jr. want to brainstorm a project together. Lorre suggests meeting at an innocuous conference Chicagoland hotel ‘The O’Hare Inn’ and they agree. Karloff suggests that they replace their surname with reversed versions of their first name because, sure, that’ll fool everyone.

It just so happens that Tod and Buzz have wrangled a job at the inn as Junior Executives in Charge of Convention Liasons. The job thrills them — especially Tod — as the inn is hosting a large ‘Executive Secretaries of the Midwest’ conference and features a number of attractive women.

TOD, remarking on the number of young women exiting a bus: “What makes you think it’s a convention group?”

BUZZ: “When two or more girls get together and there’s no guy in the group, it’s just got to be a convention.”

TOD: “Buzz, there are things carved in marble with not the one-tenth of content of that last authoritative remark.”

While Tod and Buzz work on wooing secretaries, the three horror maestros finally meet up. Lorre requests a very specific coffin from Tod before Karloff arrives, so he can give Karloff a special reveal.

Tod quickly sees through Lorre’s scheming and suggests that Lorre and Chaney Jr. try their own brand of old-school terror on the secretaries. Chaney Jr. makes himself into one of his classic monsters and matters escalate. Meanwhile, Karloff consoles a secretary who pines for a love who left her.

It’s roughly fifty minutes of self-satisfying indulgence for writer/creator Silliphant but, happily, is also a raucous and memorable crowd-pleasing episode. This might not be the venue we wanted to see all three of these masters together for, but it is a lot of fun.

I rarely link to full episodes, however, if you’re in New York City, you can also watch it for free at the mind-blowing New York Paley Center which is exactly the first work I watched upon my initial visit.

  • To Chicago residents like myself, there is a difference between Chicago and Chicagoland. A lot of folks who live in Chicago suburbs often say they live in Chicago. Chicago residents often classify those who live outside the radius of Chicago’s L train support as living in Chicagoland.

NIMONA (2015)


As ND Stevenson’s NIMONA film adaptation has finally made its way into the world — thanks for nothing, Disney — I thought I would revisit some of his prior works.

If you haven’t read NIMONA but have designs on watching the film, I highly suggest that you watch the film adaptation first and then circle back to the book. You’ll thank me later.

I was lucky enough to start reading ND Stevenson’s NIMONA as it was doled out online. It’s was a webcomic tale that takes place in a future-medieval-ish world focused around a young mercurial shapeshifter (the titular character Nimona, often defaulting to the appearance of a teen girl) who — right out of the gate — immediately imbues herself on the most prominent supervillain in the land: Ballister Blackheart. The two of them go up against the tyrannical Institute and Ballister’s “ex-bestie” Sir Goldenlion who — worth noting — cut off Ballister’s arm. Matters escalate in a brazen way.

Then it was released as a colorized graphic novel, and it shot to the best-seller lists, and rightfully lit the world on fire.

NIMONA is grounded in a way that I feel is rare with most fantasy works. While the story takes place in a fantastical land, that land is mostly ancillary to the story; what really matters are the relationships in the story: Nimona’s push-and-pull with Ballister, trying to feed his worst impulses while also trying to understand why he pushes against them; Ballister, meanwhile, has no idea what to make of Nimona, doesn’t know whether he’s taken her under his wing, or whether she’s taken him under her wing (both literally and figuratively).

While NIMONA started off as a college art project, it is confident out of the gate. Does it have all of the trapping of an old-school webcomic? Yes: 1) It focuses on the type of characters eschewed from most mainstream comics 2) It immediately cuts to the chase and lays everything out swiftly instead of indulging in the sort of visual storytelling decompression that’s been all-too-popular as of late, 3) The character design is so exacting and memorable with its shapes and sizes, even though one of the characters is a shapeshifter, and 4) It is first-and-foremost an outlet for what the author is dealing with.

It’s very difficult to discuss NIMONA without noting that Stevenson has gone through quite a bit since he started working on it over a decade ago — he is trans — I am not the right person to discuss it, so I’ll let you read about his experiences revisiting his notes and sketches and process of creating the work instead.

Since NIMONA, Stevenson has gone on to a number of other projects — most of which also has him on art duties — but he’s become better known as a writer and show runner (see: Netflix’s SHE-RA) and rightly so. He has a very unique voice that manages to be glib and hilarious but also meaningfully contains so much subtext and pulls at your emotions.

However, I really miss his art. I love his scratchy thin line-work, his effortlessly energetic layouts — how he mapped out Nimona’s transformations across the page is seamlessly eye-popping — and simply how he captures so much emotion and agility and expression in the slightest, and largest, of character poses. I’ll also note that the original webcomics were in black-and-white, but he did such an amazing job imbuing his works with what may look like simple flat colors, but are so vivid and shine volumes. It’s comics at its finest.

If you didn’t take my advice and read this before watching the film: again, please watch the film again after reading the collection. I’ll have an addendum with my post about the film in which I’ll detail the ‘why’ but I’d rather save it for that as opposed to this work.



In honor of the latest season drop of HARLEY QUINN: THE ANIMATED SERIES, I couldn’t help but make another Harley Quinn post because I will never, ever shut up about Harley Fuckin’ Quinn.

It was my birthday recently and I traditionally treat myself to some new books. This year, I dropped into my local comic book store — I’m lucky enough to live in an area that still has one within walking distance: Alleycat Comics and they’re fantastic — and I perused the Harley Quinn section because, yet again, I will never, ever shut up about Harley Fuckin’ Quinn. (So much so that I’m thinking of making this a weekly feature, as there’s certainly enough Harley Quinn material out there.)

They had re-stocked Conner & Pamiotti’s Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 — which I have yet to read — but then I saw it, something I didn’t even know existed. (I’ll note that’s not out of laziness or a lack of research, but simple willful ignorance as I like to have some small surprises in my life.)


THE HUNT FOR HARLEY is from spouses Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, who penned and Conner often illustrated Harley Quinn’s iconic run, the run that let Harley be her best self. (Well, at least a better self.)

I’ll note: their Harley, while being very close to the recent animated Harley I hold near-and-dear, is not my favorite Harley, but it is a very quality Harley and my favorite Harley wouldn’t exist without them. Yay, comics!

This collection consists of four issues of the DC Black Label mini-series, and it is a gorgeous collection. Super-luxurious paper stock, brilliant and vivid colors, and it’s gleefully over-sized. I am always a sucker for magazine-sized graphic novels. I felt like I was reading an EIGHTBALL collection as opposed to what’s normally a substandard comic trade paperback.

If you aren’t familiar with DC’s Black Label, it’s yet another attempt to recreate DC’s Vertigo imprint; it’s ‘for mature readers’ and leans heavily on pre-established characters. In the case of Harley, it means she’s not Harley Frickin’ Quinn or $#@!ing Harley Quinn, but Harley Fuckin’ Quinn, and there are even more beaver jokes. (So many beaver jokes.) Also, a lot of bloodshed. (So much blood.)

This is Conner & Palmiotti unbridled, and it’s glorious. Conner is (mostly) back on artist duty and it’s a comfort to see her Harley renditions. However, the real pleasure of this series is the character work and the humor. Conner & Palmiotti leaned on a lot of innuendo in their initial Quinn run to barely be PG-13 smut; there was a lot of tip-toeing around language and acts, but they were very good at doing so in a winking manner.

They no longer have to hold back with THE HUNT FOR HARLEY.

What I really appreciate about Conner & Palmiotti is how they delicately thread the needle between fun lewd and outrageous lewd, without ever actually being distasteful or exploitative. Are they mostly portraying deviant folks on the outskirts of society that don’t feel bound by societal norms? Yes. Do they still portray them as humans, and Conner do so in a way that is visually striking and isn’t just for the male gaze? Yes.

Anyway. I’m getting sidetracked.

THE HUNT FOR HARLEY reads like an Earth-2 version of the film BIRDS OF PREY. (I’d normally say that HUNT is the Earth-1, but the film BIRDS OF PREY predates it.)

(Yet again, I’ll note: I’m still working my way through all of the Harley Quinn stuff, so please don’t fault me for not knowing the entire history. There is a lot of Quinn material out there!)

The gang’s all here: Montoya, Huntress, Cassandra Cain, and Harley is — as noted in the title — being hunted. Cassandra Cain and Montoya are …different. Costumes and backgrounds do not necessarily match. However, at the heart of it of the tale is what I know and love as Quinn and her interactions with The Birds of Prey.

It’s a sparky lark and relentless fun. My only quibble is: I’m so fucking sick of the Joker showing up in Quinn’s tales, especially to re-introduce her trauma. (A brief aside: that’s one facet I love about HARLEY QUINN: THE ANIMATED SERIES; they quickly dispense with him being Harley’s edgelord. While he does pop up most unexpectedly in Season Three, he is, well, I won’t spoil matters but he is radically different.)

THE HUNT FOR HARLEY is a spectacular and mostly self-contained work that I would recommend to anyone of age to read it. (Or, hell, anyone who isn’t of age because youths will discover this stuff on their own.) Everyone is firing on all pistons and it’s such a propulsive, while also heartfelt, work.

If you’d like to read Conner’s thoughts on the work, I highly suggest this BUST interview!


I don’t love the MISSION IMPOSSIBLE films. I don’t begrudge anyone who does — they’re (usually) finely crafted patchworks of set-pieces, but it’s not emotionally evocative for me and usually too spectacle-laden. Sorry, but I prefer small, intense melodramas instead of bombastic spy-craft.

I am not the target audience for most of these films, and that’s fine!

I quite enjoyed MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3, which some folks have rightly said feels like ALIAS: THE MOVIE due to J.J. Abrams’ direction, but Phillip Seymour Hoffman is so brilliant in that role; all huffing and puffing in a way that puts James Gandolfini’s performance as Tony Soprano to shame.

Also, there’s that one scene where Ethan is battling his way through a building and instead of watching him do his thing, the camera stays stationary on his partners as they shoot the shit in an idling car, waiting for him to finish the job. I love it when works take a dramatic shift to the unconventional like that, subverting expectations and explicitly denying audiences what they think they want.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: DEAD RECKONING PART 1 (henceforth know as MI:DR1 because I’m lazy and also that title is way too much) has a lot of very thrilling, very memorable set-pieces, and is well-worth watching solely for that. (There’s one protracted scene near the end which liberally cribs from both Buster Keaton’s THE GENERAL and Preston Sturges’ SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS. Yes, really.) It also has a lot of faux-emotional beats that fail to land, and a ton of template potboiler dialogue. Give a little, get a little, I suppose.

However, MI:DR1 greatly excels at showing off foreign locales. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Rome and Venice, both of which are prominently featured in the film, even if they only were allowed to film on four blocks of Rome. (Seriously, keep an eye out for how many times the Colosseum appears in the background. That said, I have no idea how they finagled one of the car chase scenes without destroying cultural landmarks.) I kept elbowing my wife saying: “We’ve been there!” It wasn’t gloating. We were reliving the experience through the veracity of the film stock, the angles, the alleyways, and the broad public spaces and copious stairwells.

There’s one fight scene in MI:DR1 that features Ethan in an extremely narrow Venice alleyway that essentially is a vertical take on the iconic horizontal fight scene in OLDBOY, and it’s emblematic of the city in general. While most folks think of gondolas and bodies of water when Venice is mentioned — and I’ll note: MI:DR1 does feature some scenic gondola moments — I think of the maze-like nature of navigating the city. It is absolutely byzantine and bewildering and if you are not a local, it is so easy to get lost. GPS? Not gonna help ya here, and there’s no A-to-Zed to detail the webwork of their streets.

Venice is an amazing city. It shouldn’t exist and, within a hundred years it’s doubtful it will continue to exist. It’s an island that is constantly fighting a losing battling against the heartless, unending pressure of water. It is a singular, very special spot that has so much history, but very rarely is that essence captured on film. Apart from MI:DR1, Nicolas Roeg’s DON’T LOOK NOW is the only other film I’ve seen that comes close to fairly portraying the history and claustrophobia that the city evokes.

I’d be remiss to neglect the Orient Express in all of this. While not a locale, per se, it is its own sort of traveling sort of a town; the inside of the train is iconic, and has been made indelible by so many works. (Granted, most of them feature Poirot, but not all of them!) The final set-piece takes place on said train, and mainstay MISSION IMPOSSIBLE director Christopher McQuarrie goes to great lengths to literally walk you through the entirety of the train before, well, before matters escalate.

Again, these films rarely move me, but they are a fun rollercoaster of a ride, and they are steadfast about paying attention to detail. These are meticulously crafted works that can be appreciated in a number of ways, and I prefer to read them as the modern travelogues that they are.

CARTO (2020)

(PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox) There’s a thin line between cozy, fun puzzle games and cozy, frustrating puzzle games. Some video games look cute, swear that they’re a breezy affair, but then a few hours in you’re searching for walkthroughs and then shouting out to no one: “How the hell was I supposed to know to do that?!”

CARTO is from Taiwan developers Sunhead Games, and the central conceit is basically: “What if we had a Zelda game with no combat, and you could move and rotate the tiles that make up world maps?”

It’s a fantastic idea that they endless exploit, and it has more than a few other facets going for it: the art design is cartoonishly spectacular; it has a great score that I have accidentally fallen asleep to more than once; and the writing is an appropriate amount of whimsy and melancholy for all ages.

You play as Carto, a young girl who gets lost during a storm and is thrust onto islands where, when someone comes of age, they are forced to leave their family behind. Carto helps heal a lot of these people as she pushes forward to be reunited with her grandmother.

Like I said: whimsical, but also melancholy.

However, some of the puzzle design felt lacking to me. I rarely try to lean on walkthroughs and while I love logic and lateral thinking puzzles, I found some of the puzzles simply maddening and, when I found out the solution, I knew I would have never have solved them on my own.

(It doesn’t help that every fucking site that features walkthroughs now is just an endless array of modals, pop-ups, auto-refreshing and ads.)

That said, I do not regret my time with it, or my cheating. If you use walkthroughs when you realize you need them, it’s a very cozy and very cute experience. At first blush, you might think that it’s an adorable mobile game ported to consoles, but no — it’s far more substantive than that.


I’ve repeatedly said that I will never, ever shut up about Harley Fuckin’ Quinn.

However, I’ve never quite said why.

It’s been rare for me to identify with a fictional comic book character. (Yes, I know Harley started off in the animated Batman TV series. That’s not my Harley.) Aspects of ‘em, sure, but fully? No, not at all. (Silver Surfer came close, though!)

Seeing Harley in BIRDS OF PREY was like watching a sunrise. The light took a while to hit me, but when it did, I was gloriously blinded. (Then I was completely floored by HARLEY QUINN: ‘Being Harley Quinn’.)

While BIRDS OF PREY and the animated Harley Quinn series is essentially an ensemble action/adventure tale, it’s mostly about Harley Quinn — an ex-psychologist who has been consistently hypomanic since her acid bath — coping with a toxic, bad, breakup from a terribly abusive relationship and finding a quality support network.

I’ve been through enough shit to relate and I stumbled off of the ride each time and hated myself after. I won’t go into the details — they’re boring to anyone but me, and I will note that I’m not nearly as much fun as Harley but I do love to throw myself around like she does. Related: when I was tasked to pen my trauma list, it was far longer than I expected.

What’s different about Harley than other tales of this sort is: she doesn’t want to be normal. She wants to be Harley, not Dr. Harleen Quinzel. She wants to be weird and lean into her wants and literally finds herself as a transformed person. She doesn’t want to return to her old self; she can’t, not after what she’s been through.

That’s what I appreciate about her, because so many stories about trauma are about restoring what most consider normalcy — attempting to be the person you were before your traumatic experiences — and that’s simply not going to happen. Harley’s experiences fundamentally changed her, and she’s not capable of going back (although she realizes she needs to reel certain facets in a bit).

As you might have surmised, I’ve been seeing a trauma therapist. Upon our initial meeting she asked me: “What do you expect from seeing me?” I responded: “I honestly don’t know. I can’t forget what I’ve lived through. I am the person I am today because of those experiences, and I’m just here, trying to get help and trying to continue to exist.”

Harley Fuckin’ Quinn provides a balm. Is her story a fictional superhero redemption fantasy? Sure, but fictional stories and characters constantly prop people up — it’s part of why I write — and she’s a damn inspiration for me, obviously mostly due to the amazing team of writers who have made her the person she is today.

Which leads me to this very stupid endeavor. I have no tattoos. (Yeah, again, I am a misfit but while you might think I’m covered in ink? Nothing. Not even a self-inflicted ankle ankh.) For my first (probably not last) tattoo, I opted for Harley’s wraparound-arm. (See above.) I even got a temporary tattoo, just to test it out — because I’m taking this seriously, oddly more seriously than I normally treat my skin — and I couldn’t stop glowing and staring at it.

I’m thankful that my wife has patiently listened to me hash this out — she even found me the temps — and has been very accepting, as she’ll have to see it quite a bit and I feel better talking about potential body modification with a partner than solo. Also, I am middle-aged dude who will be wearing a tattoo that mostly teenage girls identify with so, uh, I know that’s not great. However, I’ve made my peace with that! I just know that I would regret not attempting this task, as inane as it may sound.

I am not proud of it, but I feel the need to hold onto the symbols and icons that aid a life’s journey, as pseudo-spiritual as that may sound.




(PC/PS4/PS5/Xbox One) With first-person games, your initial focus is almost always immediately pulled to the protagonist’s hands. If you’re lucky, you’ll see some kind of expressive movement, but normally it’s just two fists, slightly heaving up-and-down, the right hand often brandishing a gun. DOOM and METROID PRIME are some of the rare exceptions — DOOM guy’s avatar acting as a cocky health gauge and METROID PRIME reflecting Samus’ face in her visor from time to time. It’s worth noting that both protagonists are known for their silence.

BLACKWOOD CROSSING opens by drawing your attention to two small hands with chipped black fingernail polish and no gun, and that’s how you build character without saying a thing. Immediately, you know you’re playing as a young, plucky, punkish and self-motivated orphaned girl looking after her little brother.

BLACKWOOD CROSSING is ostensibly a first-person adventure game, which is to say it mostly consists of exploration with some light puzzles. It’s narrative-forward and heavily imbued with magical realism — it’s a story about a brother and sister and loss and trauma and coping. It’s an affective tale, one that doesn’t overplay its hand and perfect for playing on a lazy day if you’re longing for something a bit more engaging than an arty film.

I’ll note that it’s not a perfect game; hotspots are maddeningly finicky and some of the clues are frustratingly opaque — and I did encounter one game-breaking bug — but the journey is worth the pits and stops you may encounter along the way.


It’s also worth nothing that BLACKWOOD CROSSING leans on two tropes that I find exceptionally overused in video games: ALICE IN WONDERLAND riffs and butterfly imagery. However, in this case, they’re handled with a deft touch, as opposed to ‘look how clever I am’.

Lastly, I can’t help but think that this riffs on Shirley Jackson, whose novel WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE is also about orphans also housed under the name Blackwood.


Talk your way out of Hell.

Flirt your way out of Hell.

Cheat your way out of Hell.

Dance your way out of Hell.

Party your way out of Hell.

(PC/macOS/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xboxes) AFTERPARTY is another narrative-forward videogame from OXENFREE developers Night School Games. Unlike OXENFREE, a deft interactive teen horror adventure, AFTERPARTY focuses on two platonic 20-something best friends — Milo (Khoi Dao) and Lola (Janina Gavankar) — just about to graduate from college.

Then they die and go to Hell and, in order to escape they need not only outdrink Satan, but also come to terms with each other, their past, and their future.

What follows is an extremely visually striking and darkly comedic game, perhaps containing some of the filthiest, well-crafted jokes I’ve ever encountered in a game. AFTERPARTY is also brilliant with its character work — not just its honest and complicated portrayal of a platonic friendship between a man and a woman — but also with its ancillary characters, including psychopomp ferrier Sam (HORIZON: ZERO DAWN’s Ashly Burch) whose life/death is both over-shared and enigmatic at the same time.

It is worth noting that, while OXENFREE featured some intriguing interface tools apart from dialogue trees, AFTERPARTY’s non-dialogue interactivity is reduced to a number of routine mini-games. While thematically that makes sense — beer pong and rhythm mini-games make perfect sense for the material — they often feel like they emptily get in the way of what you’d rather be doing: advancing the story and learning more about the characters.

Nonetheless, it’s perfect for playing over the Halloween weekend with a friend. AFTERPARTY doesn’t overstay its welcome, and while it actually takes place in Hell, it’s more emotionally substantive than scarring.


(PC/PS4/PS5/Switch/Xbox One) Yesterday it was just announced that OBSERVATION developer No Code has quietly been working on a SILENT HILL game entitled SILENT HILL: TOWNFALL and, based on their prior psychological horror game STORIES UNTOLD, I’m delighted by the news and can’t wait to play it.

STORIES UNTOLD started off as a one-off short horror game called THE HOUSE ABANDON that took place in one room, in front of an old-school 80s computer where you’d interact with a text adventure (although the player does so via a LucasArt-ish SCUMM interface — in other words: a visually selectable number of verbs and nouns — instead of having to manually type commands in). It then grew to be a collection of four self-described episodes, all four (mostly) utilizing the similar single room tableau, but also incorporates interactive puzzles that somehow don’t feel contrived or shoehorned into the setting, as well as some ‘walking simulator’ elements. (I do hate that term, but it’s concise.)

This game will not be for everyone. No Code loves to focus on interfaces. Unlike OBSERVATION, which you played primarily through future-ish surveillance and digital interfaces, STORIES UNTOLD features different ones for each episode: one being the previously mentioned text adventure, another heavily relying on a microfiche reader, and another leaning hard on analog buttons and dials. It’s all supremely inventive, although I would suggest that if you can do so, play it on PC — there is a macOS version but it won’t work with Catalina or above — as the PS4 port I played was occasionally very frustrating and fiddly: the text is often too small if you’re playing in a living room and one chapter — which initially required keyboard input — is downright frustrating thanks to the reduced ‘selective’ input interface required by a controller-first sensibility.

Narratively, the game is a scarring treasure. I don’t want to go into any detail, mostly because trying to describe its delights might rob you of some of them but, while it does utilize a lot of standard psychological horror tropes, the execution and tone make them feel fresh and well-integrated with some of the more higher concept story choices.

Additionally, thanks to No Code’s resourceful reliance on environments instead of character models, it’s a visually striking game, one that knows its limitations but uses them as strengths.

It’s a thinking person’s psychological horror game, one that leans on the past while creating something completely original. Based on STORIES UNTOLD, I can’t help but believe that their iteration on SILENT HILL will be the most interesting and compelling and original one in some time.

GALAVANT (2015-2016)

(DVD/VOD) While at first blush, this fantasy musical TV series from ABC (owned by Disney) may look like it’s solely for musical theater nerds and, while I may qualify for that moniker — I admit to spending some time in high school pit orchestra, and I did willfully throw away good money to see CATS on stage two years ago — it’s smart and clever and fun enough for everyone.

Created by Dan Fogelman (who penned the similarly subversive princess film TANGLED, but is probably best known now as the creator of THIS IS US), it’s a gleefully self-aware gaggle of fairy tale male savior tropes turned on its ear, all to the tune of Alan Menken songs. Even better, every single one of the characters are interesting and very human, all fleshed out and given their own quirks, despite the fact that the show could have coasted along on caricatures.

The cast is phenomenal and includes Timothy Omundson as the idiotic king (handsomely unrecognizable from his days on MONK), Vinnie Jones as the king’s heavy hand (yes, he does sing, and he’s hilarious), Mallory Jansen as Galavant’s ‘stolen’ love, Luke Youngblood (COMMUNITY’s Magnitude) as a plucky sidekick, not to mention an astounding guest cast including: Rutger Hauer, Weird Al, John Stamos, Hugh Bonneville, Kylie Minogue, Nick Frost, and Anthony Head.

It’s utterly delightful but inexplicably unavailable via Disney+. That said, it’s well-worth hunting down a digital copy or the DVD set.

There’s a very long trailer for the first season, but it amplifies the drama and downplays the music and comedy. I recommend the German trailer instead, which is just the intro of the pilot but with German subtitles.

Disney Germany S1 opener:

American S1 trailer:

If you still aren’t sold, check out these S2 trailers/openers, because that’s really when the show doubled-down on its very specific brand of nonsense:

S2 opener:

S2’s penultimate episode’s opener (don’t be afraid of spoilers!):

I’m very grateful to my wife for boosting this show to me, even though I bluntly said ‘I don’t think I need that’ when she first recommended it to me.