Friday, January 29, 2016

Strong Female Character Friday: Madalena (Galavant)

Chickadees, in all the excitement of the Undies and this other project I'm working on that shall remain nameless and Jessica Jones and Agent Carter and all that goodness, it comes to my attention that I have been remiss in my duties to you all. I forgot to tell you that Galavant is back!

Admittedly not for very long - eight out of the ten episodes in this season have already aired and are available on Hulu, while the final two episodes air on Sunday - but still. There's a little time left before this show disappears back into the swirling vortex of being probably cancelled, and while it's still around I think we ought to take a moment and look at the woman who must be the single most surprising character in the whole show: Madalena.

Madalena, first introduced as your standard damsel in distress, very quickly subverts her role by being, well, not at all in distress. Furthermore, as the seasons go by, Madalena is quickly turning into a compelling and hilarious portrait of a woman who is both ahead of her time and simultaneously behind it. 

As the woman responsible now for like three different wars and a character who intentionally betrays our assumptions about her, Madalena is interesting and culturally relevant. She's the answer to all the Disney princesses wrapped up in a gorgeous dress and a killer singing voice. But, even better, she's kind of a super feminist character. When you get to know her, that is.

Before we get too far, though, here's what Galavant is about. I feel safe assuming that most of you probably aren't caught up on the show - it flies very very far under the radar.

Galavant, now in its second season on ABC, is a half-hour comedy musical parody of life in the middle ages. Yeah, that's a mouthful, but the premise works better than you might think. Basically, it's a musical sendup of the tropes we're used to seeing in standard fantasy fiction: think Spamalot/Monty Python and the Holy Grail or Robin Hood: Men in Tights. That kind of deal, but with more singing.

The show's first episode starts off very standard, with the narrator singing to us about a "great hero known as Galavant" (Joshua Sasse) who has a lady love, Madalena (Mallory Jansen). They're all over each other until one day the evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson) sees Madalena, wants her, and kidnaps her to be his bride. It's up to Galavant to storm the castle, stop the wedding, and save the day! All standard fantasy stuff so far, right? Well, the subversion comes when Galavant appears just in time to stop the wedding, only for Madalena to turn him down. She's not in love with the King or anything, she's just more interested in being rich and a queen than she is in "getting fat and pregnant and growing my own food" with Galavant.

Please bear in mind, this happens literally five minutes into the first episode. We then skip a year into the future to find that not only is Madalena not regretting her choice, she's actually a more despotic ruler than Richard ever was. She's terrified her husband into submission, refused to consummate the marriage but is totally banging the court jester, and convinced their nation to invade neighboring Valencia so she can her hands on a priceless jewel.

That's right, Madalena isn't the damsel in distress in this story, she's the dragon.

The plot of the season actually comes when Galavant (who spent the year after getting dumped falling slowly into a keg of beer) decides to help the noble Princess Isabella of Valencia (Karen David) reclaim her country and kick out Richard and Madalena. 

Except actually Isabella is under secret orders from King Richard to bring Galavant there so he can kill him, and it's all very convoluted but very fun.

Anyway, the season actually ends (spoilers for something a year old) with Madalena deposing her husband in order to marry his brother, a more ruthless warlord, then stabbing him in the back and seizing the country for herself, promoting Richard's brutal bodyguard, Gareth (Vinnie Jones), to her co-ruler. The second season is about Gareth and Madalena figuring out how to rule together while slowly falling into the funniest and most awkward love that two psychopaths can have for each other.

Make no mistake, by the way, because Madalena really is a terrifying character in the best possible way. Not only does she go from being a kidnapping victim and unwilling bride to one of the most powerful people in all the land in the space of about a year, she does it while turning the tables on a man who has every power to have her executed and while emotionally destroying him and usurping his regime. I mean, when she banishes Richard no one goes with him, not even Gareth - that's how good she is. Or, bad, as the case may be.

What's even funnier is that none of the other characters really seem to get comfortable with how evil Madalena actually is. Galavant and Richard, despite both knowing full well how awful she can be, have a really hard time accepting that Madalena doesn't care about them at all and doesn't need them to save her. She doesn't need anyone to save her. She lands on her feet.

The reason Madalena is so fun and interesting is exactly this: Madalena never needs rescuing because in all reality, she's the scariest person in every room. She might not have the brute strength needed to kill everyone, but she has the emotional manipulation required to get someone else to do it for her. She's vicious and mean and cunning and paranoid and narcissistic and generally a really ugly person inside, which is why I like her.

I mean that very seriously. I like Madalena precisely because she has very few if any redeeming qualities. I like her because there's something so refreshing in a female character who is originally set up to be sweet and nice and wonderful but who turns out to be, well, a bitch. And not a bitch in a sexy way, just a horrible human being. We're in a culture where the idea that women can be awful without the story being sexist still feels transgressive. And yet Galavant manages to pull off making its biggest villain out of the woman we all thought was the hero's one true love.

Oh, and I should also mention that I really like how unabashedly sexual Madalena is. One of the big running jokes of the first season is how King Richard thinks that Madalena has taken a vow of chastity and that's why he can't have sex with her, when in reality she is screwing everyone else. She just doesn't like him. After this finally comes out and Richard is sad and moping about it, Madalena doesn't let it slow her down. She just stops hiding what she's doing.

Again, there's something so satisfying in a female character who breaks all the rules we have for women in these kinds of stories. In our normal stories, Madalena should be sad or miserable or regret leaving Galavant, but she doesn't. In a normal story, Madalena would be punished for all the crap she pulled. Here she just keeps getting more and more power. In a normal story we're told that Madalena is a cautionary tale and that something horrible happened to make her the way she is. Here the closest thing she has to a tragic backstory is growing up poor and being made fun of this one time.

In other words, I like Madalena because she's everything we're told female characters aren't supposed to be. She isn't nice or kind or good or secretly sentimental. She doesn't feel bad about that either. Madalena has gone through her entire life believing that emotions are for the weak - at one point she tells Galavant that she loves him "as much as someone like me can love anyone." 

So, like, not a lot. When she eventually falls for Gareth, a lot of the humor comes from how confused both of them are about how to go about being romantic with another person they don't want to destroy.

But most of the humor comes from subverting the idea that a pretty young woman in a fantasy story must obviously be the damsel in distress. She must clearly not be in control of her life and she must be in need of rescuing by some big macho hero guy. The whole first season of Galavant is built on this concept. Galavant only agrees to help Isabella because she tells him that Madalena wants him back. The idea that his damsel is distressed is the only thing powerful enough to get Galavant out of his funk.

That is why I love the slow dawning realization on the audience and on the characters that this really isn't the case. We're so used to women's storylines being dictated by their relationships to the male characters that it's genuinely hard to recognize when one isn't but that's the case here. Hell, Madalena even sings an entire song to herself at one point about how she is the only person wonderful enough to keep up with her and how she's basically her own love interest. Madalena isn't here for your hero crap, she's got a country to usurp and treason to scheme.

Sure, there are ways in which Madalena's whole character could fit into tropes about the shrill, nagging, controlling wife, and I'm sure someone has already written a terrifying screed to that effect, but for my money she's one of the more refreshingly feminist characters to come along recently. 

She's not a good person, and that's great. Madalena being awful reminds us that women are people too - we can be just as horrible and bad and immoral as any man. Madalena is kind of the big bad in Galavant, and that the hero's ex girlfriend who he rode off to save becomes the woman he's desperately fleeing makes everything much more fun.

I hope you all tune in to watch Galavant on Sunday, if for no other reason than because I'd really like this show to be renewed, but I also want you to see this for yourself. Appreciate the wonder that is Madalena and the obvious fun that Mallory Jansen is having playing her. You won't be disappointed.

I love you.


  1. Call Girls in Gurgaon
    Are you looking for escort service in Gurgaon, we provide the best that would completely transform your experience. Our escorts are trained meticulously to deliver best service that you are looking for.


  2. Female Escort in Gurgaon
    If after a busy business tour, you are looking to ignite the evening then our call girls in Sohna Road are there to help you in the best way. We provide the service that would completely take away your work stress and revive you from within. So, why wait when you can get the best feeling of love at cost-effective prices. The escort service that we deliver in Sohna Road is among the best that you can get at the rates that we offer. We provide the best girls that would completely satiate you from each and every angle. So, visit us today and take your experience to a new level.


  3. Escorts Service in Mahipalpur
    If you have come from the West and you are captivated by the Asian beauty, in that case, we make sure that you get the best call girls in Mahipalpur to help you taste the Asian flavor in the best way. At Mahipalpur, we make sure that you are getting one heck of an experience with our girls. So, no matter whether it is official meeting or bachelor party, we are there for all your needs.

  4. high class model in Delhi

    we provide the best that would completely transform your experience. The clarity
    in your post is just great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.

  5. This a awesome blog. your blog is very interesting thanks for sharing this valueable blog
    noida High Profile Escorts
    Delhi Sexy Escorts Services

  6. Today I many userful aspects here from your web page. thank you We can existing you with a new and latest. Gurgaon Escorts | Tara Rajput

  7. this is a lovely blog and very valuable which can help us to known more info about anything. Good job and thank.

    Delhi call girls

  8. Full Valuable blog for those who want to know new information and all. Good blog and thanks or sharing.

    Vashikaran Specialist Toronto

  9. what is this, I mean this is very important blog for me is unique and huge stuff with huge info. Good luck for the future of this blog.

    Love Marriage Specialist India

  10. Awesome and amazing blog man. I am surpeised that how can you make these much great blog. Its really wonderful.

    vashikaran specialist baba ji

  11. Very useful info you are providing with us and one more thing all can read this website frequently as well me. Thanks for providing this type of info. Thank you very much.

    Black magic specialist Delhi

  12. very very good looking design and its contains a valuable thought that you shared. Thanks for sharing.

    Love Marriage Problem Solution

  13. I love you blog because you always make me happy and good you are such a loyal person. I like you way to shared you knowledge.

    Girlfriend Vashikaran specialist in india

  14. powerful blogging you are doing. It makes me happy whenever I read here. Thanks of bunch.

    Wazifa for love get back

  15. powerful blogging you are doing. It makes me happy whenever I read here. Thanks of bunch.

    Wazifa for love get back

  16. It is very impactful that we read blog post here. I read very carefully and I found so many things which can help us. Fabulous.

    Vashikaran Specialist in India

  17. this is not only website even this is like a e-book. And I think its helping a lot because of there website. Good job I like it.

    strong wazifa for husband love

  18. this is original blog and please keep posting so that I can read more lovely story here. Its joyful blog.thanks again…man.

    Black Magic Removal

  19. OMG.. Is really outstanding blog. And only you can bring it most meaningful and useful blog. Good job and you are expert in this field.

    love marriage problem solution in india

  20. Definitely everyone enjoying this blog. Because of there good stuff and info and have some great contents. Very well. Thanks.

    Black Magic Expert India

  21. AS got organizations of advice which will be amazing and that I envision the internet site is quite intriguing and read weblog posts with this particular specific site.
    delhi escort

  22. This might be place that's outstanding. Your layout that's creating is I'd like to share which you are performing a job that's certainly an exceptional not exactly the exact same as others.
    Call girl in delhi with photo

  23. Rosey Sharma is an Independent Model girl in Delhi. If you are looking forward to meeting the best female Model in Delhi for luxury services then call now.

    Delhi Escorts
    Delhi Escorts
    Delhi Escorts
    Chennai Escorts
    Chennai Escorts
    Escorts Service in Delhi

  24. Call Girls In Gurgaon,Most of the individuals in Escorts Service In Gurgaon, Hotel Service work and spend more time 24Hrs Female Services.
    Gurgaon Female Escort

  25. Call Girls In Gurgaon,Most of the individuals in Escorts Service In Gurgaon, Hotel Service work and spend more time 24Hrs Female Services. Gurgaon Escorts Service

  26. I concur with the last tips Delhi Escorts whereby we have to manhandle what is Delhi Escorts eminent and inclining. By doing in that Delhi Escorts limit you can continue making something which is new and in the present style

  27. This post is cleared up in a to an awesome Escorts in Delhi degree able way. The detail with which it is clarified is so skilled. I am perplexed by the manner by which you have cleared up things here.

  28. About Love Vashikaran, Love Back, Inter Caste Love Marriage, Black Magic. We Are Vashikaran Specialist Astrologer. We Have 20 Years’ Experience As A Vashikaran Specialist. We Have 10,000+ Satisfied Clients. Contact Us To Discuss About Your Problem. Get Positive Result In One Hour. Visit Our Website Call Us +91 9915707766

    Love Vashikaran Specialist Baba Ji
    Vashikaran Specialist In Delhi.
    Inter Caste Love Marriage Specialist.
    Love Back Astrologer.
    Black Magic Specialist.
    Love Problem Solution Baba Ji.
    Powerful Vashikaran Upay.

  29. Really Your Website Is Very Useful And Informative According Your Subject. Please Keep Continue Your Effort To Help The People Who Are Looking For Such Kind Of Topic.
    Ask Free Question- About Love Vashikaran, Love Back, Inter Caste Love Marriage, Black Magic. We Are Vashikaran Specialist Astrologer. We Have 20 Years’ Experience As A Vashikaran Specialist. We Have 10,000+ Satisfied Clients. Contact Us To Discuss About Your Problem. Get Positive Result In One Hour. Visit Our Website Call Us +91 9915537976

    Have A Look At Our Astrological Services Through The Given Links Below-

    Vashikaran Specialist
    Vashikaran Specialist In Delhi
    Inter Caste Love Marriage Specialist Baba Ji
    Back Magic Specialist Baba Ji
    Love Problem Solution Baba Ji

  30. By looking at this wonderful article, you are giving us inspiration, inspiration. The extraordinary degree that's scattered here is amazing. It helped me to refine a ton. A responsibility of gratitude is for your efforts and support, keep sharing such things for each situation. Your blog is appreciated !! Escorts Service in Bangalore
    Escorts Service in Bangalore
    Escorts in Bangalore
    Bangalore Escorts Service
    Bangalore Escorts Service
    Escorts Service in Bangalore
    Bangalore Call Girls
    Bangalore Escorts

  31. Want to know how can you get your ex love partner if you still love him/her??
    Want to control your partner if you think that he/she is cheating on you??
    Want to control you husband or wife if you think he/she have an extra marital affair??
    Want to be get attraction by your love partner if he/she do not have interest towards on you??
    Get Consultation with Love Problem Solution Specialist Baba Ji.
    Call or Whatsapp on +91-96806-45599
    1) Love Problem Solution
    2) Divorce Problem Solution
    3) Marriage Problem Solution
    4) Childless Problem Solution
    5) Intercaste Love Marriage Solution
    6) Family Disputes
    7) Husband Wife Relationship Problem Solution
    8) Black Magic Removal
    9) Health Issues
    10) Study Problem Solution
    11) Business Loss Solution

  32. This is amazing when I use your website and the article on your website is more important to us. Thank you very much for sharing this kind of informative blog with us. Call Girls in Hyderabad
    Bangalore Escorts Service
    Call Girls in Jaipur
    Escorts in Pune
    Bhiwadi Escorts

  33. This is such a valuable post you post here. Call Girls in Ahmedabad I really appreciate your the way of choosing the topic of this article and the points that you mention here.
    Hyderabad Escorts Service
    Bangalore Call Girls
    Jaipur Escorts

  34. Our female models are most smart and skilled in all types of catalogs from modeling to visual work. Our models are highly awaited and capably meet your  needs.
    call girls whatsapp number
    call girls whatsapp number
    Sexy bhabhi
    Delhi call girls
    Sexy bhabhi
    sandwich massage therapy
    delhi escorts
    call girls in chennai
    call girls whatsapp number

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Have you lost the happiness with your love partner?
    Have you lost the person whom you loved badly and do you want to get him/her back again?
    Do you feel that you are losing your partner day by day or your partner has started ignoring you suddenly??
    If you lost your true love somehow and you desire to get your lost love back into your life then astrology can help you into it.
    Get consultation with Trusted Astrologer in India Baba Ji over whatsapp or call on +91-96806-45599
    Or visit : How to Get Ex Love Back
    Bring Your Love Back
    Love Back Specialist in India
    Get Your Love Back by Vashikaran
    Baba Ji provide all guaranteed solution for all these problems:
    1) Get Your Lost Love Back
    2) Husband Wife Relationship Problem Solution
    3) Love Problem Solutions
    4) Marriage Life Problem Solutions
    5) Intercaste Love Marriage Solution
    6) Vashikaran Mantra for Love
    7) Childless Problem Solutions
    8) Divorce Problem Solutions
    9) Health Problem Solutions
    10)Business Problem Solutions
    11) Black Magic Removal

  37. Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep on sharing with us.
    Sarojini Nagar Call Girls
    Hauz Khas Call Girls
    Nehru place Call Girls
    Rajouri Garden Call Girls
    Anamika Gupta Call Girl

  38. I will provide you really hot and flirty girlfriend encounter, and moreover meet the vast majority of your hidden wild fantasies. I can similarly be a loving buddy to where of your fondness. I also like role-play and experimenting with any of your fantasies or fantasies.
    Green Park Call Girls
    Janakpuri Call Girls
    South Ex Call Girls
    Vaishali Call Girls
    Aerocity Call Girls

  39. I will think about it. a commitment of thankfulness is aggregate to share the data continue restoring. pulling back for amassed forward down more posts.Thanks.
    Dwarka Call Girls
    South Delhi Call Girls
    Punjabi Bagh Call Girls
    Shalimar Bagh Call Girls
    Russian Delhi Call Girls

  40. I was waiting for this for a long time and I hope for more in future also. It has to be a good thing to be a part of this awesome article.
    Paharganj Call Girls
    Uttam Nagar Call Girls
    Mahipalpur Call Girls
    Gurgaon Call Girls
    Connaught Place Call Girls

  41. This is such a valuable post you post here. Delhi Escorts I really appreciate your the way of choosing the topic of this article and the points that you mention here.
    Model Town Call Girls
    Moti Nagar Call Girls
    Prashant Vihar Call Girls
    Preet Vihar Call Girls
    Karol Bagh Call Girls

  42. My name is Karina, I'm someone who has lived a life seemingly in the background, I must say this final indignity I have suffered almost too much to endure. You see, I have been sickly and weak since the day I was born and doomed to go through all my life a weakling. I seemed to have always suffered from one illness or another and could never play with the other children as I so desperately wanted to. Mother always made such a big fuss over me, also, making the situation worse as the other boys teased me mercilessly after they saw it. I was browsing  the internet searching on how i could be transformed into a powerful when i came across the email of a man named Lord Mark. who was a VAMPIRE so I told him that I has always dreamed of becoming a  VAMPIRES, All i did was just to follow the procedure that i was been told, and i bet you that procedure I took change my entire life to something i ever desire, freedom, sickness free, pains free, fame, influence, connections and even more that i can. Thanks to Lord Mark. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity? contact the vampires creed today via email:

  43. Cheap Rates call Girl In Gurgaon, we offer the best escorts service in low rate with safety, we provide Female Call Girls with complete satisfaction. Girls Mobile Number In Gurgaon

  44. Cheap Rates call Girl In Gurgaon, we offer the best escorts service in low rate with safety, we provide Female Call Girls with complete satisfaction. Girls Mobile Number In Gurgaon

  45. You may reserve these insidious Ludhiana Call Girls at entirely reasonable estimating. As a result, there will not be a difficulty regardless of whether you might be an outsider by using a want to fulfill a wicked Indian young lady. We're listed here for gratifying all remarkable needs helpfully. Every one of the magnificent Ludhiana Call Girls is all set to deliver the immense enjoyment and treatment for their lover. In regards to using the services of your intimate spouse, we know that your decision is important when Ludhiana Call Girls you improved comprehend your needs.

  46. Thank you for your post.Really looking forward to read more. Cool. Satta king

  47. Thanks for sharing the post..parents are worlds best person in each lives of individual..they need or must succeed to sustain needs of the family. Satta king

  48. You have a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way you represent your views in this article. I agree with your way of thinking. Thank you for sharing.Oregon Business Registry