February 9, 2015

Fairy Tale News, By Nora Stasio: A Fairy Tale Followup: Galavant has Come and Gone

 
Greetings Fairy Tale Fanatics!

I don’t know how many of you will remember, but many moons ago, I wrote about a TV series that ABC had in the works, a musical comedy with a medieval/fairy tale epic/adventure setting, entitled Galavant. It came out the first week of the New Year, January 2015, and actually, it’s already over. Did you get a chance to see it? DVR it?
 
Now, I didn’t absolutely love this show, but I’m VERY upset that it’s over… Let me explain.
 
I didn't watch every episode of Galavant, mostly because I don't generally watch much TV. The episodes I did catch, I thought they were... ok. The humor wasn't entirely my taste, and I found the plot-lines a bit strange. The songs didn't blow me away either, but they were likable. I guess it's pretty easy to expect more from Disney's beloved composer, Alan Menken, when he's written so many fantastic hits before.
 
The most likable things about the show, I'd say, are the characters. They each have their own quirks, all of them funny, charming, and sweet in their own unique way. The writers place no reliance on overdone stereotypes (which run rampant across TV-land these days, in my opinion), and all of the actors give very strong performances, well-timed, genuine, and often heartfelt. Also, I might add, the costumes and sets are all splendid. They give this fairy tale epic a quaint, authentic-but-stylized, olde-world appeal.
 
So when I found out the "4 week series" was coming to an end last month, I decided to tune in, desiring to know how it all might wrap up. Would each of the characters come to see their respective dreams realized, their secrets revealed, or would it end with some shocking twist that no one saw coming?
 
Well, I guess it’s safe to say the latter came true. The season finale aired, but by all accounts, Galavant hadn't ended! No loose ends were tied up, nothing was resolved or settled--in fact, when the credits rolled at 9:00pm, the future looked more grim than ever for our beloved crew of characters. Our three leads had been separated, each in a different place, each in a seemingly hopeless situation, and each stuck there indefinitely. That's right--I won't give anything away, but Galavant ended on a completely and utterly unsatisfying cliffhanger.
 
The most infuriating part is that, for all anyone knows, Galavant has not been renewed for a second season! It could be, but it hasn't been yet. And if it does come back, when will it air? Surely ABC has a full year of programming already scheduled--if Galavant Part 2 is not a certainty, where will it fit in among all the rest?
 
It's funny how I never watch TV, and the one time I do, and actually enjoy something, this is what happens to me. I'll personally be heartbroken, along with surely scads of others, if Galavant never returns. That would be a terrible shame, especially for the production team, cast, and crew, and everyone else who put their heart and soul into making this little show so special. Anyone who’s watched it can attest to the amount of hard work that must have been put into this project.
 
What were your thoughts on Galavant, if you watched it? Also - in your experience, what was the most infuriating cliffhanger you’ve ever come across while watching a series, and was the next episode worth the wait? Leave us a comment!
 
(Editor's note: Didn't like it. But I hate almost all musicals. I do like Into the Woods, though.)
 
Bio: Nora writes, "I have been a lover of creative writing and fairy tales for basically my entire life! I graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers where I completed a minor in English, with a focus in Creative Writing and Shakespeare (I majored in Psychology)."


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3 comments

  1. I'm a little torn on this one. The first week/double episode was great - funny, witty, snarky, smart with just the right amount of bawdy and possibilities for fairy tale. Once Ricky Gervais and Weird Al appeared though it's as if the show lost focus and began meandering for the sake of allowing celebrity spotlights (which, frankly, we could have done without - I mean "Xanax"?! *thumbs down*). The music was mostly excellent but again, lost focus around about the third episode and only the occasional song really shone. I like musicals - a lot - but I'm also petty critical of ones that aren't done very well. While the execution was great (costumes, DP, staging, acting in general) it got to the point where someone started to sing and my brows began to furrow. (When that Disney refrain popped up I wanted to scream - at that point it wasn't clever. Just a lazy inside joke). My family, who initially loved it and looked forward to the next viewing quickly lost interest too.
    It didn't help that it lost the fairy tale feel around about the third episode as well. it really was more of a faux-medieval musical comedy than anything fairy tale (and I'm not talking about the lack of magic necessarily either, despite that there wasn't any of that - "herb" trip included).
    I was disappointed that something that started very strongly and promisingly, lost focus, flopped about a bit, then couldn't conclude the story. I'm fairly certain this is because the original vision was contained, finite but when those producing pushed for an open end to aid a 'season 2'/sequel it lost its bones/structure.
    The Kind was the most consistently interesting character, though I would love to see the whole thing get turned on it's head and told from the point of view of the adorably dorky chef and his beloved, lice-ridden lady in waiting. The show lurched back onto solid footing whenever those two stepped into a scene.
    As a mini-series it should have ended much stronger with the main story brought to a satisfying conclusion and enough extra details left to expand should they want to later. I think it's so frustrating because a lot of it WAS done incredibly - and surprisingly - well. The talent is there, the right mix of personalities (minus the celebs) is there, the production is very good overall and it's something the whole crew clearly loved working on - that's unusual and it shows, to their credit.
    The fairy tale aspect, though, appears to have disappeared though. At this point, it fees like the only way it will return to that is to have them create an actual (and possibly singing) dragon (but please don't!). It's largely why I haven't blogged on it since it premiered (so thank you for giving me somewhere to put my thoughts!)
    Re infuriating cliff-hangers.. hm. I don't follow many shows week-to-week. I've rarely been in a position to but possibly best use of a cliffhanger that didn't disappoint on return each time was Orphan Black. And I'm waiting very impatiently for the next season right now... :)

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  2. I watched it as it aired, and found it really uneven. One minute it's brilliant and the next minute I'm cringing. Props to them for having a black squire and a brown heroine, but then suddenly we get a fried chicken joke? Squire's entire home town is a Jewish enclave - great; entire town is Jewish stereotypes - stop that!

    They were going after movie cliches in the last couple of installments, rather than fairy tale ones, which is fine, but I feel manipulated by the cliffhanger. I am picky about my TV, and tend to drop shows the minute I feel they've started to jerk me around. To be fair, I also felt as though the creative team was probably being jerked around, too. A show like this needs a strong hand at the helm and a clear vision. It can't survive second-guessing from the bean-counters.

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  3. I'm afraid I missed this when it aired. I don't watch much network TV. I had planned to try to watch it online, but by the time I realized it was up, the first few episodes were no longer available. So this post makes me think maybe it wasn't such a big loss. It's too bad, because I was glad to hear that a major network was planning a show with a limited run. I think there's too much focus on getting a certain number of episodes versus asking, "How many episodes to we need to tell this story well?" Thanks for the post!

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