by Julian Spivey
In the end ABC’s “Galavant,” a musical fairytale that brilliantly mocked both musicals and fairytales, turned out on Sunday night (Jan. 31) to be a real-life, perfect fairytale.
The second season – and almost certainly its last due to poor ratings – wrapped the series up the way I believe most of its fans would’ve loved: the hero got the girl, the lovable villain dropped the villain tag and the real villain was defeated (though the lone cliffhanger allows for her return if by some miracle there is a third season).
Creator/writer Dan Fogelman and brilliant lyricist Alan Menken must have known the chances of a third season were slim-to-none and put forth their all for the finale of the 10-episode second season titled “The One True King (To Unite Them All).”
The episode finally reunites lovers Galavant (Joshua Sasse) and Isabella (Karen David) after an entire season of them being apart (which somewhat hurt the season overall) and Galavant struggling to reach Isabella’s village – with the former villain and now Galavant’s bestie King Richard (Timothy Omundson, in his career best role) in tow.
Omundson as King Richard has been the best thing about “Galavant” since the beginning of the series as his king is lovably dimwitted, which leads to the majority of the laughs when it comes to the portions of the comedy that aren’t sung. Omundson’s performance truly is something I’d love to see nominated for an Emmy Award – but anybody with sense knows that would be the ultimate fairytale and one that stands no chance of coming true. In the end the show might have been titled “Galavant,” but it was really more beloved for King Richard.
The lyrics to the show’s songs written by eight-time Oscar-winning lyricist and composer Alan Menken led to the show being the best original musical I’ve ever seen on television – especially the wit thrown into recap songs like the one the Jester (played by Ben Presley) sings at the beginning of episode nine (part one of the two-part finale) and the one guest star Weird Al Yankovic (perfect cameo casting) does at the end of the finale.
I wouldn’t argue with a third season of “Galavant,” but then again I do feel the way the series was wrapped up with the finale on Sunday would be the best way to end the show. All of the storylines ended perfectly and why really mess around with something that feels perfect.
As I said at the beginning, “Galavant” truly felt in ways like a real-life fairytale in that it even survived for a second season. The first season Nielsen ratings for the show were abysmal, which led to every television expert there is believing the show would obviously be canceled (despite generally great reception by critics). ABC’s stunning decision to renew the series for a second season, that was actually two episodes longer than the first (with the network airing two episodes back-to-back for five weeks), was the most surprising renewal I’ve ever seen for a freshman series in my many years watching television. Simply put, it made no sense whatsoever for the network to bring the show back by a business standpoint, but the fact that they did and the fact that it was able to wrap up brilliantly – while leaving a small door open for the future – was greatly appreciated.