Sooooo the season finale of Galavant. I do not think I am sole the member of the viewing public who was surprised at the show’s cliffhanger ending. That is not because it was, in and of itself, an incredibly shocking one. To wit, Galavant and Richard are fleeing Valencia, Gareth is working as a double agent of sorts, and Isabella has been locked in a dollhouse by a crazed despotic manchild (okay so maybe the last one was a little bit of a surprise).
However, my eyebrows are still perched precariously on the top of my head because the show was audacious enough (dare I say, brash enough?) to assume it was going to receive a second season. This is something that, I must admit, fond of the show though I may be, I cannot see happening unless Shonda Rhimes falls into a vat of vodka, wakes up and is like, “wait wait wait wait wait wait. ABC. Let’s do Galavant. But SEXY.” And hey, stranger things have happened — observe How to Get Away With Murder.
While not calling it one, per se, ABC has treated Galavant as a mini-series, and with good reason. January is a weird time to try and get anyone invested in a television show. Everyone has their favorites and with the exception of a few truly stellar mid-series replacements and pick-ups, January is reserved for Netflix binge-watches and whining about when the network hiatuses will be over.
It was a smart programming move to put Galavant in as a filler for those of us pining for Once Upon a Time, but if the network ever had any serious ambitions for the show, it would have been smarter to simply start airing the show following OUAT, taking advantage of the song-loving, fairy-tale obsessed demographic that way instead of baiting us all with a show whose future is so uncertain.
I am sure some great TV showrunner once said that you should treat every season of your program like it is your last — and with good reason! If you’ve constructed a world that’s vivid enough that viewers want to move in and live there, that alone should be enough of an assurance that they will come back for another season — give your audience the gift of resolution in one form or another from one season to the next. Dangle a carrot if you must, but reward your viewer! The structure of TV is set up to do just that.
This is all a very long-winded way of saying that Galavant would have risked nothing in giving the fans a taste of resolution — doing so wouldn’t have shot their chances of a second season to hell and if they’d gone that route should they not get picked up we would have been left with a wonderful gem of a mini series to return to and enjoy instead of a “Where’s Annie?”-esque ending sure to drive us all to distraction. All of that said, I’m boosting the star rating of the finale simply for the self-referential “Kiss The Girl” bit because that noise was funny and also I love The Little Mermaid, haters to the left.