With Once Upon a Time on an incredibly long hiatus, ABC had chosen an unusual mid-season fill-in. Galavant is a creatively anachronistic half hour fantasy musical comedy. A genre blending troperific experiment.
It’s been twenty five years since ABC tried a straight up alternate universe where the characters burst into song and dance. It’s also been twenty five years since songwriter Alan Menken won an Academy Award for The Little Mermaid, so there’s some nice symmetry there. Along with co-executive producer and writer Dan Fogelman, with whom he worked on Tangled, he’s crafted some catchy tunes.
The part that stuck for me was, “Yay, a fairy tale cliche!” I’m missing the characters and drama of Once to be sure, but if I’m honest that’s my true love in the show. Galavant delivers on the premise at least. His true love pulls a Cora and goes for wealth and power, leading our hero into a downward spiral in which the series begins.
I’m excited, but wary. Rather than run the who over eight weeks, ABC’s airing two half hour episodes back to back, which reportedly messes with some of the fourth wall audience acknowledgements. Makes me wonder how confident they are in their own “extravaganza.” Even so we’ll be tuning in and delivering our impressions on Tuesday.