You wouldn't exactly see the likes of Sherlock or Dickensian titling their season premiere, "A New Season aka Suck it Cancellation Bear".
Yet, Galavant's just the kind of show that's metatextual enough in its jokery to reference its own uncertain fate. A musical sitcom parodying the worlds of fairytale and fantasy, with a heavy debt to Monty Python's legacy, the season premiere even opened on the tune "A New Season"; seeing Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey)'s Pirate King shut down hero Galavant (Joshua Sasse)'s attempt to sing the show's theme with, "It didn't win an Emmy now it's time to move along."
The song then went on to boast of an upcoming roster of "new guests who'll cost the network a fortune", before begging its own audience to "screw all those apprentices and every bachelorette" and "give into the miracle that no one thought we'd get" (or at least DVR it for later). That miracle is in reference to the show's renewal despite poor ratings.
Originally conceived as a mid-season fill for ABC's popular fairytale series, Once Upon a Time, it amassed an average of merely 4.83 million live viewers. The renewal does suggest ABC seems convinced of the show's potential, however. It did garner positive critical reviews, partially thanks to its triumvirate of talent: screenwriter Dan Fogelman (Tangled), legendary composer Alan Menken (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid), and Glenn Slater (Broadway's The Little Mermaid).
It's the sort of offbeat, conceptually ambitious show that's bound to find a cult audience; the kind of series which unveils the pipes we've always known Vinnie Jones (playing Gareth) to have, and features John Stamos cameoing as Sir Jean Hamm, in reference of course to Mad Men's own John Hamm, himself forever cameoing in comedies.
And "Suck it Cancellation Bear" made sure to open the new series with a real bang, enlisting the likes of Kylie Minogue for the flashiest of cameos as The Queen, owner of the Enchanted Forest's resident gay bar; churning out a disco number while she stuck around. ABC aired the episode back-to-back with "World's Best Kiss", which saw Galavant and the imprisoned Princess Isabella (Karen David) he's en route to rescue, though she assures as a feminist she doesn't really need him, worrying that their grand romance may not live up to its trope. Plus, Galavant fights off a virgin-loving unicorn.
The next episode airs on ABC, 10 January.
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