Yesterday was the day every TV fan dreads: the day of cancellations.
Over the past couple of weeks, networks have announced which shows they’re renewing and canceling, but yesterday was particularly brutal, both for the sheer number of shows that were axed, but also because of which shows won’t be returning.
Specifically, I’m talking about ABC’s Agent Carter and Galavant.
It’s not surprising ABC decided not to renew these two midseason shows – neither delivered great ratings, despite fantastic critical success (especially in the case of Galavant) and enthusiastic fans. Said fans are already starting petitions and movements to get the shows picked up to a streaming service (Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, mainly) or kickstart a movie.
This is nothing new; many shows have been axed too early within these parameters. Just look at Pushing Daisies, a show I grieve pretty much on the regular, or Firefly (which did end up getting a movie).
As a fan of both recently cut shows, I’m not shocked, but it doesn’t ease the blow at all. Midseason shows are easier to take risks on, require less money, and in the case of these two shows, occupy a very specific space that is lacking on network television.
Agent Carter, a creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), was not always the strongest show. It could lag from pacing issues and inconsistent writing, but it had an absolute gem in Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter. It was unlike anything in the MCU and with such a wonderful female lead, it was a show that meant a lot of different things to different people.
It spoke to an important subset of the larger Marvel and superhero audience, and should be praised for that. It only ever deserved good things and here’s hoping its important groundwork has helped pave the way for a stronger female presence in the superhero media landscape.
Galavant was a harder pill for me to swallow yesterday, even if the mere existence of a second season was a miracle in and of itself. Really, all you need to do is watch the opening number from Season 2 to see why this is true, and also why its cancellation is so gutting:
Look at how hilarious and tongue-in-cheek that is! This is truly a loss.
A meta, medieval, musical show is pretty much the definition of niche, and that’s a large reason why its ratings weren’t spectacular. But it was also, and remains, one of the cleverest, most unique, and fun shows in television history. Yup, I’m bringing out fighting words right at the start.
Season 2 of Galavant went much further into the land of absurdity than Season 1 ever did, and it benefited greatly from that by finding its tone and footing in a much more confident way. What has turned out to be the show’s last season gave us some truly memorable musical numbers and celebrity cameos, but it also gave us genuine and surprising character arcs and excellent writing. Timothy Omundson (King Richard), in particular, became the absolute star of the show and one of the most enjoyable performances in recent memory.
More than anything, Galavant was a bright spot, unlike anything else on TV. It was weird and over-the-top and meta, but it was also well-made and well-loved. The quality of the show certainly shouldn’t be judged by its low ratings or silliness. This show was smart and fun and brought a smile to my face so consistently.
I’m happy to lend my voice to both shows in the championing for their continued existence elsewhere, but at least in the case of Galavant, there’s a chance it really could continue to live.
Composer of the show Alan Menken took to Twitter to tweet this, and then reply to a fan’s question:
GALAVANT is not continuing at ABC. But it will live on in so many ways. Guaranteed. Love to our cast, our writers, our fans!! Stay tuned…
— Alan Menken (@AIMenken) May 12, 2016
— Alan Menken (@AIMenken) May 12, 2016
So here’s hoping for a stage musical, my fellow Galavant fans!
This kind of heartbreak is never going to end; this is simply the nature of television. But Agent Carter and Galavant were particularly tough losses and regardless of whether or not they continue on another platform, at least we had them at all.
Were you a fan of both or either shows? Share your favorite memories of them below!