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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Sleepy Hollow. Off to a good start. Can it get better?

sleepy_hollow_key_artThe other day I found out that a new TV series had begun two weeks ago, centred around the tale of the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane, the man that had managed to “defeat” him. I was naturally curious and I decided to watch the first two episodes. While not bad, there were so many things that struck me as odd that I am sure by the end of this I’ll compile a list to showcase them all.

The tale is simple, if a little altered from other versions of Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod Crane (Tim Mison) is a soldier in George Washington’s army and in his opening scene he is fighting a masked man, with a well placed mark of an arrow on his hand. After being struck down he managed to behead the man that had been seemingly impervious to bullets, only to die and…Well, we know how people these days are incapable of picturing a world that doesn’t benefit from the latest technologies, so maybe that’s why we had a time-jump to 2013? Complete with Ichabod (much like a zombie) popping out of his, not so eternal, grave. In a scene that reminded me a lot of Johnny Depp’s Dark Shadows, the newly resurrected Ichabod discovers the future.

This is where things take a turn for the bizarre. His reaction to the new face of Sleepy Hollow is much like how I would react if my phone would go through an update. Blank face acceptance. I don’t know about you, but if I ended up 250 years in the future, after jumping out of my grave, I doubt I would be so easily acceptant of the things that surround me or of how it came to pass, and I have the added advantage of having watched enough sci-fi to (wrongly) assume I’m ready for time travel.

Scattered through the story we have witches, demons, the Death and omens of the Apocalypse, with two factions fighting one another, each claiming they are the ones that are in the right. Have I mentioned the Headless Horseman is basically Death on a Pale Horse, bringing forth the end of days by…Well, I’m not sure exactly how he’ll do it, apparently he just beheads people for reasons that are still to be determined. Maybe he has a quota to meet after being “dead” for two centuries and a half?

Despite the amount of information they struggled to fit into two episodes (we basically have a seven year old plan of stopping the evil – new-tv-shows-2013-sleepy-hollow I admire the optimism of the creators) the show isn’t all that bad. If you ignore that through two episodes they had still failed to find century appropriate clothing for Ichabod. Or a comb. Not that Tim Mison doesn’t rock his do, but his more contemporary partner – Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) had made a point of getting him a new outfit in the first episode. I suppose the huge death-toll (with each death more gruesome than the last) might have put a damper on their shopping spree?

Wait, have  I mentioned that, unlike in earlier adaptation, Ichabod Crane is a genius with eidetic memory? And just to trump those other guys on TV possessing such a thing (Spencer Reid, Mike Ross, Sherlock Holmes) he has it for absolutely everything: smell, sound, sight, you name it. I am starting to have a problem with this being used as a plot device, because I have a feeling they will use it to justify how he is somehow unfazed by being dead and then alive, having a witch for a wife and so on and so forth. Is it too much to ask for them to give us a plain looking character, that has average intellect and can solve crime by gut feeling alone? Yes? Is that too last century? Or how about have Abbie solve the crimes without his help? She seems clueless most of the time and gullible the rest. Again, if you have a man, claiming to be from the past, under suspicion of murder, in your precinct, freeing him and going to a cave alone with him is not the smart choice!  I am still waiting for the day in which female characters will stop being clueless sidekicks and take the spotlight. You know, without them being called bitches, as it usually happens.

All in all, Sleepy Hollow gets 3 stars for effort, but it should really focus on making certain things more believable, because so far they are expecting us to suspend disbelief to an almost absurd amount and it’s making it hard to watch.  This show needs to establish some inner logic rules and stick with them, because unless this is a world where superstition is so readily accepted that it would all make sense in context, it will just get boring after a while. I’ll be waiting for more Clancy Brown, John Cho and Orlando Jones in the next episodes, because they seem to add a spark of “sanity” to the show. Here’s the trailer, check it out, come back with your own opinions.

Cristina Bogdan
Cristina Bogdan
What's there to say about me? I love the sci-fi and fantasy genre when I read, but I am in no way limited to that alone. I do think Frank Herbert deserves a statue for his writing(if there is one, point me in that direction, please). I enjoy writing quite a lot, but I am also kinda lazy. If you want to make me happy give me books or Doctor Who collectibles. Or a real TARDIS, in which case I will love you forever.

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