Who else is loving the classic tales trend that the networks are currently following? ABC’s Once Upon a Time, CBS with Grimm, and now Fox takes a crack at it with Sleepy Hollow. When I first heard about this show, I will admit to being very skeptical. One, because of the obvious question of how to stretch one tale into more than one season. Two, because it’s Fox and I have a hard time ever trusting them. Well, let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised which means they will probably cancel it soon.
Sorry, I know the Fox cracks are probably overdone, but I just can’t help myself!
Back to Sleepy Hollow. I didn’t bother too much into reading the speculations and stories about the show before it’s premiere. One announcement and clip was enough for me to decide I would be interested in checking this out, so suffice it to say I really had no clue what to expect.
SPOILERS WARNING! I will be going over the story line, though I won’t go heavy into detail. If you want an exact play by play, I am sure you will find plenty out there.
Sleepy Hollow begins by introducing Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and the horseman (not headless yet) involved in battle during the Revolutionary War. We quickly learn just how said horseman becomes headless, and a couple of seemingly mortal wounds and a blackout later we find Ichabod waking up very much confused 250 years in the future.
I rather like this Ichabod. He isn’t your Johnny Depp quirky version (please don’t hate, I liked that movie also). He is just much more the brave hero: witty, charming, and dignified. Through a tragic series of events, he meets the woman who I assume will be the continuing other half of this duo, a young female police officer by the name of lieutenant Abbie Mills ( Nicole Beharie) with a dark history of her own. The show creatively introduces Ichabod, a man out of time, with all the right amount of skepticism and humor that you would expect if you ever met an individual who claimed to be buddies with George Washington. Of course everyone thinks he is crazy. He responds in kind with a bit of clever dry humor and plenty of questions of his own, such as, “When did it become acceptable for women to wear trousers?”.
After quite a few heads are chopped off, we are quickly thrown into a web of mysticism, witchcraft, and biblical prophesy which reveals that the headless horseman is none other than one of the four horseman of the Apocalypse and is, in fact, Death himself (dum dum duuuuum). When reunited with his head he will be able to wake up his three friends. I can see that creating some story lines for a while. Fighting off the apocalypse, it happens. In fact a reference is made from the bible in which our heroes, Crane and Mills, speculate that they are in for seven years of this. I’m not sure how that will play out but its good to stay positive.
The show delivers some well executed creeptastic scenes and makes a good introduction to the characters while quickly tying their story lines together in a neat little bow. I would say that normally it would be better to leave some mystery as to how all the main characters fit together for the first season, but I can kind of understand the reasoning behind it. The headless horseman is the right amount of eerie and also much better at adjusting to the the times than Ichabod. He even upgrades his weaponry at one point which I found really amusing, and let’s not ignore that this pilot had plenty of chopped off heads to go around, which is always interesting! I think the character of Abbie Mills fell a little flat in this episode, but I always leave a little room for the actors to find their voice. Let’s not forget Data in “Encounter at Farpoint”, people.
All in all I will give this pilot a 7 out of 10. The premise is good, although it seems a little closed at this point, as in I am not sure how they will be able to fill in a few seasons with this, but I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. For the little ones, I am sure this is obvious, but I wouldn’t recommend them sitting around for this one. Its not exactly gory but it’s obvious heads are being chopped off, and there are some creepy scenes that might have them peeking out from under the covers. As for myself, I will be tuning in for a bit to see what happens, and I wish them plenty of luck!
Please let us know what you thought!
Fox, Monday nights at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.
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