Now that I’ve finished Ripper Street and am waiting for the next season (along with the next installations of Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Game of Thrones…), I thought I’d give a few new television series a try. Okay, okay, so I still have other shows I should be finishing and continuing, but I will get to them eventually! (Plus, Hulu seems to have impeccable timing of getting rid of Nikita and Castle episodes when I finally have the time to watch them.) Oh, and don’t get me started on Battlestar Galactica, I seem to have problems trying to finish this, considering I hate almost half the cast.
That being said, I knew of Fox’s Sleepy Hollow from the trailers that kept playing on TV, and I thought: “Oh, hmm, interesting cast, kind of like Grimm in that it’s dark fantasy. Why not give it a try?” I knew a few friends of mine had actually started watching the show as well, and from the looks of things, they actually liked it. So, off I went to the opening episode, not really knowing much of the story other than that it’s loosely based on Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. And when I mean “loosely based,” I mean that the show shares three character names, only one of which (the Horseman) carries a “similar” trait as his short story counterpart. But if you’re expecting a similar plot to the Irving original and legend, or something close to Tim Burton’s 1999 film of the same name, well, suffice to say you’re going to be disappointed.
The beautiful town of Sleepy Hollow is a quiet place, hardly an area where big-time, unsolvable crimes are happening on a regular basis. At least, it’s too uneventful for Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), who’s on her last week before she heads to Quantico for further training. But clearly, timing is a troll, because a week before she leaves, her partner is beheaded by a horseman with no head. At the same time period, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) revives from a 230-year sleep and is the prime suspect of the headless murders. Abbie, however, believes there is something more to the string of murders, and with Ichabod’s help, the two uncover dark secrets about the town and the people who used to live there.
From the two episodes I’ve seen so far, the show seems to be making use of the supernatural and occult mythos that had been heavy topics around the 16th and 17th centuries. Witchcraft and the Book of Revelations play heavily on the episode themes, from the talk of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to the witch hunts taking place in colonial America. I’m not sure what to think about this yet, though compared to my first impression of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I thought Sleepy Hollow had a stronger opening. But that might be because I was way too amused by the modernized take on the Headless Horseman, and unlike Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I had no gripe against any particular character on the show. Not yet anyway.
That said, I liked Mison’s take on Ichabod, and I think casting Beharie as Abbie Mills is a fabulous choice. I did get a kick out of the conversation in the episodes, from Abbie’s indignation about being called “emancipated” to Ichabod’s exclamation over the taxation of doughnuts. And then, of course, there’s the dark, fabulous scenery of Sleepy Hollow itself. While I’m not too ecstatic about where the story is going so far (Katrina Crane’s appearance was overly dramatic, I think), I haven’t crossed this off my to-watch list. I am interested in Abbie’s past, and what she has to link her to Sleepy Hollow itself. And while I’m not really looking forward to Katrina’s story, Ichabod is enough eye candy for me to forgive his over-the-top past.