Sleepy Hollow is Fun Ride Through the Supernatural

Sleepy HollowI can’t think of a more dismissible idea for a TV show than Sleepy Hollow. Traditionally it’s a pretty self-contained story so I was surprised to see it turned into a show at all (and its not like it needed another movie). In fact, I did dismiss the show at first. After a few sweet nothings about it from trustworthy friends and some internet buzz though, I decided to check out what turned out to be the most entertaining pilot episode of the season.

Wake up, Ichabod

Sleepy Hollow’s premise will make or break the show for most people. It was created by the producers of Hawaii Five-O, Fringe, Alias, and Underworld. The story follows Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) who wakes up in modern day Sleepy Hollow after falling in battle against the horseman during the American Revolutionary War. He is discovered by Lt Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) of the local police department just as weird supernatural stuff starts to happen around town. This odd couple discovers that the horseman is back and that he is only the beginning of the evil about to descend on Sleepy Hollow.

The premise is goofy, but I really enjoy it. The humor can be a bit formulaic but the jokes are handled well. It’s good campy fun and I find myself chuckling at the little moments where Ichabod has to adjust to modern day technology and language. Ichabod is also a former soldier and extremely intelligent rather being some village idiot who cannot handle himself (which was my expectation from the original story). He’s got a bit of a Sherlock Holmes quality to him that makes his investigation and survival skills believable. He’s driven by his desire to find out what happened to his wife who is still connected to him in his dreams.


Sleepy Hollow

She believes him, but he still talks funny.

The glue to this show is Lt. Abbie Mills and the breakthrough performance of Nicole Beharie. I love Abbie, she’s just the right balance of being grounded in modern day reality while having some inner demons and past experiences that allow her to not think that Icabod is totally crazy. The characters have great chemistry and I enjoy their crime solving as much as their witty banter. She, of course, is the only one in town who believes Ichabod is who he says he is. These two mainly work alone, although, the police captain played by Orlando Jones (7-up Guy) also knows that weird things are happening around town and he’d like them to keep that away from the public as much as possible.

The (Fo)X factor

Pulling off a pilot for Sleepy Hollow is one thing, but this is a network show and its on Fox. Part of the reason I didn’t want to watch originally is because Fox tends to give up on shows that don’t explode with an audience and something like Sleepy Hollow sounds like a niche show out of the gate. I didn’t want to get burned like Firefly again if I ended up really enjoying the show.

Well, even before I could write this up, Fox has already signed on for a second 13 episode season of Sleepy Hollow since it ended up being its “strongest fall drama premiere since 24“. So I’m definitely going to invest my time now that I know I’m going to get at least 26 episodes out of it. Is it weird that I’m actually excited that this show only has 13 episode seasons (as opposed to network TV’s norma of 20-26 episodes)? After trudging through the last few seasons of Supernatural and rewatching seasons of X-Files, even my favorite monster-of-the-week type of shows could definitely benefit from trimming the fat a bit. This is a great move for this type of show and I hope Fox and other networks continue these shorter seasons with more diverse shows instead of going all in with a few generic ones.

Good head on/off its shoulders

As I mentioned, after 3 episodes it is safe to call Sleepy Hollow a monster-of-the-week show. There are definitely some broader storylines to follow along with between Abbie, Ichabod, and the town itself, but most episodes look to feature some sort of demonic entity or the like trying to pave the way for a more evil entity to break into our world with our heroes trying to stop it. It definitely appealed to that X-Files/Supernatural/Fringe fan in me and I recommend the show to my like minded friends who enjoy a few demons and hard-to-explain activities in their TV diet. This would also be a great bridge show for the crime drama friends who may have gotten into the humor of something like Castle. The show does play out a bit more like a crime drama at times and the character interactions do not get too dark or take itself too seriously. This is a network show, too, so while it would have been interesting to see cable’s take on the same idea, it’s pretty tame. The special effects are handled well enough just don’t expect the horror or gore to be in your face.

Headless Horseman

Technically there’s still a chance that Christopher Walken is the headless horseman.

So far Sleepy Hollow is 3 for 3 on episodes with me and it seems like the foundation of the show is finally complete. It was hard to predict how things would go after the pilot as I wasn’t sure how serialized the story was going to get. But I feel like you can come in and out of this show as you need to without missing too much. There have been a few other fantasy/supernatural type of shows on network TV in the last few years (Grimm, Once Upon a Time) that have left me pretty bored an uninterested, Sleepy Hollow is just weird enough to keep me interested while it plays it safe enough to pull in a wider audience. It isn’t as emotionally heavy as the big shows on cable, but I have enough of those to watch. Come for the monsters, stay for Ichabod, Abbie, and to see how long they can keep Sleepy Hollow and the rest of the world safe from the apocalypse.

Sleepy Hollow airs at 9/8c on Mondays on FOX.

One Response to “Sleepy Hollow is Fun Ride Through the Supernatural”
  1. GiffTor says:

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