Soooo, I’ve jumped on a new show this year, readers. Two actually, but let’s not ruin focus. If you haven’t seen Sleepy Hollow and want something even a little darker than Supernatural, yet somehow lighter and a little more . . . posh?, I recommend checking it out. It premiered a couple of weeks ago, but I refrained from passing ultimate judgement for a couple of episodes, because sometimes, all a show has is a firecracker pilot and then the rest of the show is lacking.
Anyway, I didn’t actually have any preconceptions about this show, which is a shock, since I have opinions on everything. Part of it is probably because I pretty much heard about the show by accident due to being freakishly obsessed with listening to Pandora most of my waking hours and it was advertised on there. I remember seeing one add a really long time ago and being like “Huh, that looks interesting. And certainly better than that piece of crap Johnny Depp movie made god knows how long ago”. I’m going to get abused for that comment, I’m sure. I think I heard that people liked that movie . . .
Alright, first some background, because I can’t just go into praising something cold turkey (which I’m pretty sure is not the right expression, but I don’t really care). If I do, half the stuff I say won’t actually make sense, since most of the time, I have no logical reason for liking something, it just stems from some life-long love that I’ve never really understood.
My first experience with the story of Sleepy Hollow was the Disney version. After all, I did grow up in the 90’s, where everything that moved was Disney and only a few 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks movies managed to hold a candle, some so much that they are continually mistaken for Disney today.
(I’m looking at you, Anastasia. NOT A DISNEY MOVIE, PEOPLE!! EDUCATE YOURSELVES!! Jesus!)
God, where was I? Ohhh, yes. Disney. You all remember this scary motherfucker.
This guy gave me the creepies something fierce when I was a kid. I saw the Legend of Sleep Hollow once or twice, and though I don’t remember having nightmares, it definitely always stuck with me, and I do have a vague memory of watching that scene in terror, especially when he laughed. *shudder*. Despite being an easily scared kid, the Headless Horseman somehow found his way into my favorite characters list (which I will admit is long and full of people who probably shouldn’t be the favorite on anyone’s list). There was something about that spook that spoke to me (ha). So I did watch the Sleep Hollow movie from 1999, albeit a good many years later, and I was . . . eh, to say “unimpressed” would mean that I liked it more than I did, which is to say, none at all. It wasn’t that it was necessarily a bad movie, per se, but there were three big things wrong with it: Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, and Christopher Walken, the biggest being Walken playing the Headless Horseman.
Who the hell picked that choice?!
And, yes, to get this over with, I dislike Tim Burton movies, with the exception of Beetlejuice. You may commence your “booing.”
Alright. All that brings us to Sleep Hollow, the newest addition to the “horror mystery” genre, airing on Fox every Monday at 8 pm Central Time. Wow, never thought I’d actually get to talking about what this post was supposed to be about, did you? As I said before, I went in with very little preconceived notions, and I think that might have been a good way to be. Not that I’m saying having any expectations would have detracted from the entertainment value, I’m actually saying that it increased the novelty of it all. I had no idea who the central characters were and I was able to just let them tell me who they were and explain the things I wasn’t getting.
ALERT: AT THIS POINT, I WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THE PILOT EPISODE AND GIVING SOME SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SHOW, DON’T SAY I DIDN’T WARN YOU!!
The show begins during the Revolutionary War, throwing us straight into the action with a lot of “What the hell is going on?!” moments. Ichabod Crane is an officer in General Washington’s army, which I didn’t actually know until he expositions a bit later on it the plot. Within the first two minutes, Crane engages in a fire fight with a creepy masked man riding a horse and wielding a battleaxe (that alone an oddity in the 18th century), ending with Crane becoming mortally wounded, but managing to behead the man in the process.
Flash forward two hundred(ish) years to Sleepy Hollow in modern days, where Crane wakes up in a cave and suddenly finds himself in a world he doesn’t understand anymore. He stumbles onto a highway and begins making his way to the town proper, and from there, we are shifted to the other main character: a policewoman named Abbie Mills.
She is one of the best female leads I’ve seen in years, to be honest. Firstly, I think her character is well written. She has a backstory that makes her tough, but not to the point of being so callous or damaged that she’s unlikable, which I find many female leads these days have. In an attempt to combat Twilight and 50 Shades of Grey (don’t get me started), writers are trying to write “tough” female leads, but only succeed in writing very unlikable characters. Abby, on the other hand, is very likable. She’s tough, but she reacts like a normal person would when she encounters the Headless Horseman for the first time. She freaks, but, being a cop, she also keeps a relatively level head when her partner is beheaded, calling for backup and all that stuff.
Ichabod, when he’s finally taken into custody for wandering aimlessly, keeps in character. He doesn’t just suddenly know everything about the time he’s in, and his coping with the 21st century is a continuous thing, not just something the writers ignore as the show progresses. There have been three episodes so far, and he’s had moments in all of them. Not only is it funny, but it’s also played as part of the natural course of events, instead of being jarring. I like the effect. Also, let me take this moment to say Ichabod is a sexy beast. The actor is very tall and lanky, which is just my type. Mmmmm . . .
Speaking of hot, there are a lot of hot dudes in this show. The captain of the police force, who may or may not be hiding more or less sinister ambitions, is pretty hot, but that’s for a later discussion.
As is the Horseman. Ha, bet you didn’t think I’d finally get around to talking about him did you?! Yeah, I ramble. But I wouldn’t be me without a million anecdotes and tangents. But yeah, as I mentioned on my tumblr the other day, for a dude with no head, the Horseman is pretty hot. I mean, just take a moment from the fact that he has no head and look at that body.
(sorry for the awkward perspective)
Mmm-hm. You know like it. I know I like it.
What’s really cool about this Horseman is that he uses a “super heated” (lightsaber) battleaxe but he also can use a gun and seems quite comfortable with it. This comes about from the fact that he, unlike Crane, is actually a supernatural creature, which apparently means he doesn’t have the problems Crane does with modern technology (exemplified hilariously at one point when Crane throws a modern gun away after using one bullet and being surprised when Abbie tells him there are more)
Anyway, this brings me to a big plot point: the Headless Horseman is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Yeah . . . that was a twist I did not see coming (of course, I never see twists. If I do, it’s a very weak twist). Actually, after the initial “what?” phase, I’m getting to like the idea. Add that to the witch covens that hold everything together and it actually becomes oddly believable. I think you really have to watch the show to understand all the complexities of the plot. Also, I’m lazy and don’t feel like explaining it, but I can try to sum it up.
Basically, there are two covens of witches, the dark and the light. Very cliche. Ichabod’s wife belongs to the light coven, and the dark coven, whose members we have not yet met any of (other than one who showed up for an episode to be blown up at the end), has woken the Headless Horseman, who was originally posing as a Hessian warrior in the Revolutionary War. Crane “killed” the Horseman while being mortally wounded by him (as I think I mentioned earlier), which “bound their lives by blood”. In order to keep the Headless Horseman from rising and bringing about the Apocalypse with his brothers, Crane’s wife and her coven put a spell on them both, making it so that if the Horseman should ever be awakened, Crane would rise up as well and combat him and the forces of evil.
Abbie is thrown into the mix, apparently destined to be the “Second Witness” something something REVELATIONS something something. I kind of glaze over when they start talking about that. Basically, she and Crane must team up as various supernatural creatures crawl out of the woodworks and begin to terrorize the town. They’ve set up for a 7 season show, I think, mentioning a war of 7 years before the big showoff between the Horsemen and the Witnesses. I don’t know if they’ll manage that, or if they’ll stretch it even farther, but for now, I’m stoked for more.
In conclusion, after the first episode, I was like
My roommates, on the other hand, don’t seem to share my enthusiasm. To be accurate, my roommate Jess’s reaction was
And she is now banished from the living room on Monday nights.
But that aside, I like the show, and I recommend checking it out. If you’ve missed the first two, they’re up on Fox’s website.