Review: Sleepy Hollow

25 Sep

Often with new television shows, the pilot episode alone never succeeds in hooking the average person. Instead, potential viewers watch the first few episodes, seeking a sample of the series before determining whether or not they will commit to the full season. As a result, I have decided to look at some of the new shows that will come out during the fall and make some predictions about their longterm success.

Today I’ll examine Fox’s new Monday night drama, Sleepy Hollow.

Tom Mison, Ichabod Crane, Nicole Beharie, Abbie Mills, Orlando Jones, Captain Frank Irving, Katia Winter, Katrina Crane, John Cho, Andy Dunn, Sleepy Hollow, Fox

Minorities! Minorities everywhere you look!

Plot (so far): 5.5/10

The show begins during the Revolutionary War in the town of Sleepy Hollow, New York, where Ichabod Crane beheads the infamous headless horseman before waking up in the modern day Sleepy Hollow. There, he meets an incredibly intelligent and admirable police officer, Abbie Mills, who seems to be one of the only people in the police station who believes that he might actually be from the past. She was on the verge of leaving the force for the FBI until people started losing their heads. Abbie ends up staying with the police force when a series of crazy and supernatural events begin to surface in Sleepy Hollow. As a result, Ichabod and Abbie work together in order to both help Ichabod understand the present day and stop the upcoming apocalypse from destroying the entire world.

That’s a lot for the first two episodes. Most supernatural shows try to ease the viewer into their world before dropping the apocalypse on them, but not Sleepy Hollow! “Go big or go home,” they must have said, and that’s exactly what they did.

It appears that the episodes will be set up in a Monster-of-the-Week format, a standard design for many supernatural shows. How will these monsters tie into the overarching impending doom that is the apocalypse? Who knows, considering the last episode had a witch trying to kill innocent people and no mention of the headless horsemen. The horseman that Ichabod beheaded back during the Revolutionary War is apparently the incarnation of the Death of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and our heroes must stop Death itself in order to save the day for the first season.

That’s a pretty tall order for this series to play out. How can a second season top the apocalypse? Destroying the universe perhaps?

Characters (so far): 7/10

The reason I started watching this show was for the characters. Call me biased, but when the promotional artwork had not only one but two women and more than one minority, I already knew that I had to watch.

And let me tell you, character-wise, I was not (completely) disappointed.

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is probably one of my favorite new characters on television. With his luscious, windswept locks, he’s clearly not the Ichabod from the classic storybook versions of Sleepy Hollow, but he acts as a great foil to the other characters because of his lack of knowledge about the present day. The show clearly exploits his interactions with what we consider everyday life (operating the shower, using a flashlight), and, though Ichabod’s surprise at 21st technology may grow old in a few episodes, I enjoy watching him stumble around.

Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is awesome. She is a fierce, no-nonsense character whose straight-laced personality juxtaposes Ichabod’s slightly off-kilter one incredibly well. Adding to her already great personality, her interactions with those around her make her such a strong character. That will end up being either this character’s downfall or strength, but I’m excited to see which one it will be.

Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) hasn’t appeared in the show as much as I would like him to, but when he does, I enjoy his performance. Captain Irving acts toward Abbie as Abbie does toward Ichabod, successfully countering her straight-forward ways with his even stricter attitude. He takes no-nonsense to the extreme, always shooting amusing looks at the main character in response to their talks of supernatural activity. If they continue to play up his skepticism and increase his prominence on the show, his character is going to be awesome.

Katrina Crane (Katia Winter) is… boring. She really is. Unlike every other character with even some minor development already, Katrina Crane remains a mystery to viewers. All we know so far is that she was apparently a witch and married to Ichabod. Also, she can conjure up dreams to talk to him in, which is fairly amazing considering she’s long dead. She supposedly has plot importance, but her lack of personality makes me incredibly sad.

Andy Dunn (John Cho) portrays a side of this actor that I’ve never seen before. His character relies more on black humor instead of in-your-face funny, and his snide, snarky banter makes his personality even better. I enjoy his suffering as a minion to the villains and am interested to see how that develops.

Show Overall (so far)?: 6.5/10

I’m rooting for this series because I love supernatural shows and I really like most of the characters. However, I’m a little worried about the fact that they pulled out one of the biggest supernatural issues, having to face the apocalypse, in the pilot. Where can a show go from there? If the show doesn’t try to destroy the world in the first five episodes, it will have an interesting footing of using the past and the present to fight mythical monsters. If nothing else, the chemistry between Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills is the best part of the show. Their amusing relationship drew many people to the show and, if it stays strong, will convince them to keep watching.

[Article originally published on buquad.com, http://buquad.com/2013/09/26/review-sleepy-hollow/]

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