Right now you're probably sighing and shaking your fist at the heavens and crying, "Why, God, why?! Why did we need *another* adaptation of Washington Irving's classic short story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"? Because when you complain to God, you always make sure to note the author of the work you're whining about. But the question today isn't whether or not we needed Fox's take on the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, but whether or not you should watch it. Read on to find out.
Seriously, why do we need another "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" adaptaion? Does this one do anything special with the story?
Sleepy Hollow mashes up the supernatural, cop, and the period drama genres, with a magic Bible and a George Washington cameo. It's sounds ridiculous, but—and If you haven't already read Tim's pilot preview, this might surprise you—it's not so bad. Oh sure, it's pretty insane when you think about it, but the good kind of insane. Seriously, just go with it.
In the premiere, Ichabod Crane has been transported to the future, where he meets Detective Abbie Mills of the Sleepy Hollow PD. Abbie's had a few supernatural experiences in her past, so she takes more kindly to Crane's "I'm from the past" story than her boss does. And of course, there's that pesky Headless Horseman, who's also been transported through time because he and Ichabod are linked. But, because this is TV, he's not just any old horseman without a head; as it turns out, he's one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and well, you know how those guys are. Like I said, it sounds completely insane, but it's fun.
Who raised the Horseman this time? And who's taking him down?
Name-wise, you may not be familiar with executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, but you definitely know their work: The pair has produced and/or co-created several well-known series, including Alias, Fringe, and Hawaii Five-0. And they've had their hands in a couple of small movies called Transformers and Star Trek as well. In other words, these guys know what's up (and are apparently BFFs with J.J. Abrams), and they have plenty of experience exploring the world of the weird.
Now, as for the pretty faces staring at you from the photos above? Tom Mison (Parade's End) is your Ichabod Crane, and Nicole Beharie (most recently seen in the Jackie Robinson film 42) co-stars as Detective Mills. Rounding out the cast are Orlando Jones as Abbie's boss, Captain Frank Irving, and Katia Winter (Dexter) as Ichabod's wife Katrina.
When do heads start to roll?
The series premieres Monday September 16 at 9pm on Fox.
Who's the target audience for Sleepy Hollow? Will I like it?
The easiest way to gauge whether or not this new take on Sleepy Hollow is for you is to ask yourself what you want out of it. If you go in expecting a great drama, it's going to be a major letdown. But if you want an exciting show that doesn't take itself too seriously, put a check in the "yes" column. If you want a show that has an interesting mythology, put another check in the "yes" column. If you want a show that features the hilarious image of the Horseman wielding a shotgun, definitely check "yes."
What's good about Sleepy Hollow?
The time-travel bit, as weird as it may be, actually works here. And although the pilot features obvious jokes about why there are so many Starbucks in present day, and some unfortunate ones about slavery, it does offer a new spin on Ichabod Crane. There will be flashbacks to Crane's time as a member of George Washington's army, and the "secret history" of the United States factors quite heavily, but the glimpses of that time period that appear in the pilot are very well done.
And what's maybe not-so-good?
If you think too hard about the plot and the many elements that must come together to form that plot, Sleepy Hollow probably ceases to function. The mythology might eventually become a little convoluted, but it's laid out fairly well in the pilot; we won't know how sustainable it'll be until further down the line.
So, should I watch it?
Most definitely, I say! While Sleey Holly might never be edge-of-your-seat drama, it has the potential to be really fun. And after the emotional toll that series like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and Homeland have taken on our minds and bodies, it's pretty appealing to think about just letting a TV show be entertaining and not anxiety-inducing. This series is compelling in that it does what you want it to: It provides an outlet for escape from the real world for an hour. So sit back and enjoy the ridiculous ride.
I'm still not convinced you're not crazy. Can I see a preview?
I might be still be crazy, but here you go!
What should I drink while watching Sleepy Hollow?
Kool-Aid. Just drink the Kool-Aid.
Sleepy Hollow premieres Monday September 16 at 9pm on Fox.
AIRED ON 1/20/2014
Season 1 : Episode 13