You Should Be Watching Sleepy Hollow

You should be watching Sleepy Hollow. Yes, you. Seriously, it is my favorite new show of the year, and is on track to be my favorite show of all time ever.

Basic pitch:

You know the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman? Well, in this incarnation of that story, Ichabod was a British spy for George Washington during the American Revolution, and the titular villain is now a Hessian servant of a demon called Moloch. Oh, and also he’s the first Horseman of the Apocalypse.

So Crane decapitates this fella but is mortally wounded in the process. Luckily, he happens to be married to a witch, who puts him into magical suspended animation for 250 years. He awakes in present-day Sleepy Hollow… and so does the Headless Horseman, who goes on a bit of a decapitation spree.

Meanwhile, Lt. Abbie Mills and her mentor at Sleepy Hollow PD get a call that people are turning up without their heads. The mentor tragically becomes another victim. Abbie witnesses the Horseman as he rides away, and we discover that she had another supernatural encounter years ago as a child… so when an odd British stranger turns up claiming to be a contemporary of Paul Revere, Abbie is the only cop willing to listen.

Thus begins a beautiful partnership! Abbie and Ichabod discover that they are the Two Witnesses prophesied to fight against Moloch’s army for seven years, so… that’s what they do! And hopefully what they will continue to do for six more seasons. Other faces include Abbie’s estranged sister Jenny, her new boss Captain Irving and his family, her creepy coworker Andy, Ichabod’s witchy wife Katrina, and a “Sin Eater” Henry. The show basically settles into monster/mystery of the week, with fun side plots involving Ichabod’s struggles with modern life, and bigger overarching adventures. It is perfect and great.

Not convinced? Want an exhaustive list of things I love about it? Seen the show and want to geek out about it with me? OH BOY ARE YOU IN LUCK TODAY!!

***Careful, here there be (fairly minor) spoilers – Click to continue***

Stuff I Like About Sleepy Hollow:

  • Ichabod is so tall! And Abbie is so small! Squee!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • They haven’t done the usual budding-romance TV subplot so far, in favor of developing different types of relationships, which I LOVE. New friendships, old friendships, mentors, partners, estranged sisters, unhealthy obsessive crush, estranged spouses, parents and children… All of these dynamics have been explored to different degrees, and they’ve all been really strong, IMO. (Except Ichabod & Katrina’s marriage, which I will gripe about shortly.)

  • Note to the TV Industry: It’s not an actual rule that every show has to cast four white guys, a black guy, and give a couple of them girlfriends. Including a diverse mix of characters makes your show more realistic and relatable. And it is very easy.
  • Sleepy Hollow is not afraid to be totally silly. The writers have grabbed every supernatural, mythical, cop show, time travel, and horror trope that they could think of and they have run with every one of them. Sprinted, really. No idea is too goofy.

    • The Headless Horseman is a fun story, but what if he were one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Yes that makes sense let’s do that.

    • What if the founding fathers were battling supernatural forces to prevent the end of the world during every significant historical event of the American Revolution? That was obviously the case and also the way they fight evil is with freemasonry.

    • Zombie George Washington? WE WILL EXPLICITLY REFER TO HIM AS SUCH.

This did not come from a PR team that's afraid of silly.

  • Andy is an amazing character. He clearly had an unrequited crush on Abbie for a while, but now it has turned into an obsession. The show correctly presents this as not okay, rather than romantic, which is refreshing on its own; but also – despite the fact that he is a literal servant of the devil – Andy is a super sympathetic character. I’m not rooting for him exactly, but I definitely feel bad for the guy. Part of this is writing, but I think most of the credit should go to John Cho’s stellar portrayal. I hope we haven’t seen the last of Andy Brooks; luckily, I think it’s a safe bet that his new form is extremely hard to kill.

RIP Andy.

  • Nicole Beharie is amazing. In less capable hands Abbie Mills could have easily been another Tough Lady Cop With a Tragic Past, but she seems like a real, nuanced, interesting person with an inner life. Also her facial expressions are hilarious and perfect. Demons are such a drag.

"Slow your roll, Literal Horseman of the Apocalypse. This is gonna need to wait until I've had my coffee."

  • Tom Mison also has some quality facial expressions. Staring at people/demons/artifacts with great intensity is his Blue Steel.

ICHY: "What new devilry is this??!?" ABBIE: "Ho hum, probably a devil spider. Let's get this over with."

  • The three characters who have found out about the crazy supernatural war over the course of the series are Abbie, Ichabod and Captain Irving. (Everyone else that I can think of was already in on it) And all three of them reacted with different levels of shock, and resisted the truth for different amounts of time, but eventually came around to the point where they’re just like, Oh, golems are a real thing? Makes sense. Grab the Sin Eater, we’ve got to go find four immortal witches at a carnival. Nobody has to be convinced over and over again. No Scully on this show.

  • John Noble is my favorite forever. I hope he goes Full Denethor.

  • QUALITY monster designs. The Sandman was terrifying:

SWEET DREAMS.

Stuff I Don’t Like About Sleepy Hollow:

  • KATRINA. I just cannot get on board the Katrina train. The show keeps trying to force me to care about Katrina by telling me that I should and that doesn’t work ever. She is supposed to be an interesting character with an actual relationship with Ichabod, but all I’ve seen is a damsel in distress looking worried/constipated and talking in this weird quasi-urgent monotone 100% of the time. She & Ichabod keep insisting that they’re passionately in love with each other, but they act like strangers. Ichabod has way more chemistry with Abbie… or Jenny… or Captain Irving… or Yolanda the On-Star Representative. In fact, Tom Mison is so very good at having chemistry with his costars that I thought this weird dynamic with Katrina was intentional. I was completely convinced that she was going to turn out to be one of the evil witches. She still absolutely could, but they used up so many twists on the season finale that I don’t think they’re holding that one back. I think I’m actually supposed to be upset that she’s in the evil clutches of the Headless Horseman. I am so, so, sooooo indifferent about that.

Not buyin' it.

  • Seriously, this princess finally got rescued from her castle and got captured again IMMEDIATELY. She is supposed to be a POWERFUL WITCH and the only thing we’ve seen her do is make a stick into a compass. Hopefully now that she’s kickin’ around in the corporeal world she will change my mind. Or turn out to be evil.

  • They finally addressed the fact that Ichy has been running around in 250-year-old rags for this whole time, but they didn’t give me a shopping montage!??!!

I think the pro/con balance here is pretty clear. I SERIOUSLY LOVE THIS SHOW AND YOU SHOULD WATCH IT BECAUSE YOU WOULD PROBABLY ALSO LOVE IT.

The pictures in this post are SH promotional stills that I got from fanpop

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