Monday, November 24, 2014

Currently Watching: Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow

When Sleepy Hollow premiered on Fox last fall, it was viewed as an oddity with an uncertain future. After all, it is a show about Ichabod Crane-no longer a meek small town teacher, but Revolutionary War hero- awakening after a 250 year slumber to renew his battle against the Headless Horseman, who it turns out, is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. If that sentence does not make you want to immediately re-set your DVR, don't feel bad, many critics had this quirky program pegged for failure as soon as the press releases were sent out in anticipation of the Fall 2013 TV Season.

But something happened when the pilot episode premiered, viewers and critics realized something very quickly' the show was actually pretty good. The relationship between the show's lead characters; the aforementioned Ichabod (Tom Mison) and the tough as nails, but whip smart cop Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie). From the very start, the two characters have enjoyed a relationship that is filled with witty tete a tetes. Abbie often serves as the foil for Crane's grumblings over modern life, which gives the series the opportunity to make some pointed observations about the life in present day America.

These little scenes juxtaposing the Revolutionary War ideals of our founding fathers with the realities of American life work as anachronistic jokes that play into the ideals of both sides of the political coin (a genius display of comedic flexibility on the part of the writers as well as intriguing peeks into the psychology of the current partisan divides of American politics that we don't have room here to discuss).

However, one of the met interesting facets of Sleepy Hollow, especially for a genre show of this ilk, is the diversity of cast that make up the show's lead characters. It is may be a bit of wish fulfillment that Ichabod Crane would wake up in modern day America and be perfectly okay with racial and sexual equality (one of the funnier moments form the show is when Abbie and Ichabod walk by a coffee shop in which a gay couple are in the window holding hands. Crane makes a disgusted remark and Abbie informs him that homosexuality is accepted here to which Crane responds that he is perfectly okay with that, but he can not abide that one of the men was wearing a hat indoors).

On top of all this, the show is filled with truly spooky scenes, embracing every horror cliche available and making them its own. There are demons, ghosts, and goblins aplenty and the show works as a perfect replacement for those who still long for the cheeky antics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But, if all of this is not enough to convince you that Sleepy Hollow is the best show ever, well, then here is a photo from the premiere episode of the Headless Horseman riding a horse, brandishing a machine gun.

We are truly living in a new Golden Age of Television.

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