Greetings my fellow 19th-century-literature-adaptation fans. Fall pilot season is FINALLY here! And I must say, Sleepy Hollow is a great way to kick it off.
Let’s bitch it out…
So far I am 100% onboard with this zany adaptation. In the interest of full disclosure, my original reason for wanting to review this show was because I thought it would be “so bad it’s good” and would make for a few interesting write-ups before its inevitable cancellation. While there are hints that it may still fall into the bad/good category (ex: George Washington was trying to stop the apocalypse!), Sleepy Hollow proves to be one of the most genuinely enjoyable series premieres I’ve seen.
Sleepy Hollow starts off in 1781 during the Revolutionary War, where we meet Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as he decapitates the infamous Horseman, but not before he receives his own mortal wound. Next thing Crane knows he’s climbing out of the dirt in a creepy cave (Side Note: This will be the first of two vampire-related scenes in this pilot, as we also later learn that the Horseman can’t be out in sunlight. But I digress…)
When Ichabod wakes, it is – of course – present day Sleepy Hollow, NY. Alas, he discovers that he did not come back from the grave alone. He eventually crosses paths with Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) whose partner, Sheriff August Corbin, has just been decapitated by the Headless Horseman (RIP Clancy Brown). Naturally the two unite to figure out what’s going on.
Put your seat belts on because we’re about to blow through some serious plot development: the Headless Horseman is one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Two covens of witches, one light and one dark (as covens naturally are), have been intervening for centuries. Ichabod’s wife, Katrina (Katia Winter) was a light witch (in, if I may say, very revealing clothing for 1781) and trapped the Horseman until a demon unleashed him just in time for the 2013 fall pilot season. If he gets his head back, we’re all gonna be pissed we saved for retirement instead of blowing it in Vegas. Phew, I think that’s it.
All in all, I am pleasantly surprised with how much back-story there is in this first episode. It gets viewers (at least this one) invested enough right off the bat to tune-in next week. Kudos to FOX for premiering the show this so early, too, because now we’re all hooked before all the competition comes back.
- As long as you didn’t decide to watch this show because you enjoy the strong character acting of Clancy Brown or John Cho, you’re doing alright. Both of them, unfortunately, do not survive the pilot
- When the Sheriff gets decapitated, Abbie yells frantically “Officer Down” to dispatch. Not exactly sure why, though. I mean…he has no head. At this point is there really a sense of urgency?
- HUGE bonus for perfect musical selection during the closing scene. After the creepy Pan’s Labyrinth-like demon murders Harold, Johnny Cash starts singing ‘The Man Comes Around’. Chills
- I love it when Ichabod tells Abbie that they are the two witnesses from the book of Revelations in the Bible, brought together for seven years to fight evil. Is that a heads up on how long Sleepy Hollow would like to be on the air?
- Am I the only one who got a Richard Chamberlain in Thorn Birds vibe from the priest/witch? Oh I am? Nevermind…
- Ichabod (to Abbie): “If you’re insinuating that I endorsed slavery, I’m offended.” Abbie (in response): “Wait, back up. You’re offended?”
What did you think of the pilot? Will you be returning to Sleepy Hollow next week? Are you sad to bid goodbye to Clancy Brown and John Cho so quickly? Did the lingering look between Ichabod and Abbie suggest a romantic union in the future? Sound off below!
Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 9pm EST on FOX