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Sleepy Hollow is a new program from Fox described as a "mystery-adventure drama"

"In this modern-day twist on Washington Irving's classic, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse." Nicole Beharie is Abbie Mills, the African-American sheriff's lieutenant who decides that her own adolescent encounter with the myth will postpone her leaving Sleepy Hollow to enter the FBI Academy. There are structural similarities to the Tim Burton movie of 1999 particularly on the issue of police detective work and the "undead headless Hessian mercenary from the American Revolutionary War who rides at night on a massive black steed in search of his missing head."

More useful aside from the recycling of genres especially X-Files and Fringe, with a touch of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its many undead demon-zombie offspring for the tweener market, is that the juxtaposition of the headless horseman onto an end times narrative fits an ideological/religious need for rapturous myths and interdimensional thrills. Fortunately special effects and CGI have given us better means by which we can present programs that may eventually wind up as re-released series on the Syfy channel. Having run through the basic plot elements of Irving's tale in the first episode, it will take some interesting writing to get us beyond the Fringe-like elements possible in a narrative that features interdimensionality, blazing hot broadaxes, numerous decapitations and a professorial Crane who may be the next big heartthrob.

The more spectral elements of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" were likely based on German folktales concerning "The Wild Huntsman", a ghoulish phantom that would chase interlopers through the woods at maddening speeds. Often this apparition was headless and its victims lacking in virtue or morality.
Irving's depictions of regional culture and his themes of progress versus tradition, supernatural intervention in the commonplace, and the plight of the individual outsider in a homogeneous community permeate both stories and helped to develop a unique sense of American cultural and existential selfhood during the early nineteenth century.
One hope for this series from co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the “Star Trek” and “Transformers” franchises, “Fringe”)  is that these will get further articulation in subsequent episodes although the flashbacks to the Colonial setting of Westchester and the parallel plot of massive populations of witches hitherto unreported in historical accounts might get too formulaic now that we have far too many supernatural genre programs and movies. One hopes that with the ending of Breaking Bad, that crystal meth will become a plot element in subsequent episodes, since it needs a bit more of Joss Whedon's snappy patter.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (24+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 07:32:29 PM PDT

  •  As told by Schubert: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, CenPhx, caul

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 08:22:58 PM PDT

  •  my wife and I... (10+ / 0-)

    Watched Sleepy Hollow this evening (we recorded it on our dvr).   I thought it was a decent 1st episode.  I try to give new shows several episodes to get up and running before deciding whether or not bail.  This first episode definitely made me want to see more.

  •  My bar is usually pretty low (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grover, operculum, madmsf, caul, prfb, annieli, BachFan

    And there was a lot a liked about this pilot, but I am just not sure I can get past the ridiculousness of the 250 year old headless horseman of the apocalypse opening fire with an automatic weapon, spraying bullets eveywhere like Rambo. It was just absurd.

    And I loved the Sleepy Hollow movie, Fringe, Buffy, and Supernatural. I am right in their geek target audience.

    The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. --John F. Kennedy

    by CenPhx on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:32:40 PM PDT

    •  Yeah. I read Rolling Stone's review, so we decided (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, caul, CenPhx, annieli, BachFan, madmsf

      To tune in:

      'Sleepy Hollow' Is Batshit Crazy

      By SCOTT NEUMYER | Sep 16, 2013 AT 05:30PM

      Sleepy Hollow is quite possibly the most fun you'll have with a new television show this fall. The reason? It's unabashedly crazy.

      Sleepy Hollow is dumb, convoluted, and absolutely insane at times, but it's way more fun than many of today's self-serious action dramas. This is a show that knows what it is and embraces that with every fiber of its crazy, little being.

      Read more:

      Nailed it!

      We laughed at how stupid it was at times. But it was pretty fun to watch. We'll be be tuning in.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:10:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wasn't reminded of Rambo. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, CenPhx, annieli

      For me, I immediately thought of The Terminator.  

      Yep - it's kind of a silly premise for a show, but it could be a whole lot of escapist fun.

    •  But... (0+ / 0-)
      the 250 year old headless horseman of the apocalypse opening fire with an automatic weapon, spraying bullets eveywhere like Rambo.
      He's death.  I mean, if anyone can quickly adjust -- and we saw him catching on throughout the episode, evolving to killing better and better to the new weapons -- to how to kill efficiently quickly it would be Death.  Right?

      We all made this journey for a reason. -- President Barack Obama (February 10, 2007)

      by arabian on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:21:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I sincerely hope they stop the pseudo-18th (8+ / 0-)

    century English because where the main character misses vocabulary is jarring as are his references to various anachronisms.  I also think his learning curve was way too shallow for a man plucked out of the 18th Century and deposited in the 21st.  He just catches onto stuff way too fast (and the writers missed a bet by not giving him a steep learning curve, such as wanting to hitch horses to the horseless carriages for example)

    Finally I wish they would drop the whole two witch coven backstory unless they are prepared to actually do a little research into what Cotton Mather and Increase Mather, for example, really thought witches did and acted

    •  Yea, the one flaw for me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, annieli

      was how quick he became comfortable with being 250 years out of time.  He should have been completely discombobulated for pretty much the whole episode if this was being anywhere close to "realistic".  But, other than that, I was OK with the episode.

      •  I could see that as a running riff for at least (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, madmsf

        the first season if not beyond.  Imagine his possible discovery of what a toilet is or the discovery of a light switch.  The attempts at archaic language is also jarring to me

        •  I didn't mind the language (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, madmsf

          it might not be close to perfect, but it did make him stand out from the modern characters which is the point.

          He's a highly educated man, at least from his era, I guess they are using that as a pretext for not freaking out, or maybe he's just overwhelmed enough to not lose it. They did show him playing with the automated windows in fascination. Also they have a trailer where he shoots a gun and then drops it leading the LT to yell at him for dropping it and some dialogue about him being baffled it could shoot more than once.

          It's a pilot, we'll just have to see how it works when in as a full show starting next week.

  •  I'm picturing an undead guy and an endless pursuit (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    markthshark, caul, JVolvo, prfb

    It sounds a lot like "Dukes of Hazzard" meets "Walking Dead".  I believe I'll pass on this one.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 09:53:33 PM PDT

  •  Jury's out on this one (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dbug, markthshark, caul, annieli, BachFan

    Not sure what I think about it.  Not being a Christian type, the whole Book of Revelations thing doesn't do much for me.

    Something to be said, though, for a show that kills Clancy Brown and John Cho in the same hour of TV :-)  And we're just talking the pilot.

    Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

    by mbayrob on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:23:17 PM PDT

    •  I gotta say (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, JVolvo, annieli

      This Jewish agnostic gets a real kick out of the Book of Revelation.  Because it is truly, batshit, far-out insanity.  It's the invention of the horror genre.

      And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
      [7] The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
      [8] And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;
      [9] And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
      [10] And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;
      [11] And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.
      [12] And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.
      [13] And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
      All that, and the verse ends with "You ain't seen nothin' yet?"  Awesome.
  •  And here I thought Johnny Depp... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, caul, JVolvo, annieli

    effectively buried the whole "Ichabod Crane" concept once and for all, over a decade ago.

    Silly me

    'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

    by markthshark on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 10:39:28 PM PDT

  •  Bring back Firefly already. (7+ / 0-)

    Unless and until this demand is met, I will continue to pretend to not watch anything else.

  •  The comment about sleeping through the noise (8+ / 0-)

    Of the Civil War was pretty funny. The writers had some clever moments. They need to keep that stuff up. It's what makes it clear that the producers and writers aren't aiming solely at the 16-25 year old  male demographic.

    © grover

    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Tue Sep 17, 2013 at 11:16:32 PM PDT

  •  When I saw Clancy Brown (6+ / 0-)

    at the beginning, I was already primed to like it and was pissed that he was killed off (I almost wrote axed, but that would have been cheesy). He's one of my favorites.

    However, I stuck with it to the end and in spite of the silliness of the headless gun-toting evil, it was entertaining. The Starbucks exchange was good.

    I am not sure of one thing, though. Can the Horseman be killed?

  •  better than I expected (8+ / 0-)

    Despite some glaring plot holes if you step back, for some reason it just worked for me.  I liked that they didn't spend too much time on his acclimation to the present since it wouldn't really have helped you get a feel for what future episodes are going to be like.  I liked the 2 leads and they seem to have decent chemistry.

  •  I watched it. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, DEMonrat ankle biter, annieli

    I call it strange.

    I'll be watching next week, but I watched Heroes to the bitter end. I'm a glutton for punishment.

    Part of the appeal is that the show is one of the first of the new season to have a premier. The public is ready for new shows and most of the premiers are spread out through the end of October. Those that start later, regardless of how good they are, are going to fail.

    Stinkers that start early (Dads, I'm looking at you) will get a decent audience, at least for the premier.

  •  I never thought I would get tired of Ghost stories (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, JVolvo, annieli

    or folktales, but modern television has made me avoid them for the past few years.

    Loved Buffy, really miss Walter on Fringe, and the X Files were awesome.

    But some of the shit that passes for television now is awful. I hate it. So I just don't watch it at all.

    I have Hulu for nostalgic binges on decent series, and the rest of the time you will find me hiking or gardening outside where the sun is.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 06:15:28 AM PDT

  •  I luv my TV, I'm not about to kill it. >|^P (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter
  •  wanted to like it, BUT way too religious for me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    tried watching it & wanted to like it due to

    1- enjoy mystery, fantasy, horror Genres

    2- main female lead being African American in a prime time tv show spot which is rare and wanted to support

    BUT ended up not liking it due to it being way too religious

  •  Kurtzman and Orci (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    are the TV equivalents of Devlin and Emmerich - talentless hacks with no concept of or respect for story, plot, or character, and who just like to blow shit up.  And who are schmucks in their personal lives as well.  (Orci has been quoted as saying that G.W. Bush is a personal hero).

    I hope this show ends before mid-season.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:32:19 AM PDT

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