Sleepy Hollow Series Premiere Review
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a classic American tale that’s been retold through various mediums, most famously in recent years by director Tim Burton, and starring Johnny Depp as the socially awkward Ichabod Crane. Creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orici (Star Trek: Into Darkness) are not following Burton’s vision, but instead are giving viewers something truly original and exciting to enjoy this fall on FOX.
Ichabod Crane is played by Tom Mison (Salmon fishing in The Yemen), a solider in the Revolutionary War in 1781. The battle sequence is filmed with quality, and Len Wiseman, who has been behind the Underworld franchise since its conception, gives the episode that same stylistic approach. The opening sequence is jarring, as Ichabod and the horseman confront each other immediately, only to have Crane awake in the 21st Century having no idea how he got there.
After the initial necessity of showing the traveler being confused by modern things. We are introduced to Lieutenant Abbie Mills(Nicole Beharie) and her boss Sheriff August Corbin, played by the talented Clancy Brown (After which I was immediately thrown back to Carnivàle), he immediately points out that there have been unsolved crimes in the area. But with a title like Sleepy Hollow, mystery already exists, the writers don’t need to worry about overtly emphasizing that point. Thus it is only mentioned in passing.
The writing is clever because as one would expect a man from past suddenly thrown into the future, Ichabod Crane would have alot of question and yet many questions seem to be glossed over and some avoided. As I understand it would have been quite annoying to keep having to listen to questions like “how the toilet works?”, or “What is a T.V?”, So the writers did a good job of sparing us the annoyance.
My one complaint, would be that the jokes fell flat. Almost all of the jokes didn’t work for me, and the chemistry as well between our two main characters Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills. It seemed forced, and maybe it will improve as the season goes on.
Making the mercenary one of the four horseman of the apocalypse was a good choice for the writers, due to the plethora of legends, biblical accounts, tales, and fiction they can delve into. The horseman has always been an imposing figure, and now that he’s death itself, it only makes him that much more menacing. While watching the horseman chop off heads with his broad axe is entertaining, witnessing him use a shotgun and an automatic rifle was priceless (albeit a tad over-the-top). This is an updated version of the classic tale, so if you’re going to have a Starbucks at every corner, then the horseman needs a change of weaponry. Purists can rest easy though, for there’s no doubt that we’ll see the horseman chop off more heads as the season continues.
The mystery surrounding the legend of the headless horseman is inescapable, but what will hook viewers is the chemistry between Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane – and a strong cast supported by actors like John Cho (Star Trek) and Orlando Jones (Evolution) only help to strengthen the show’s appeal. This is not to downplay the fantastical elements of the series, and it will be exciting to see if Crane and Mills can prevent the apocalypse from happening.. The story has other elements as well, which can drive it forward. The inclusion of witches and men serving the devil, the story has the opportunity to create a mythology that will interesting and if used consistently it would gain them a a strong viewership.