Friday, October 4, 2013

The newest incarnation of Sleepy Hollow

Hmm, okay, how do I say this? I'm conflicted. It feels like I've been here before. Not here here, like a modern interpretation of Sleepy Hollow here, but there are definite elements that Tim Burton already used that this new show is utilizing. And that, my friends, isn't setting all that well with me.

Still, you want to know the best thing so far?

 This guy, right here!

Meet Tom Mison, my friends, the most AWESOME and SEXY Ichabod Crane ever! And I truly thought no one could beat Johnny Depp. Tom seriously proved me wrong. I don't even like guys with beards! Until Tom opened his mouth and the most delicious British accent escaped. Yum!

Okay, so now you're wondering about the basic premise. Ichabod Crane is raised from the dead with the headless horseman 300 years into the future, in the small city of Sleepy Hollow. Seriously, it is small, only around 144,000 people. So, the viewers get to watch Ichabod figure out how to make coffee, use a hair dryer (look a those lovely locks), and get into the front seat of a car without freaking out.

Really, this is the darling part of the show, watching Ichabod acclimate and get to know his partner. Ichabod and Lieutenant Abbie Mills have the greatest chemistry. I haven't seen chemistry like this since Moonlight with Alex O'Loughlin and Sophia Myles. The pairing just . . . works, and that is what might keep this show going. They're not even a "couple" because he's already married. But more on that later.

Okay, anyway, are you ready for the weirdness?

Spoiler Alert
I'd Turn Back If I Were You

You're still here? Awesome! Moving on.

Problem #1 - The witch trials did not burn real witches. These were women falsely accused. As a Christian, there is no such thing as witchcraft unless we're talking demon possession. So it upsets me a bit that the writers are taking a historic tragedy of innocents being slaughtered and turning it into a "real" witch burning. No, I don't think so.

Problem #2 - George Washington fought witches. Somehow I handled Abe Lincoln battled vampires without so much as a quibble, but Washington fighting witches irritates me. Maybe we really shouldn't mess with history this much.

Problem #3 - The four horsemen of the apocalypse. Did you know that the headless horseman is one of these four horseman, namely Death? Because I sure didn't. And Abbie and Ichabod are witnesses prophesied about in Revelation, and blah, blah, blah. I'm getting that squeamish feeling in the pit of my stomach that Supernatural started giving me as soon as it went religiously whacko. Why couldn't this show have avoided all of the religious connotations? I would have given anything for them to take a different road instead of using the book of Revelation, a book that NO ONE understands because, to the best of my ability, we aren't MEANT TO.

Problem #4 - His name is Ichabod Crane and he introduces himself as such in a town called Sleepy Hollow. No one bursts out laughing. Not even a snicker. I take it that Washington Irving doesn't exist in their world? Because I would have burst a gut at the hilarity of his name.

Problem #5 - Ichabod's wife Katrina is a witch. Because that's never been done before. And somehow she's not really dead and can talk to Ichabod in his dreams. Why add witches at all? Were the writers determined to steal elements from Buffy and The Vampire Diaries

And yet, AND YET, despite all of this, I am still hooked! Because I love Abbie and Ichabod and it's even fun watching Sulu from the Star Trek franchise walk around as a servant of this all-powerful demon who is probably Satan. All I know is that character-wise, the show is brilliant, like Supernatural. And I just hope that the writers don't ever do something that forces me to give it up. To their credit, at least they are utilizing scripture and not some mumbo-jumbo, but I don't think it's our place to suppose what the book of Revelation actually means.

Anyhow, have you seen it? What are your thoughts? Do you LOVE Tom Mison as much as me? Because, seriously, how could you not love him!

Now to wait for the 4th episode to air on Monday, right before CASTLE!


  1. I love it. I haven’t had any qualms about it, mostly because speculative fiction doesn’t have to be remotely realistic. So sure, they burned real witches, Washington was aware of the impending apocalypse, and Katrina is a witch. I think she’s always a witch in adaptations, so that at least is somewhat canon in the lore. That they’re blending the apocalypse into it strikes me as a cool idea. Haven’t had any bad feelings about it, although I do think they rush to their conclusion – terrific build up, great character development, and then it’s much too easy to kill the monster of the week. And how can you blow up a witch that just stopped a bullet five seconds earlier? Sorry, but nope.

    Ichabod is terrific, yes. I love his British-American Patriot references to everything. I like Abby’s spunk. I also like Katrina, so I hope she isn’t evil and is eventually pulled out of her dimension into the real world. I hear they’ve renewed for several seasons, so at least we’ll get the full story without premature cancellation.

    1. I must be more particular about my speculative fiction now. It was just so silly for a man named Ichabod Crane to be in a modern town of Sleepy Hollow and no one, not a single person, raises an eyebrow. I'm glad you like it so much, and I admit that it's really cool, and I just love the characters. I just don't like the witches and the messing with history, and especially the four horsemen. At least not right now. My opinion might change as the show develops.

      That's awesome that they're renewed for several seasons! It must be bringing in a large enough audience for Fox to make a move so early in the game.

    2. It was the highest-rated premiere Fox has had in three years. :)

      Uh-oh. If you don't like specutive fiction messing with history, you may want to stay away from the rest of my books!

      I don't mind the witch aspect thus far because at least it isn't anti-Christian like Burton's is (which I love, but the blatant anti-religious undercurrent does frustrate me). It's also creepy, but not in that demonic-creepiness that made "Supernatural" so iffy for me the last time I tried watching it.

      But yeah, Ichabod is terrific. Love him.

      "Lost in Austen" ... if you love P&P as it is, you may not like it. Basically, this girl goes back in time and screws up the entire story, changing who ran off with who, and making a lot of characters really skeevy.

      And yes, I'm totally aware of my own hypocritical behavior -- not minding history being messed about, but not liking an author's story being messed about. It's a fault I am all too aware of, and an inconsistency in myself that drives me nuts. :P

    3. Wow, I'm impressed! I guess they finally hit upon a stellar storyline!

      You don't seem to mess with history in your books, not even your speculative fiction. I mean, it's obvious that your world in Thornwicke is not our world. It's a parallel universe of sorts, with whackiness galore, and so any similarities to our history isn't going to bother me. And I seriously doubt you're messing with the history of Titanic all that much, not after the frustration you and I both feel over novels never getting it right!

      Maybe I'm tired of witches on tv. That might be it. Smallville had, what, one episode that dealt with witches? They didn't have to go that route for Sleepy Hollow since it only makes it feel like a ton of other shows out there with witches. That was the one thing that always troubled me about Buffy and Angel.

      Still, I really do like Sleepy Hollow, I'm just not 100% sold on where they're taking the story.

      Mmmmm, maybe I'll skip Lost in Austen after all. Don't mess too badly with my classic literature.

    4. I hope they keep it on Monday nights -- usually shows do really well there. Fox's Fringe did excellent there for awhile, then they moved it back further and further in the week and the ratings sank.

      History, no. Historical figures, yes -- in the sense that I'm giving them spiritual gifts and / or abilities. The events of Titanic will be accurate -- what happens among various passengers is very imaginative. Margaret Brown's twist kind of snuck up on me, though! I like it... very much.

      That could be it -- most of my shows now have witches in them. Witches and vampires and monsters of all kinds. It's a speculative fiction world and I'm ... well, loving it.

      (Don't know if you're planning on watching The Originals, but their re-shooting of the Pilot was very Elijah-centric, which I loved, but then they did something in the last three minutes that made me screech my head off. Just tossing that in there, speaking of witches and vampires.)

      If I remember right, this Wickham is a good guy -- and Bingley winds up as the scoundral. The only thing I liked about it was Gemma as the Lizzie Bennet who is stuck in modern-day (and decides to stay there!).

    5. Not to intrude here, but...not creepy in Supernatural sense? Getting mixed messages, maybe we should just take the plunge and try it out for ourselves. There's always the stop button, I guess.

      Lost in Austen really does mess with the story, but other people, apparently, interpret it as all a dream for the heroine? Dunno what to think about that. Just wanna say that our family consists of a bunch of very die hard Austen purists, but we were still able to very much enjoy Lost in Austen. There's always the stop button. =]

      (and Alex Kingston made a really different Mrs Bennet!)

      (In a good way... I think?)

    6. Ruby, when Charity says "creepiness" she means the spiritual unease that Supernatural started causing with both of us. There's some demonic vibes coming from that show that Sleepy Hollow doesn't have, at least not yet. So, yes Sleepy Hollow is creepy, it's just not creepy.

      I may still give Lost in Austen a try. Perhaps once the semester is finished. :)

    7. Sleepy Hollow is creepy -- but it doesn't have a demonic, ghost-overdrive like Supernatural did (even when I was enjoying Supernatural, it still freaked me out in ways Sleepy Hollow doesn't).

    8. Ah, I see, thanky kindly. *That* kind of creepy is really what has held us back from shows like Supernatural as well. It'll be interesting to see which route Sleepy Hollow takes.

  2. I was wondering about this show! After reading your review, I'm guessing it probably won't be up our family's alley, but I'm glad y'all can still enjoy it. Everything's not for everyone, I suppose. =)

    So... correct me if I'm wrong... the headless horseman is one of the Revelation horsemen in *this* show, or, originally? Having a hard time reading through your sarcasm just this once. ;)

    Oh goodness, I was looking at IMDB to see if there was anything else that might be interesting to see Tom Mison... then... wait, he was BINGLEY in Lost In Austen?? Wow, quite the chameleon, he. Had no idea.

    Thanks for the review, Carissa! Really appreciate all of your compliments and concerns. Vera informative. =)

    1. Ruby, yeah, it's not for everyone. It's weird how I like aspects of it, but not the whole thing.

      Oops, too much sarcasm, my bad. About the headless horseman. In this show only, the horseman is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. In Burton's movie with Johnny Depp, the horseman is a Hessian soldier who someone raises from the dead to do their bidding, mainly killing off certain townsfolk. And in the original story by Washington Irving, there is no horseman; he's a town bully who wants to chase off Ichabod Crane so he dresses up as a headless horseman to give him the scare of his life. Modern writers have seriously messed with Irving's vision.

      I've never seen Lost in Austen, but maybe now I'll have to. Although it could be that I just like Tom Mison as Ichabod. Sort of an Alex O'Loughlin and Moonlight thing where it's the character that attracts me and not the actor. I guess the only way to find out is to try other things Tom's done! :)

  3. I've been watching this show, and to be honest at first I didn't have high expectations-- it sounded gimmicky and a little reminiscent of Supernatural (not that I've watched it but many of my friends have). I was really surprised by how much I liked the first episode-- the characters are good and the story pulled me in. And I was genuinely scared at some points, which doesn't happen with a lot of shows. I don't really like the whole Bible part of the story... I just think that it's taking something that is very important to a lot of people and mass-marketing it as a cheesy concept. It just doesn't feel right to me, even though I'm fine with shows/books that have real commentary, real opinions, on the Bible. As far as the witches I could do without but it seems to be an inherent part of the legend of Sleepy Hollow, having just watched Tim Burton's film adaptation as well. But honestly, whatever faults the show has, Tom Mison more than makes up for them ;)

    1. Yeah, it is a tad like Supernatural. With a little Buffy thrown in for good measure and what feels like a lot of Vampire Diaries, at least with the witches.

      You hit the nail on the head for why I'm still watching it: the characters are good. Not happy with the four horsemen theme (like you said, it's making the Bible cheesy), and the witches are unfortunately stereotypical. Would you believe that the original story actually had no witches in it, from what I remember. Irving wrote a very mellow story about a town bully who doesn't want Ichabod Crane sniffing around his girl. So he rigs up some serious scares for him which include dressing up as a headless horseman and chasing him. Burton and Fox's new show are only using the very basics, like names and places. Everything else is not how Washington Irving wrote it.

      I totally agree about Tom Mison. How did I miss seeing this man before!?

  4. Wait... you're a Castle fan? Shiny! Must now go look at your posts with that as a label :-D

    1. Laughs! Yes, I certainly am! Although I haven't written much on Castle. Maybe I'll do some more posts on it this season.

      I also love Firefly so your use of "Shiny!" made me smile. :)

    2. I'm woefully behind on Castle -- I'm in the middle of season 4. But I really like it :-D

      And yay! Also a Firefly fan :-D Shiny indeed!


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