New on the Tube: ‘Sleepy Hollow’

New on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.

Show Premise: 

Based on the 1820 American folk story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the show focuses on a soldier with the Colonial Army who killed a Hessian mercenary in battle, but is mortally wounded as well and seemingly dies. He later awakens in modern-day Westchester County, New York, and investigates strange occurrences in the area with a somewhat skeptical police officer. The show airs on Mondays at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) on FOX.


Previously on Sleepy Hollow: Covering episodes #1 - #4

Ichabod Crane awakens in modern-day Westchester County, unaware of what has transgressed after “dying” at the hands of a Hessian soldier during the Revolutionary War. Seen as a nutcase by the police, Crane tries to make sense of his current status while hoping to provide closure when the Hessian reappears. After determining that he’s not entirely insane, Lieutenant Mills helps Crane in his investigation, hoping that she’ll find some closure with some long-forgotten demons of her own. During their time together, they come across a developing crusade that pits them against some of the weirdest experiences the county has ever known, all part of a larger plan that is still unknown to even Ichabod’s wife, though they at least now have a name to put with their demonic presence: Moloch, an entity described in Milton’s Paradise Lost and known in the ancient tales of the Near East.

Main Characters

Ichabod Crane: A time-displaced teacher-turned-soldier from the American Revolutionary War, Ichabod Crane struggles to make sense of the new world around him while holding true to his mission. A believer in fate and the occult, Crane uses his unique mental acuity to help stave off a supposed prophetic war.

Lt. Abbie Mills: A police officer with the Westchester County force, Lieutenant Mills is the only one who believes Crane’s claims to be from the past. Faced with the realization that her nightmares might be true, Mills struggles to put aside her modern-day way of thinking to aid Crane in his quest.

Capt. Frank Irving: A hardnosed police officer along with Lieutenant Mills, Captain Irving is pragmatic and unwilling to consider an alternative reason for all the weird stuff going on. Knowing that there’s a lot going on he doesn’t understand, he gives Mills and Crane a special investigation mandate.

Katrina Crane: The wife of Ichabod later to be known as a witch, Katrina Crane uses her powers to keep in touch with him from a different dimension. The conscience of Ichabod and knowledgeable in the occult, she gives her husband the mission that sets him on his journey against the occult.

What Works

The idea of a time-displaced patriot is very interesting, especially in seeing Crane try to acclimate into the culture of the modern world. His experiences with electricity are quite amusing, and I can’t wait to see how he deals with the advent of cellular and smartphone technology, but he still seems to be taking it quite in stride given the jump in time he has had.

The casting is also great, and a bit unusual in the terms of Orlando Jones. I am so used to seeing him as a comedian that it is quite strange to see him acting as a serious character, but I think he pulls off the uptight police captain well. The acting of Tom Mison is phenomenal to say the least, superb and underscored in his complexity. About the only person I can’t comment on is Katia Winter’s acting as Crane’s wife, as her appearances have been limited.

What Doesn’t

While it is enjoyable to see Crane try to come to terms with the 21st century, I think he has too much of an easy time dealing with it. Granted, he has a mission that he has to undertake, but I feel as though he isn’t shocked enough by the differences. I feel as though Steve Rogers had a harder time coming to terms with being unfrozen by the Avengers than Crane does with his reawakening, and he was only in the ice for a few decades. I realize that Crane being a slobbering mess wouldn’t progress the story much, but it would make more sense.

The relationship of Katrina Crane also doesn’t make much sense in my opinion. I know that it is possible to keep secrets from each other in a marriage, and that being a witch in that time was not a good thing, but for Crane not to know what his wife was up to is very hard to believe. Likewise, the ability for her to converse through the ages in his dreams is hard to consider; I’m not saying that I can’t see the ability for someone to communicate in dreams as part of a spell, but to do it centuries later is way beyond my ability to understand.

The Future

Considering that Crane and Mills have made allusions to the two of them being The Witnesses as foretold in the Bible’s Book of Revelations, they are supposed to fight demons before God’s judgment at the end for a certain number of days. The progression of the show’s storytelling is very slow, with the first four episodes only amounting to less than four weeks’ time, and the time within the Bible allowing for a lot of storytelling capabilities from now until years later. I don’t think they’ll be able to get through all of the time before the show is finished, but I really am looking forward to seeing just how it all goes.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:22

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