Sep 17 2013 9:46am

Snark and Headlessness in Sleepy Hollow

FOX's Sleepy Hollow bannerSleepy Hollow had its debut episode last night, and thankfully it lives up to the promise of its trailer. The show is based on the 1820s novella The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, but is a modern retelling with plenty of twists.

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) wakes up after his “death” in 1780 in the current world of Sleepy Hollow, but he doesn't come back alone. His nemesis, the Headless Horseman, is in the present as well. The Horseman quickly begins his killing spree in a bid to find his lost head, the very head that Ichabod took off his shoulders before he died. Long story short, the Horseman is a demon, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is on a call with her partner, the sheriff of Sleepy Hollow, when she gets her first sighting of the Horseman—who promptly cuts off the sheriff’s head. Abbie teams up with Ichabod to find the Horseman’s head and finds out a lot more paranormal activity has been happening in Sleepy Hollow for many years.

I was pretty sure that Sleepy Hollow was going to either be amazing or be really bad, thankfully it was the former. I really enjoyed watching it all play out and want to know more about Ichabod. It also doesn’t hurt that Ichabod (Tom Mison) is easy on the eyes, has some snarky wit, and a great accent.

Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills in FOX's Sleepy HollowIt didn't seem that there would be any romance, as the show seemed to lean more towards the darker urban fantasy side, while OUAT leans more to the paranormal romance side. But rest assured romance fans, there is a spark between Abbie and Ichy. Plus, we meet Katrina, Ichabod’s long dead wife who also happens to have been a witch burnt at the stake.

I loved that Ichabod made cracks about things he was seeing for the first time, like Starbucks, for example. He was like a little kid playing with the cop car window, which added more realism to his character. I adored the snarky back and forth between the two main characters; they share an undeniable chemistry that I can see blooming into something else. At least I hope it does. I mean the man's wife has been dead for 250 years, he needs a little something something.

The cast of Sleepy HollowThere are a few familiar actors in the show. Orlando Jones plays Captain Frank Irving (notice his last name plays tribute to the author), and John Cho (Harold from Harold and Kumar) is also in the first episode.

Visually the show was very appealing and for the life of me, I wouldn’t want to be the actor playing the Horseman—can you say claustrophobic? I will for sure be tuning in next Monday night for episode two, “Blue Moon.”

Did you watch the premiere of Sleepy Hollow? Did you like it? Hate it?


Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Rachel Hyland
1. RachelHyland
YES, I watched and YES, I loved! I had no idea what was awaiting me here... but, oh my. Such fun wackiness. Definitely some romance potential, too, as you mentioned, Natasha -- my proposed ship names are:

Ichabod and Katrina: Ichatrina
Ichabod and Abbie: Ichabbie
Ichabod and the Headless Horseman (you know it will happen): Ichman.

Looking forward to next week! A big call already, since its so way very early in the new season (and SH may go downhill fast, of course; many shows do), but this is my early debut favorite. This time yesterday, I would not have even predicted such a thing was possible.
Natasha Carty
2. WickedLilPixie
I really hope it keeps up the momentum and doesn't disappoint me like OUAT did. Plus, Ichy is much hotter then Price Charming.
3. Travelover
My husband and I went to Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, NY this past summer. They are adorable towns along the Hudson River - lots of friendly, helpful people. We took several tours of various prominant homes and museums (even the graveyard!) in the area - one was Washington Irving's home (which had very advanced modern conveniences at that time in our history , and was absolutely adorable as it's quite small and almost "gingerbread" in style).

Washington Irving was a good looking, amazing man who accomplished a great deal in life, but he had lost the love of his life when he was a young man, and he never married. In fact, his grief and mourning was so intense he couldn't even bring himself to talk publicly of the woman whom he was engaged to - as he had sat by her bedside as she slowly succumbed to an illness and died.

I love his books. I was looking forward to this show. And I was NOT disappointed in the operning episode. I absolutely LOVED it. However, I do NOT want to see a romance between the two leads. Because of what happened to Washington Irving - I want to see Ichabod Crane reunited with HIS beloved Katrina!
Jennifer Proffitt
4. JenniferProffitt
I was automatically intrigued by this show when I saw a preview and I am so glad it lived up to that. I only hope that it continues. But I might be willingto look at Ichabod a heck of a lot longer than Prince Charming--espeically since the acting is considerably better.

Counter Proposed ship names:
Ichabod and Abbie: Bodbie?
Ichabod and Katrina: Katbod, Icharina, KatIcharina
Anna Bowling
5. AnnaBowling
Loved the atmosphere, loved the two leads, already shipping Crane/Abbie (ship name Crabbie? "Crane" lies much easier on the modern tongue thatn "Ichabod.") but will be interesting to see Katrina's character develop.

Like @Travelover, I love Washington Irving's original story. I grew up spitting distance from the real Sleepy Hollow, so I'm pretty familiar with the Irving novella and different productions of same, and have to call myself a purist there. There are some anachronisms that bug me, so I may need some time to get my brain into "fantasy" rather than "historical" mode. For now, watching for the shippy doings.
K.M. Jackson
6. kwanawrites
I really liked it. It’s going to give DWTS a run for its
money. Nicole and Tom have great chemistry and so many are already rooting for them as a couple which bodes well for the show to continue. I did have to laugh though, they sure made my local towns seem mighty creepy. I’m scared to go to Starbucks now. I’m looking forward to episode two.
Natasha Carty
7. WickedLilPixie
@travel - ty for the lesson, I am even more interested in Irving now.
@Jennifer - 100% agree
@Anna - Okay, I am in love with Crabbie
@Kwana - Starbucks is ALWAYS a scary place, no matter the town ;)
8. ChelseaMueller
I wasn't sure if I was going to love this one, especially as I'm a fan of the source material. (We all know that can be dangerous territory.) So, I was delighted in how much I enjoyed the first episode. Crane's lines kept cracking me up and I loved the chemistry between him and Abbie. Not sure I'm shipping them, but I must say Crabbie is a great 'ship name.

I love a powerful female lead and I think Abbie has that potential.

It was certainly clever and I'm curious to see how they manage to sustain the mythology plot over a full season.

Fingers crossed, it will stay awesome.
9. Deeroma
I found the show very enjoyable. I will continue to watch and like others have stated, I hope it does not lose momentum. I found it a little ironic when Clancy Brown's character was beheaded. I am only assuming he must have said "OH NO.. Not Again". Anyway, I thought it had a good chemistry and flow. Looking forward to seeing more.
Darlene Marshall
10. DarleneMarshall
Loved the snark. It definitely kicked OUAT's butt to the end of my DVR queue. I would also enjoy seeing Ichabod cleaned up. He can keep the coat, but less greasy looking hair and a shave wouldn't hurt. Upper class men from the Revolutionary period do not look like they're scruffy bikers.
11. IsabellaDangelo
First, no witches were ever burned at the stake in the Colonies/United States. Second, no witches were executed past the 1710's in the Colonies either. Third, the vast majority of witches were...Christians. Maybe the guys at Fox didn't read the Salem Witch Trials in school?

From a costuming stand point, it's also horrible. ...What is Katrina wearing? Please, show me an extant outfit or a portrait that looks anything like that. Ichabod looks like a reject from the Renaissance fair on pirate weekend - not a Minuteman. They should be wearing off white shifts/shirt out of linen and not those dark blue/black rags.

And his clothing survived perfectly fine for 230+ years? Uh huh.
And the Bible? ...Obviously, some people at Fox need to go to a museum or on an archeology dig sometime. Even in an anaerobic environment, the moister would cause the organic matter to degrade if force (like picking it up) were applied to it.
And, by the way, if anyone bothered to actually read the Bible, then, if Abbie and Ichabod are the two witnesses they will die for three days and come back to life. Also, they can currently breathe fire.
Darlene Marshall
12. DarleneMarshall
@IsabellaDangelo--You're absolutely correct on all counts, and the first two or three anachronisms bothered the hell out of me. Then I grabbed the popcorn, turned off my brain and enjoyed the ride. It's that kind of a show--I just told myself it's pure fantasy and fluff and didn't try to find anything deeper. Much easier that way.
13. Travelover
WickedLilPixie - another interesting fact. After Washington Irving moved into his home, he moved in his brother and his nieces - and pretty much took care of everyone. The railroad decided to build alongside the river, and Washington (who had met George Washington as a boy) Irving wasn't too happy as his home literally sits alongside the river, but he was pretty smart - he got the railroad to agree that as long as he lived he would be able to travel for FREE on the railroad - and they agreed. So every now and then a train will go by in this very bucolic, picturesque setting - but it's nice knowing Washington Irving DID indeed travel anywhere he wanted for FREE.
14. Megaera
I liked it. Oh, it was historically inaccurate all over the place, but if it's not PBS that's par for the course. I just hope the fact that I like it doesn't mean it'll go the way of the last two paranormal FOX shows I liked -- Alcatraz and New Amsterdam. Now, where's my Grimm???
Carmen Pinzon
15. bungluna
I liked it but I have deep reservations.

First of all, its on FOX, which specializes in screwing its shows any which way it can.

Second, where are they headed? I'm wary of convoluted mythologies that never get explained and leave me scratching my head in a season or two.
16. wsl0612
I liked it very much, very entertaining. I didn't worry about the historical inacurracies, mostly because I'm clueless, haha! But if you want some hilarious historical learning then check out Comedy Central's "Drunk History" - the narrators are comedians who are drunk (seriously yes they are) and the actors portraying the historical characters all talk with the narrator's voice so at one time you have a lawyer rambling on about Abe Lincoln's "ape arms". It's my new shameful addiction.
17. Laura H
My husband was quite disturbed with the lack of Ichabod freaking out about all the modern inventions.
I loved it because I could just relax and enjoy it after a long day of work and then a very boring night class for my MS degree.
There are in fact quite a few inaccuracies, but I think that is to be expected.
Maybe all of his clothes and the Bible stayed in tact because of the "magic". ;) That's what I'm telling myself anyways! LOL
18. Travelover
I realize there are a LOT of historical inaccuracies AND story "changes", but I'm willing to give it a chance to see where they go with it. I also watch Once Upon a Time on ABC and there are a LOT of changes to the various fairy tales in that show. I did not watch Grimm on NBC, but I heard there were a LOT of changes with that story too.

I love that this show is re-introducing Washington Irving to everyone - people want to know MORE about this amazing man.

Also love that Abbey Archer's boss' name is Frank "Irving". (I wonder if there is any significance to Abbey Archer's name? Just have to wait and see LOL.)
susan beamon
19. susanbeamon
Got to say there sure were a lot of plot points for a first episode. We have the Horseman, who was never human. We have a dead sheriff, wonder how long he'll stay dead, and his massive files. We have Abbie, who was going to join the FBI but now isn't. We have Katrina, who is alive in some alternative universe and trying to return to Crane, We have Crane, who has returned from the dead as if he's just gotten one night's sleep. Understand that the original Crane was more intelligent than most of the residents of Sleey Hollow in the past, but he's a little loosy-goosey with accepting the present. Maybe he thinks he's in a nightmare and he's just waiting until morning. So much stuff that was memtioned in passing or went by so quickly that the improtance will have to wait until later. I hope these little things aren't forgotten.
I will be giving this show a longer look, at least until the metwork's planning shows. I'm not too disturbed by the changes from Irving's story, because that was just one version of tales that surrounded the area from even before Irving's time. Other authers have set even scarier tales in the region.
Kiersten Hallie Krum
20. Kiersten
I have absolutely no investment in the source material or the colonial era so I absolutely loved Sleepy Hollow without reservation. That doesnt mean I'm not going to snark the shit outta it, but damn but that pilot was entertaining.

How has no one yet mentioned Clancy Brown of Highlander fame playing the sherriff and losing his head before the credits even rolled?! Even knowing it had to be coming, that was so delicious I cackled for 15 minutes. There can be only one!

It's got a pretty, pretty lead with a stylin' accent who doesn't appear to be an idiot, the promise of deep mythology, great scenery, and a swift script. Then again, it is FOX. Still, I'll definitely be tuning in until it goes off the rails.
Lege Artis
21. LegeArtis
I missed this and then I saw all your comments and you got me intersted. I am sold, it's totally cracastic!
And that "thing" in the end really reminded me of Pan from Pan's Labyrinth. Totally creepy.
22. Shark with Lasers
I also liked the premiere. Tom Mison is mad hot but I do hope he washes his hair soon. Count me in with the 'shipping. I was thinking it ought to be called Crills, but Crabbie is way more entertaining. It's plausible because he sure doesn't seem to be in love with his wife. Marriages were different back then, the reasoning behind them was more practical than 'love of my life' and he seemed more irritated then grief stricken to wake up and discover she was long gone. Then when he found her grave, he seemed genuinely shocked to discover the reason for her death, but grieving? Not so much. I know if it was the love of my life I would have been overcome at seeing the words on that headstone. So I'm curious as to how they met and why they married, and I'm hoping the show will fill us in.

I am also curious as to how Headless can tell where to aim. Think about it. He is not just missing his ears.
23. Divamoon
I'm thinking I might enjoy this. And it's on a night I can watch. And yes, Mr. Crane does have that dirty-cute yumminess.
24. Jackie U
I don't think we can be snark buddies anymore. You mention John Cho but not Clancy Brown?? I feel so betrayed!!
My only complaint with the show was the use of the semi-automatic rifle. I don't know why but it bugged the hell out of me. Probably because my brain is awash with memories of Chris Walken playing the horsemen...happy sigh...
Other than that, I agree - it was stellar!
Heather Martin
25. CrystalMirror
I really liked it. It was spooky and intense. Having a short run should help keep the momentum going. Hopefully, we won't be let down.
26. Darcienne
@IsabellaDangelo: THANK YOU! The details of the Witch Trials and the costume errors got straight up my nose, too. Not as much the men's wear, but at Ichabod's death bed scene, the first thing I thought when his wife ran up was "Where's her fichu??? Are they trying to make her look like the town tart?" Way to go for a cheap boob shot, guys. :/ Later on in the dream sequence, her... *ahem*... dress jarred me right out again.

If they actually READ the Bible, they'd know that it's the Book of the Revelation. Singular. No "s." (Not to mention pasting different verses together to get their 'dramatic impact.' You'd think I'd be used to that by now... Sigh...)

Unintentionally funny moment: Crane's narrated flashback of his meeting with Washington in his tent. Uh, yeah, that tent interior looked an awful lot like a cabin to me. Sloppy.

The priest was a waste of what could have been an interesting character. Whoops.

Suspension of disbelief died some ugly deaths in spots, and for me that's not an easy thing. It had nothing to do with the supernatural premise. Rather, it had to do with the more mundane details. Example: Where in any police precincts proceedural handbooks would you see a female officer escort a male prisoner by herself, with said prisoner's hands cuffed in FRONT of him, and being placed in the FRONT SEAT of the squad car? I know she was predisposed to believe him, but this goes completly against what should be second nature to her as an officer of the law.

Why were the asylum doctors trying to sedate Crane? Were they part of the opposing forces? Were they reacting to some action of his? If so, a simple shot of him thrashing about while coming out of his dream would have taken care of it.

Some male friends lost it when the 250 years dead guy started getting Terminator with the automatic weapons, but as he's out and about performing equestrian maneuvers and axe fighting, whilst lacking a rather important part of his central nervous system... well, I think we can let that one slide. LOL

That being said, there's a lot that I did like. The leads are a lot of fun, and already seemed at ease with their characters. None of that pilot episode twitchyness. Poor Clancy loses his head again. Wish they'd kept him and the priest around a while longer. But the biggest obstacle to success, in my opinion, will be the sloppiness of the writers and the continuity.. I can only hope they'll take better care from here on out.
Rae Alley
27. rszalley
I'm really glad I got to watch the first two episodes back to back...the way the first episode just kinda said "here is everybody! We will tell you everything later..." Would have driven me a little nuts. But with the drawer of files, the way that they have kinda outlined the season with the mission of stopping the 4horsemen (and you'll have a ghoul of the week, too, btw) really didn't get out until the second epidode.

the historical anachronisms don't bother me too much, it is Fox, and fiction...and if Disney can butcher fairy tales then why not. Unless you are blatantly trying to go all LoTR book to movie screen, then I don't mind a little hand waving and reinterpretation.
Post a comment