Sleepy Hollow didn’t even show up on my radar until it was literally in the middle of the premiere. A lot of my friends on Tumblr were very opinionated on the whole ordeal. Most loved it. Some hated it. And when something stirs up that much emotion just during the premiere, well, I certainly can’t stay away. I just had to see what the hubbub was about.
The episode certainly started off winning my heart by playing “Sympathy for the Devil” and the casting of Clancy Brown (Carnivale is my favorite show of all time and I may have shouted “holy shit! Brother Justin!” when his face showed up on my screen). The casting of John Cho also made me quite happy. Unfortunately they did things with each of these characters that upset me quite a bit. So while I was initially quite excited and wanted to send the casting department cupcakes and a thank you card, now I want to send them cupcakes laced with laxatives and a box filled with spiders. Man eating spiders. With a vengeance towards people recently dosed with laxatives.
On the plus side, Abbie Mils looks to be a great character. Television needs more female protagonists. It needs more WOC protagonists, especially, so right off the bat she’s generally a net positive in my opinion. But it could have also turned out very very bad if they just shoved her into the show as some sort of statistical necessity. ‘Look at us! A WOC protagonist! Aren’t we being progressive?’ But she’s definitely a fleshed out character with a back story, strong personality traits, and a drive that keeps the plot moving forward. She’s not hollow (forgive the pun). I hope she continues to grow and be her own person. If she gets reduced to a romantic love interest at any point in this show, I will be gravely upset. That’s not to say I’d be completely against that if it progresses in that direction, but I want her to be able to stand independently as a character. I view their partnership much like I do Joan and Sherlock on Elementary and it’d please me if they could keep it platonic.
Ichabod’s confusion with the modern world is both endearing and somewhat cliche. It’s hard for me to judge it too harshly on being cliche, however, because I find the same trait in Steve Roger’s (Captain America, The Avenger) endearing as well. It’d be unfair to judge one and not the other, so if you place the unoriginality of that trait aside, it was done rather well. Considering the protagonist opposite of Ichabod is a black woman who wears trousers, it’d be out of place for him to not say something awkward to drive the point home. And besides, him playing with the automatic window was kind of cute, okay?
Now let’s talk about the mythology for a moment. I’m a big sucker for supernatural mythology so it’s a little difficult for me to examine it with a critical eye because I’m just like “Horsemen of the Apocalypse you say?! AWESOME!” So I’m already hooked on that entire thing. However, a Tumblr friend of mine has brought to my attention several historical inaccuracies that I feel that I should mention. First, George Washington wasn’t as old as he is depicted in this during the Revolutionary War. Also, a witch who was burned at the stake would not have been buried, let alone buried on hallowed ground. Ichabod himself is also quite different from the original Sleepy Hollow legend, as he was more of a geeky looking teacher, not a rugged fighter. So there are some definite errors in how the mythology and history is being depicted, but again I’m a sucker for this shit so I’ll probably be able to look over these flaws as long as they don’t start stacking up.
Also, I’ll be forever laughing at “put your hands on your head!” and “do you think he can hear us?” More decapitation jokes please! I can see those becoming as iconic in the fandom (and yes, I predict there will be a fandom) as cannibal puns are to the Hannibal fandom.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. They earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. They have contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. They’ve also written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. They identify as queer.
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