HOLY SHIT WHAT’S GOING ON? WHO’S THAT GUY? WHAT WAR IS THIS? IS THAT ICHABOD? THAT BALD DUDE CAN NOT BE KILLED. THEY’RE BOTH DEAD! .. oh snap. It’s present day. .. Wait, the show has only been on for 3 minutes?
I’m open minded. I’ll openly tell you that I had very little interest in SLEEPY HOLLOW when I first heard it announced. All we need is another re-imaging of a classic fairy tale with a modern day spin. I couldn’t imagine how they could spin the story into a compelling and lasting television series. ‘There’s like, this angry bro with no head. He rides around on a dark stead. There’s this nerdy dude who is trying to stop him. There’s a bridge and some frogs.’ Since I’m already open, I’ll open up further and tell you that I was friggin shocked by how original and brilliant this pilot was.
Here’s the basics.
The show starts off in 1781, during a battle of the Revolutionary War. We see Ichabod moving through a bloody battlefield looking at the hands of the dead. He is suddenly attacked by an unstoppable Goliath of a man, wielding a battle ax, with a scar on his hand. They fight. One man loses his head. The other gets a battle ax across the chest. BLAMMO. Ichabod awakes in a cave in 2013. The show does an excellent job of sharing Icabod’s confusion with the audience. We watch as he stumbles from his cave and nearly gets run down by some sort of horse-less carriage. He’s lost and we know the feeling. You become immediately invested, not with the characters, but with the mystery.
We leave Ichabod to his own devices for the moment and meet up with Detective Abbie Mills. A small town cop who’s a week away from transferring to Quantico and out of the quiet, uneventful town of Sleepy Hollow. Which, you know is the jinx because the next thing that happens is she runs into the newly awakened head-less horseman and shit gets complicated. Naturally, no body believes her when she attempts to explain what really killed her partner… No one but Ichabod. But, he’s crazy, right? He thinks he was on a personal mission from George Washington and was asleep in a cave for 250 years. Insert Cuckoo clock noise. One thing leads to another and Ichabod and Abbie team up and attempt to stop the unstoppable headless killing machine running around with a burning battle ax on his back and a semi automatic on his hip. Pretty standard stuff, right? Well.. no.. Not really.
As the dust settles, it becomes clear that there is way more going on than some guy running around, cutting off heads. We have the four horsemen of the apocalypse. He have a powerful demon attempting to bring about the end of the days. We have an ancient prophecy of two joining together and embarking on a seven year quest to stop the coming celestial war. Witches trapped in limbo. Cops who know more than they are letting on. Basically, we have a television show with a tight premise, but plenty of wiggle room to keep things fresh and on track.
Watching Ichabod’s reactions to the modern world are both insightful and highly entertaining. He is a cross between HOUSE and SHERLOCK. But, slightly more charming. This show has some scares to it. I actually jumped at one scene. Everyone involved is clearly having fun with the content. There’s a great nerd throwback of having Clancy Brown lose his head. I love seeing an African American female in the lead role. I love how they broke away from the standard ‘no one believes what’s really going on because they don’t believe in that hocus pocus bullshit.’ There is some crazy shit going on and people see it. SLEEPY HOLLOW will be epicenter of a war that decides the fate of mankind and everyone will be painfully aware of it. I doubt this show will go down the FRINGE or X-FILES path where episode events are kept from the public. It will be obvious, it will be bloody and it will be awesome. I definitely recommend you check this show out.
Final Score: 8 out of 10