Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sketched TV: Sleepy Hollow

Get out your axes and machine guns, we're reviewing Sleepy Hollow!

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) fights in the American Revolutionary War under General Washington and gets mortally wounded after beheading the Hessian. He suddenly wakes up in modern times, as does the Headless Horseman. Now he must work with Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) to find and stop the Headless Horseman and investigate all the strange things happening in the small town of Sleepy Hollow. 

This is such a ridiculous show. I can't NOT love it. It's so crazy! And silly! And creepy! And awesome! It feels like Supernatural, and if you like that show, you'll love this!

It sounds like a really dumb idea. Sleepy Hollow? A TV series? Taking place in modern times? That sounds just awful. But, somehow, it works! It's so great and silly! The Headless Horseman picks up machine guns and assault rifles to explode police cars! What? And it's not just Ichabod trying to stop the Headless Horseman, because, you see, the Headless Horseman is Death, one of the Four Horsemen of the apocalypse! He's trying to stop evil witches and Satan himself from bringing about the end of the world! What?!

I've watched the first two episodes and they are exactly the right amount of ridiculous. There were even a few times I laughed out loud! I mean, you have scenes where the Horseman decapitates someone and you see it through the first person view of his victim as the head falls to the ground, and then there are scenes where two cops tell him to freeze and then go, "Wait, can he even hear us? He doesn't have any ears!" It is FANtastic.

And it has a diverse cast! Holy crap does it have a diverse cast. A supernatural-type show on FOX has probably the most diverse cast of any new TV show save for maybe Orange is the New Black. Black people, Asian people, Latino people, all in major roles. The female lead is a black woman in a non-romantic partnership with Ichabod, and she has a sister who will be coming into play soon. Plus there's also Jon Cho as a fellow police officer, and Orlando Jones as her captain! Clancy Brown is a white guy playing the Sheriff, but he gets killed right quick. (Though he may be coming back) Basically it's super diverse and it’s not all about rich white people, and that is great.

The cast is not only fantastically diverse, but also top-quality! Even though Clancy Brown will always be the voice of Lex Luther, I can see him as the sweet fatherly figure to Beharie's Abbie Mills. And Beharie herself is pretty great, though I'm hoping she gets more to do in future episodes aside from: "I'm not crazy! Am I crazy? This is crazy!!" And I thoroughly enjoy Tom Mison's Ichabod. He's calculating and reasoning and he's very quick to accept the strange things going on. And Orland Jones! When's the last time we've seen him? He's alright as the captain but I also hope he gets more to do. And John Cho is in probably my favorite role of his. His character is so great you guys. I can't even spoil it.

There are some "fish out of water" gags with Ichabod figuring out how the modern world operates, but they're not actually all that awful. Some of them are downright hilarious, like when he's horrified at the price of donuts and wonders out loud why people don't revolt over a 10% sales tax when the American Revolution was started for less than 2%. Oh Ichabod! I'm guessing that the more we get on with the series, the less fish-out-of -water material we'll have to watch.

Oh hey, I didn’t mention the action yet, did I? You heard me when I said, "Headless Horseman with machine guns and assault rifles," right? Because holy shit the Headless Horseman has machine guns and assault rifles! The second episode has a creepy pyromaniac witch and explosions, and I expect future episodes to have just as much, if not more! 

This is the kind of series that hits that sweet spot between horror, action, and humor. It's hard to pull off, but this show did it, and it really is sweet. It looks like it's going to have tons of hair-raising monsters; next week they're doing the sandman, and they've already shown a very creepy and cool Satan! Yes The Mr. Satan is the Big Bad in this. How crazy is that? This show offers tons of action and weirdness, topped with a heaping helping of ridiculous silliness. I really hope this show does well and gets more seasons, because I want it to get up to Supernatural-level craziness. (I’m thinking of seasons 4 and 5 of Supernatural, for reference) If you like quirky, awesome shows, you definitely need to check this out!

THE GOOD: Super diverse cast, great acting, creepy, lots of action, silly, ridiculous premise, funny, lots of fun.

THE BAD: Some fish-out-of-water stuff, very crazy premise, kind of creepy for people not into jump scares.

THE VERDICT: $$$$$ Watch it! It's on Monday nights at 9, and the first two episodes are probably online by now. Check it out!

TV SHOWS LIKE IT: Supernatural, Fringe, Being Human, True Blood

ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: The Headless Horseman is after a priest, but the priest is more than what he seems. He uses spells to trap the Horseman in chains, but the Horseman breaks through them and cuts off his head. When he swings his axe, it hits a nearby road sign for horse riders, and cuts a chunk of the top off so that the horse rider on the sign is headless now, too. This show is ridiculous and you should love it.

1 comment: