Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why you should be watching Sleepy Hollow

By some astonishing means, the powers that be at Australian television stations seem to have finally worked out that we don't like waiting five months for new shows every September, and that we will download them illegally if they don't screen them immediately. As a result, we're getting a decent chunk of the new shows like twelve hours behind the US this year. Which is indescribably exciting, as you can imagine.

In addition to flailing with excitement over the returns of Elementary and Supernatural and being able to watch them pretty much spoiler free (nothing is ever completely spoiler free any more, thanks to asshats who don't tag their stuff on Tumblr...), I've been very much taken with Sleepy Hollow in the past few weeks. And here's why.

Remember that time I talked about why I preferred Elementary to Sherlock? When I watched the pilot of Sleepy Hollow, I was reminded a lot of all the things I love about Elementary, combined with the best bits of Supernatural. There are a lot of similarities between Sleepy Hollow and Elementary, including (so far) the following:

  • Weird English guy with bizarre mannerisms who is completely adorable despite sometimes being a bit of a know-it-all asshat.
  • Sassy woman of colour who puts up with precisely none of his shit and acts as the voice of reason. 
  • A police captain who's not entirely sure this is a good idea, because it's really freaking complicated, but they seem to get shit done, so why not give them cases to investigate together?
  • A brOTP relationship between the two main characters.
  • Complicated sibling relationships.
  • A mysterious ex who may or may not be dead.
  • Recurring people of colour characters (recurring and one-offs) who don't fit within stereotypes or tropes.
In addition to that, four of the six recurring cast members to date are people of colour, and three out of six are women. That leaves a grand total of ONE white guy (Ichabod), and you have NO IDEA how insanely awesome and unusual that is. The three recurring female characters - Abbie, Katrina and Jenny - are total badasses in their own ways. 

In addition to being awesome badasses, the two we've seen most of - the Mills sisters, Jenny and Abbie - are also flawed characters. Jenny's been in and out of mental institutions throughout her life, and Abbie's not sure she can admit to the things she's seen as well as having a handy dose of experience in breaking and entering, thanks to her days as a juvenile delinquent. They spent much of their childhood in the foster system, and have no qualms about discussing how hard it was. 
While I have a few issues with the fact that we're four episodes in and Ichabod's still wearing the same clothes that he woke up in (um, ew?), the sense of historical accuracy that's been added to the character is phenomenal. Through Ichabod, we have acknowledgement that English soldiers defected during the Revolution and fought with the American colonists. We have acknowledgement that Native American tribes fought along side colonists as valuable allies, and that the idea of entire nations being destroyed as colonisation progressed west was staggering. The scripts feature historically accurate terminology, with Ichabod referring to Abbie as "Miss Mills" and Jenny - the younger sister - as "Miss Jenny". And, most recently, we have Ichabod standing in a traditional, one handed duelling pose when shooting, standing side on to reduce possible targets for your opponent and with the other hand tucked behind his back. 

It's still very early days for the show, and I've had a few little niggling doubts to date (like John Cho's character in the first two episodes having the whitest name of ever. And the concern that Ichabod's eidetic memory will rapidly turn into a deus ex machina). But for the moment, it's a fabulous blend of spooky supernatural nonsense, action, and humour. And you should totally jump on board now while it's still early.

(If I still haven't sold you on it, check out Orlando Jones' Twitter account. He live tweets the episodes, and regularly asks people to send him Sleepy Hollow fan fiction. It's fantastic.)

Have you seen Sleepy Hollow? What did you think? 

K xx


  1. I've only seen the trailers for Sleepy Hollow so far mostly because I was preoccupied with getting through Elementary and also because I don't know what this show is really. I will have to give it a try, I think.

    And congrats on finally getting you TV fix as fast as possible. It's about damn time. We will forever be one season behind...

  2. Saw the pilot and liked! Definitely will check in again once a few episodes have stacked.

  3. I've seen 1.5 episodes (was trying to stream from the channel 10 app thing and it failed - grr) and I do quite like it. John Cho's neck incident really grossed me out though haha.



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