Monday, September 16, 2013

Sleepy Hollow: First Impressions

Sleepy Hollow on Fox has officially set the new bar for "high concept" television. The pilot is essentially a giant infodump, and the fact that it still manages to be entertaining speaks well of its future. The show earns points for avoiding camp without going gritty and/or dark - although this is a show where heads get chopped off at a rate of 1 per 15 minutes. The overall tone that the show strikes is just about perfect; they've managed to find that precarious spot in between horror and comedy that Supernatural sits in. We'll find out how the weekly structure shapes up, but they could find a worse model.

Spoilers below.



Perhaps once we've gotten past the learning curve the characters will get a chance to breathe. As it is, we've got:

  • the legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • the legend of Rip Van Winkle
  • witches
  • dueling covens of witches
  • priests who are witches(?)
  • demons
  • probably the devil
  • the apocalypse
  • childhood flashbacks
  • 18th century flashbacks
  • conspiracies
  • the Revolutionary War as a cover for the timeless battle between good and evil
  • Starbucks jokes
If there was ever a time for this show, it's now. It captures the current American zeitgeist that obsesses over The Vampire Diaries and Once Upon A Time, laughs at Thor and Captain America confused by modern technology, and still wants a sequel to National Treasure even though those movies really shouldn't be entertaining. If there were a teenager or two onscreen this could be a CW show.

The one problem this show already has, of course, is the fact that they've set the stage for a seven-year arc (the timeline of the approaching end of the world)... and if Sleepy Hollow is any good Fox will cancel it in season two.

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