New show Sleepy Hollow is just crazy fun, with witches, headless horsemen, dead men walking, weird creatures, curses and spells, all in one little town. I love that it isn’t yet another retelling of the classic short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The producers of the supernatural drama series have been smart making the Headless Horseman one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which adds a tantalising extra creepiness that this has something to do with the end of the world (don’t worry Supernatural fans, they’re doing something completely different and it doesn’t smack of “copycatness” of the series’ season five storyline).
Another reason the show works and has been renewed for a second season is the delightful chemistry between the two lead characters – Ichabod Crane who wakes up in present-day Sleepy Hollow after dying about 200 years ago and detective Abbie Mills, the streetwise cop with a supernatural history who realises they’ll have to work together to stop whatever crazy weirdness is happening in the town.
There are also funny moments when Ichabod (are we all okay with calling him Icky?) is befuddled by modern life and technology, such as light switches and electric car windows, and asking if there’s a law enforcing a coffee shop on every corner of the town. And I liked the subtleness of one particular shot in which Abbie left sticky notes all over Ichabod’s motel room explaining what everything does. That’s the beauty of it – they don’t overplay the “fish out of water” angle to the point of cheesy. I also like that the pair are played by sort-of newcomers, British actor Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie, who was in the award-winning movie Shame with Carey Mulligan and Michael Fassbender (whom she dated for a while, I see). I haven’t seen her in anything else though.
But there are things that bug me about the show. And a big one is the fact that Icky is still wearing the same old-fashioned clothes he was wearing when he woke up in his watery grave! It’s three episodes in and a few weeks seem to have passed in their world yet no one thinks it’s odd this man is wandering about town in his slightly tatty Revolutionary War uniform.
I took my problem to Twitter and ended up having a funny conversation with others who had the same concern (though we do like his scruffy cuteness). @heymeeshi said that he should have woken up naked or at least in rags because his clothes would have disintegrated after being buried for 200 years. @LaJoliePoeta made the good point that if he’d changed his clothes the whole “he’s a looney from the 1700s wouldn’t stick as much”, which is true but as @BlackGirlNerds said, “I hope Icky gets his makeover soon. Until then . . . his pet name ‘Icky’ remains.” So others are definitely as bugged by this as I am!
I’ve thought maybe he’s still in his old garb for financial reasons. So far there’s no mention of being paid by the police department for his consulting services, so does this mean Abbie is supporting him financially? She might need to take this up with her boss, Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones).
I eventually found the answer though. Executive producer Alex Kurtzman told Entertainment Weekly it won’t change because it reminds the audience that he’s out of place. “It’s like his security blanket. He can never feel comfortable in our world. The minute he gets comfortable, the show is over.”
No, sorry, that doesn’t work for me. At some point he should at least get a change of clothing, maybe something from the town’s museum then if jeans aren’t his thing. But whatever happens they cannot mess with his hair – the actor is making that ponytail wig work!
My other gripe is about poor Katrina (pictured above), Icky’s good witch wife, who’s trapped “between worlds”. I hope she’s going to get a better storyline than weeping and summoning Icky to the place where she’s stuck to dish out warnings. She looks quite lovely as she does it but everyone else, including Abbie’s sister, has a strong storyline, why not her?
If you haven’t started watching it’s not too late as it’s only three episodes in!
PS: I moaned endlessly about how disappointed I was in new series Ironside (click here to read) in my previous TV blog and how I wasn’t able to get past the first episode. Quite a few readers agreed with me on Facebook. Well, folks, it was cancelled after only three episodes had aired in America. Here’s hoping Blair Underwood gets the good series he deserves.
- Sleepy Hollow is on Mondays on M-Net Series Showcase (DStv) at 7.30 pm