Sleepy Hollow Season 1
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Created by the writers of Star Trek (2009) and Transformers (2007) comes this suspenseful and witty series inspired by Washington Irving's supernatural classic. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), a British expatriate who dies in the American Revolution, is revived in upstate New York during the time of the cell phone - as is the evil Headless Horseman, who plans to annihilate mankind! Teaming with a feisty police lieutenant (Nicole Beharie), Crane races to vanquish the newly unearthed dark forces - or face the impending apocalypse. Own "Sleepy Hollow" Season One, and bring home a musketful of special features including commentaries, deleted scenes and more!
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It is atmospheric (a dark and spooky Sleepy Hollow), re-imagines the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" with a Crane who was a British spy working with George Washington against a Headless Horseman who sets the stage for the Apocalypse, and a modern spin with Sleepy Hollow Police Lieutenant Abbie Mills getting involved. The two crime-fighting leads, played by Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison, are funny (snarky) and just seem to have great chemistry even though they are from two different centuries.
Oh, and of course the musical theme couldn't be more perfect, the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil".
We are introduced to the two lead characters, Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills, in the first 10 minutes, and you watch as they try to thwart the Headless Horseman in his killing spree to find his head. They also have to convince Captain Irving (yes, a nod to Washington Irving) that: 1) Ichabod Crane is from 1776, and 2) Abbie Mills saw something that makes Crane valuable in solving the killings.
It is pure fantasy that happily takes liberties with a lot of things, but in the end it is fun, exciting, and could possibly be addictive if the rest of the series matches the first episode.
The series is a tribute to Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, only the show is much better than the book. Tom Mison is fascinating to watch as Ichabod Crane, a soldier in the Colonial Army that is resurrected in present day time who must help Lieutenant Abbie Mills fight the Headless Horseman and other demonic creatures. (It's hilarious to watch the character of Ichabod react to modern day technology and speak with 1780's dialog.) Of course not all episodes deal with the Headless Horseman. It turns into a 'monster-of-the-week' kinda show, but I promise it doesn't take away from the fun. There is one episode that deals with the Horseman's backstory that'll leave you shocked. I can't speak highly enough of this show. I can't wait to buy the Blu-Ray and look forward to the 18 episode second season. I definitely recommend SLEEPY HOLLOW: SEASON ONE!!!
The end times are near, as witches, ghosts, and demons rise. If the Headless Horseman is reunited with his head, the other three Horsemen will ride as well, and it will be Hell on Earth. Crane, accompanied by street-wise police Lieutenant Abbie Mills, find they are the biblical Witnesses, destined to battle the forces of evil and save the world.
Sleepy Hollow takes a number of interesting and rather fun liberties with Washington Irving's classic ghost story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, blending it with elements of Irving's other work, Rip Van Winkle, as well as shows like Supernatural and The X-Files. There's even a reference to comic book character Captain America, as both he and this version of Ichabod Crane are "men out of time." The show utilizes horror and supernatural elements very effectively, and also blends these elements with historical elements that cast a new spin on the American Revolutionary War.
The show also uses humor very well, as Crane must adapt to a modern world that he finds bewildering and baffling. Tom Mison's performance as Ichabod Crane shines here, as he doesn't overplay it, his subtle reactions to things like automatic car windows (not to mention cars themselves), and his seemingly legitimate outrage over a tax on donut holes is sheer gold for the viewing audience. His uncanny chemistry with Nicole Beharie's "Leftenant" Abbie is truly the emotional backbone of the show. (Side note - Beharie is exiting the show before its fourth season next fall, so I cannot imagine this show without the Team Witness chemistry of Crane and Abbie.) The great John Noble joins the show halfway through the first season, adding even more depth to the impressive acting talent on display.
If there are any flaws with the show, it's that the season is too short, lasting only a paltry 13 episodes. Also, the subplot involving Katrina, Ichabod's wife who is trapped in Purgatory, lends little emotional heft to the main story. Yes, Ichabod wants to reunite with his wife, but we don't get to spend much time with her or get to see them together often enough to feel anything emotionally for their relationship.
Though the show has fallen off in quality in subsequent seasons - you get the feeling they had a good idea with this show but didn't know where to take it - the first season is still one of the best first seasons for a show in recent memory. It made me a fan, so much that I visited the actual Sleepy Hollow in upstate New York (I live an hour and twenty-minute drive away) and had to enjoy some Apple Pie a la Mode at a diner named The Horseman while I was there. Watch the pilot and you'll get the reference.
Filmmaker Len Wiseman (the Underworld series, Live Free or Die Hard, the Total Recall remake) is a producer on the show and directed the pilot episode, and it exists as probably his best work. Welcome to Sleepy Hollow. The Headless Horseman awaits you.
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