Sunday, February 25, 2024

“Sleepy Hollow” shows great promise as the newest fantasy, mystery series


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Going into FOX’s latest drama series “Sleepy Hollow,” I was a bit skeptical. While I love the original tale of Ichabod Crane, I’m not fond of modern retellings of classics—especially when they involve time travel. After seeing the result, however, “Sleepy Hollow” uses the right balance of fantasy, mystery, and allusions to make it one of the best supernatural themed shows in recent memory.

The plot revolves around Revolutionary War soldier Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison, “One Day”), who is transported into the present after an encounter with one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, whom Crane decapitates. Upon waking up, Crane finds himself in the present day city of Sleepy Hollow, where Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie, “Shame”) is investigating the beheading of her partner by a headless entity on horseback. Crane soon becomes the prime suspect, being as how his story of time travel from the 1700s sounds thoroughly unbelievable.

When Mills peers closer into Crane’s story, however, she becomes a believer. Together they begin to investigate the return of the Horseman and why Crane was sent to the present. The mythology introduced in the pilot will be what makes it or breaks it for most viewers. You can either go with the combination of Ichabod Crane, time travel and the book of Revelations, or you can just get lost in all the various layers of backstory. While it may seem like a bit of a stretch to retell “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” this way, the execution is done quite well. The elements introduced are presented in logical ways that shouldn’t leave you scratching your head. It really just comes down to your willingness to go along with the fantasy elements of “Sleepy

It’s also worth noting that not a lot of time is spent on Ichabod in “fish out of water” scenarios. While it is touched on, it isn’t as much
of a focal point as you’d expect from a show involving time travel. When it is brought up, it’s a nice comedic break in the otherwise
dramatic plot.

Overall, I’d say that “Sleep Hollow” is one of the most promising new shows this season. The pilot leaves you with intriguing questions that will be interesting to see unfold over the course of the season. If you’re looking for an interesting blend of mystery and fantasy, I’d give “Sleepy Hollow” a shot.

It airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. on FOX and is also available for streaming on Hulu and Amazon Instant.

Follow John Connor Coulston on Twitter at @JCCoulston.

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