Fox’s new show ‘Sleepy Hollow’ premiered on Sept. 17 and the present-day headless horseman drama has definitely caused some mixed opinions. However, most are throwing the words ‘loony,’ ‘crazy’ and ‘fun’ into the mix.
The reviews are in! Critics have spoken about the new hit show Sleepy Hollow, which takes the classic story of the headless horseman and Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and brings it to a quirky, present day New York. So, did the show make heads roll?
‘Sleepy Hollow’ Review Roundup
While the joint consensus is that the “bizarre” show was entertaining to start, some aren’t sure it will last with the competition. However, many enjoyed the combination of witty jokes about Starbucks and Orlando Jones as a completely serious sheriff made the critics (and myself) actually enjoy the Blast From the Past-like show.
Sleepy Hollow is at its best when its characters are just sort of shrugging and resolving to deal with all the insanity going on around them as best they can, and conversely, it’s at its worst when it starts straying into trying to draw attention to that insanity for the sake of quick sound-bite jokes. [Tom] Mison does a great job of pulling off Crane’s frustration with a world that’s as crazy to him as he is to everyone else, but when he’s cracking wise at how many Starbucks there are in Sleepy Hollow, it falls pretty resoundingly flat. For the most part, though, he takes a character that could easily be annoying and plays him as the straight man to an increasingly bizarre world, and it works.
The weakest part of “Sleepy Hollow” involves some mystical hoo-hah about Crane’s wife and a battle between good and evil that is hundreds of years old, yada yada. It’s very hard to do that kind of thing well without coming off as a third-rate “Buffy” knockoff, and it remains to be seen if “Sleepy Hollow” will avoid those genre traps or stride right into them in its fancy Revolutionary War-era boots. But all in all, I was reasonably impressed with what Mison, Nicole Beharie (who plays a local cop) and Orlando Jones (the, er, head cop) were able to do in the pilot. It may be nutty, but “Sleepy Hollow” is able to create genuinely atmospheric moments and a few jolting scares in its pilot, which is more than I can say for most other new dramas.
Turning fairy tales and other time-honored stories into television is something of a thing right now, what with “Grimm” and “Once Upon a Time” and ABC’s forthcoming “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.” What gives “Sleepy Hollow” a chance is the appealing pairing of Mr. Mison and Nicole Beharie, who plays Abbie Mills, a lieutenant in the Sleepy Hollow sheriff’s department and just about the only person who takes Crane’s wild explanations seriously. Mills is black, and an amusing scene in which Crane tells her he is pleased that she has been emancipated is an example of the droll humor that runs beneath the sometimes-gruesome goings-on. Crane is also subjected to a polygraph test, another tasty collision of the 18th and 21st centuries.
t’s all great fun until, you know, someone loses a head. Actually, until someone finds a head. For reasons known only to its creators, the pilot for “Sleepy Hollow” seems determined to jam into one hour what could have easily, and more enjoyably, been spun out over several. Indeed, so much happens that by the end of the pilot, it’s not quite clear where the story is going to go next. It seems crossing “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” with “National Treasure” was seriously discussed.
What did you think of Sleepy Hollow? Will you continue to watch? Comment below to let us know!
WATCH: FOX Fall Preview: ‘Sleepy Hollow’
– Emily Longeretta
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