Technically speaking, spoilers for the first episode follow.
As pilots go for shows, I felt like this one was incredibly well put together. The show knows what it wants to be, who the main characters are, and laid out the major over-arching plot and premise for the show. Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Abbie (Nicole Behari) had incredibly good chemistry considering that this was the first episode. The special effects are a bit cheesey, particularly whenever they bring in cgi, but they didn’t actually lean on that too much. I thought the writing was pretty good, the dialog was mostly snappy (though it got a bit stilted and you’re trying way too hard to be clever in a few places) and it ought to be fun the same way Supernatural is fun.
And that’s because the concept is silly in the same way Supernatural is delightfully silly. Same Book of Revelations quasi-Biblical stuff, which I know is a wonderful mine for supernatural fun. The Headless Horseman is no longer a nameless Hessian who is just pissed off he took a cannonball to the face; he’s now Death himself, doing his part to end the world. Ichabod is now linked to the Horseman with some sort of magic, and he was also married to a witch apparently, though she never told him. (You can tell she’s a real witch because later in the show she appears in one if his dreams wearing a low cut black dress.)
Considering one of the selling points touted for this show was that it had writers who previously brought us Transformers and the new Star Trek, my expectations were admittedly not high. But I certainly enjoyed the pilot more than I enjoyed any of the Transformers movies. And no one ran away from an explosion in slow motion, so there’s that too. (Okay, I know that one was probably Michael Bay’s fault, not that of the writers.) The characters certainly had enough dimension to keep me interested even if the tropes made me roll my eyes a little now and then. (Gosh, thank goodness Abbie’s partner wad a Scrapbooking Guy so we could hey the back story info dump out of the way.)
What I honestly struck me the most was I felt the show did make an effort to have a diverse cast. One of the main characters is a woman of color, and there were other prominent non-white characters. (This has been on my mind thanks to the recent #DiversityinSFF talk if nothing else.) And I’m really excited about Abbie as a character because Nicole Beharie gave her some depth right off the bat. I’m looking forward to seeing her develop more. I’d be interested to hear the thoughts of others on this point, for certain.
All right, Sleepy Hollow, you’ve got me. You had fun, and you have sassy characters and some silly supernatural bullshit. AND A HEADLESS GUY WITH AN ASSAULT RIFLE. That’s really all I expect out of a Monday night tv show. I’ll keep watching.
Okay apparently this is going to be liveblog-ish, just me writing my thoughts as they come. So obviously there will be spoilers for the first episode.
This show is wonderfully cheesey. Ichabod striking horseman’s head off in one blow is just. Yes. Top ten cheesiest beheadings!
All right, I have to say I like Ichabod’s puzzled wonder as he encounters a road paved with asphalt for the first time.
I like Abbie Mills from the start; they establish at the beginning that she’s going to be heading to Quantico for FBI. And she does act pretty competent when she discovers the headless body–horror but no screaming. I have high hopes for her.
AND OH MY GOD JOHN CHO. JOHN CHO IS IN THIS!!!!
I’m liking that we’re seeing some diversity in the cast…
Polygraph test, really? Interesting background story for Ichabod though.
“Did you behead the horseman?” “No, I shot him first.” A little sassy there, Ichabod?
Oh wow, Orlando Jones as the police captain. I like it.
Hahaha nice Ichabod is a bit of a dick about Abbie being both a woman and black. She slaps him down so nicely. (But it’s okay because he was an abolitionist.)
Oh my god they are being so sassy at each other I can’t handle it help.
HAHAHA HE IS PLAYING WITH THE POWER WINDOW AND THEN ABBIE LOCKS IT.
Yes, Ichabod. There is always a Starbucks. Ah, the lady in trousers comment we’ve all been waiting for. The anachronism is really cute now, just hopefully they don’t try to milk it into oblivion.
Aha, the priest is up to something. No, not that. At least I don’t think so. Though he did level a Significant Look at Ichabod.
Really, we’re bring the Book of Revelations into this? I’m with you, Abbie. This is a bit silly.
The Headless Horseman is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? And he apparently wants to hang out in small town America. All right then.
He is riding Blucifer’s cousin, apparently.
The priest is apparently also an anime character. Aw, goodbye mysterious anime priest.
Ichabod’s spirit animal is a cgi hawk.
“I’m insane therefore impervious to simple commands.” Yes, then say you’re following a bird. Way to bolster your argument.
For someone who was burnt as a witch, his wife has a startlingly nice headstone.
Hm. Wondering what the four white trees are about. It’s a nice little hook for Abbie, I think. Oh man, I’m really loving her as a character.
Mysterious key! Mysterious files! Thank you dead partner guy for having a wicked scrapbooking habit. CONGRATULATIONS HERE’S ALL THE BACKSTORY YOU NEED. SHIT IS WEIRD IN SLEEPY HOLLOW. And Abbie isn’t crazy, so that’s nice to know.
Of course the witch is a redhead. Because we are full of magic and evil. (Wow, her eyes are super bloodshot.)
Super convenient that Ichabod and the Horseman managed to both fall over and bleed on a mysterious sigil carved in the ground. Excellent placement.
It strikes me that if the Horseman can’t stand the light, going underwater in a creek might not be the best way. Since water, you know, transmits light. And creeks aren’t nearly deep enough.
Oh no John Cho don’t get killed by the funny camera lens! Nooooo!
OH MY GOD THE HORSEMAN HAS ALL THE GUNS EVER HAHAHAHA he thinks he’s Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz.
Okay you had better have a clever plan, Sulu, or Abbie is going to kick your ass so hard.
If it’s the worst thing ever for the Horseman to get the skull, why the hell did you dig it up and unwrap it?
Oh no John Cho don’t be evil. Whoops I guess you are.
Way to bite your incredibly creepy coworker, Abbie! Go Abbie go!
I am seriously amused by the Headless Horseman having an automatic rifle.
“I’m all right!” STOP BEING SO CUTE ICHABOD. Whoops you have a severed head in a jar you are no longer cute.
No Quantico for Abbie, but it was fairly obvious she had to stay.
So apparently Abbie and Ichabod are supposed to be together for seven years fighting hell WAY TO SET YOURSELF UP, SLEEPY HOLLOW. Gosh, seven seasons? Trying to outdo six seasons and a movie?
Whoops, goodbye John Cho. You should never have pissed off a yeti. (The demon is not that scary looking. By the way.)