Spoiler content: Sleepy Hollow
So did you watch Sleepy Hollow? Yay for Clancy Brown! Boo for chopping off his head in the first ten minutes!
As a fan of all things horror, supernatural, and fantasy, I really want to love this show. I want more of this kind of thing on TV. But there just wasn’t a lot to love here. Frankly, it was kind of, well, boring.
This is a show that is trying to do too much, and none of it in a particularly interesting way. Come on, the apocalypse? Why is that necessary? The Headless Horseman has plenty of potential on his own. Stretching it into a struggle for life as we know it is just trying too hard. “Wait, you don’t find our villain compelling and terrifying on his own merits? Okay then, he’s DEATH INCARNATE! How do you like him NOW?”
And then you add in all the usual pilot awkwardness: the exposition is clumsily delivered, the chemistry between the actors hasn’t come together completely, the story in general just doesn’t feel cohesive yet. That stuff is all fixable, at least, but there was nothing about this first episode that got me excited for another one.
There were some bright spots (Nicole Beharie) and good lines. My favorites:
“Back up. You’re offended?”(hee)
“But that building is also a Starbucks.” (hee)
“Put your hands on your…” (hee)
But see the problem there? The highlights of a supernatural show should not be funny. Sure, there should be some light to balance out the dark. But this show had nothing really dark to balance. There wasn’t a single moment that was actually scary. I recall one that was mildly creepy. One. Mildly. This will not do.
I’m going to give Sleepy Hollow a couple more weeks, because a lot of disappointing pilots go on to be good shows. But I’m concerned that we’ve got another The Following on our hands: a good idea poorly executed. Please, Sleepy Hollow guys, prove me wrong. I’ll happily admit it if you do. I want to be on your side.