Putting the sleepy in Sleepy Hollow

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 () 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.

2 words on the street

  1. I’m two episodes in and I’m so not the fan of this show, nor do I like Once Upon A Time, or Grimm. I like a good police procedural like the next person, but the these supernatural worlds are just cheaply decorated with the trappings of fairy tale and filled with one-dimensional characters that buy into the show’s gimmick too easily.

  2. The second episode of Sleepy Hollow was so bad that I just quietly wept afterward and resolved never to speak of it again. :( So much potential. So much bad.

    I’ve seen a couple episodes of Grimm and I liked that pretty well though. Maybe my expectations for it were lower. The werewolf was good enough to keep me entertained and the internal logic is better, which is what drove me nuts more than anything with Sleepy Hollow. I have no problem suspending my disbelief for witches and headless guys, but I cannot deal with a cop escorting a murder suspect to an asylum in the front seat of her car, or with a secret passage between two-hundred-year-old buildings that has not only never been discovered before, but still contains the same stuff, completely fresh and intact, as it did back then.

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