A sleeper of a show in 'Sleepy Hollow'

Laugh, cry, and get scared all in time for fall. Photo: hiddenremote.com

ROCKVILLE, Md., September 24, 2013 – It’s that time of year when the pace of summer gives way to the gradual change of fall. The leaves are slowly changing colors, you can smell the sweet decay of leaves in the air.

Isn’t that nice?

Fall also happens to be the time when we get the crap scared out of us by television shows and movies which seem to have the sole motive of making us lose sleep at night. It does not help whatsoever that owls and crows pick this particular time of year to hoot and squawk and generally make us think that ghosts or zombies are coming to pick your brains out.

One such show which is currently the number one reason for “Zombie” ammo flying off the shelves at your local gun store is “Sleepy Hollow.”

Yes, “Sleepy Hollow.”

Set in present day Westchester County, New York, this newest adaptation of Washington Irving’s timeless tale of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman brings some welcome and fresh new perspectives to an age-old story.

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If you have been watching Fox Primetime you will have seen commercials for this show. (Lots of them.)

The premise looks awful on commercials. During the American Revolution, a three hundred year old British soldier-turned-spy for the Americans under Gen. George Washington is awakened in present day Sleepy Hollow to find that the very man whose head he chopped off is gallivanting around the town causing all sorts of trouble.

He delivers profound one-liners about how the world is so different, wonders at the existence of guns that fire more than one shot at a time, makes interesting observations on taxes…you get the picture.

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The whole thing looked…terrible. Time to wield that remote.

But in the spirit of Halloween, the season of the dying, why not give the show at least a chance?  

Good choice. It was awesome.

In some ways it was so bad it was good, and in other ways the story was intensely enthralling. Perhaps most surprisingly, the premise blows all of the previous Sleepy Hollow adaptations out of the water. Sorry Johnny Depp. Your Ichabod “Edward Scissorhands” Crane has nothing on the current Fox iteration who is not as timid and scared for at least half the movie.

Spoiler alerts below.

But not really since we’re two episodes in and they explain all of this relatively quickly.

What If the Headless Horseman weren’t just a dead Hessian mercenary, but instead happened to be “Death,” the pale rider of the Apocalypse? And what if this Horseman had been dispatched to raise his ghostly brothers to help commence preparing the world for the End of Days?

Interested yet? Does the phrase “escalated quickly” come to mind? If not, maybe it’s time to kick that imagination into gear.

Also, Harold—you know, the guy from “Harold and Kumar Smoke Weed and Go to White Castle”—also makes an appearance in this mix. He’s not that bad, either.

If you think about it, the entire show seems like a mutant child conceived somehow by film directors Michael Bay and Guillermo del Toro. Displeased with the result, they sent the mutant kid to television while they vacationed in Europe.

The Fox “Sleepy Hollow” dishes out the patented, explosive gun fights and terrible dialogue that make Bay’s Rotten Tomatoes-condemned movies infamous, while at the same time incorporating the mythic, dark and driving story lines and characters of del Toro flicks. The weird metaphysics of it all result in a show that’s interesting and fun show to watch.  

You sit there in front of your flatscreen in initial disbelief. Your first impression: the dialogue is terrible and campy, and you are physically getting uncomfortable. Worse, the jampile of quips and jokes about the differences between 300 years ago and now quickly start jumping the shark.

But then, for some reason it all starts to grow on you. Just when you think the bad dialogue is going to compel you to look for an air-sickness bag, it starts to grow on you. And as the episode goes on, the content gets darker and darker and it feels more like “American Horror Story” than a campy “Sleepy Hollow” remake.

The show will ultimately surprise you as it draws you in to ominous nether world. It pushes the limits of violence as the plot advances, providing you with gorier details than your standard issue police procedural. But they are drawing you into the story as you perch on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next.

And perhaps most surprisingly of all, you end up caring for the characters, and find yourself even looking forward to hearing those clever quips about how high taxes, which definitely adds a political dimension to the show while also making it enjoyable.

“Sleepy Hollow” is actually a show worth watching. It is exciting, enthralling, funny, dark, scary, and intriguing. It combines all the good parts of bad movies with the scary parts of popular horror/occult movies.

So yourself a favor and tune in. The show currently airs on Monday nights at 9 p.m EDT. But it’s a safe bet that after one night of watching this show after sundown, you will DVR it and watch it with all the windows open and all the lights on while casting cautious, paranoid glances at any strange shadows that flit across your media den.

Do not watch “Sleepy Hollow” alone. After catching even one episode, you will begin to notice every little creak and groan you hear in your house. Which is exactly what makes it worth watching.   


This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Conor Higgins

Conor Higgins has a B.A. from Catholic University in DC in American History, with a concentration on guerrilla warfare on American soil. He has an M.A. in US History from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with a concentration on Cold War insurgency. He believes that all news and all information should be taken with a grain of salt, and implores people everywhere to seek news stories everywhere. 

Higgins is also a fervent believer in the traditional role of media, in terms of acting as a balanced check on government policies and individuals regardless of party affiliation. But in the end, he believes that no matter how heated an issue is, there is nothing that can't be discussed over a smoke and some whiskey. 

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