A Simple Critique of Sleepy Hollow

Among my favorite television shows are Supernatural, Fringe, Twin Peaks, Lost, and Psych; Sleepy Hollow does not stand with those, and I’ll tell you why. Structurally Sleepy Hollow hits on all the points it needs to; scary supernatural force with strong roots in mythology (Supernatural), check; creepy monsters that travel through mirrors (Twin Peaks), check; John Cho acting as a minor henchman because for some reason that makes sense… check? My point being that Sleepy Hollow hasn’t reinvented the wheel when it comes to scary television show; in fact, the show takes what’s worked in the past to create some kind of super show, another concept that’s been used before (I’m looking at you Criminal Minds). I don’t like Sleepy Hollow for a number of reasons, today we’re going to tackle the vaguest reason.

I’ve been struck by a bolt of convenience by starting my posts on a by-week for Sleepy Hollow, allowing me to introduce my views without having to throw in an analysis of a specific episode. Convenience can be a handy when needed or asked for – like how I’m making my first post this week, the convenience lies in how I don’t have to worry about a new episode. However, the writers of Sleepy Hollow use convenience as fodder to advance their plot.. It’s more convenient to have Ichabod Crane be a smashing Oxford professor/Spy, have a photographic memory, cool wit, unparalleled intelligence, and strong hand to hand combat skills, rather than have him be the weak nerd who can’t face his fears like in the original story. Convenience plagues the show because it doesn’t allow for me as a viewer to emphasize with the struggle of the witnesses.

Take a look at “For the Triumph of Evil,” where Abbie and Ichabod try and take down the Sandman. After it took a while to figure out who the villain of the episode was going to be, defeating him was just a matter of convenience. It was convenient how Ichabod recognized the story of the Sandman from 250 years ago, it was convenient how Abbie knew a random Native-American who sold used cars down the street, and it was really freakin’ convenient how that Native-American had a stocked hut set up in the middle of a desert like area off the east coast – complete with non-indigenous scorpions. Abbie’s struggle to admit what happened to her and her sister as children didn’t even feel she ever doubted the events. The confession of her actions felt like it was more for the Sandman’s sake, and not her own; thus, making it sound like she was annoyed she had to admit to everyone she was wrong.

Has Fox created Sleepy Hollow based on the same pass/fail mentality used by maturing high-schoolers? I think so. Does that make Sleepy Hollow a bad show? maybe. What bugs me the most about Sleepy Hollow is how it uses generalities from shows like Supernatural to fuel the protagonist’s journey (Sam and Dean had Bobby as their librarian, while Abbie and Ichabod have Sheriff Corbin).Will I be picking apart every little detail of Sleepy Hollow and comparing it to every other show out there? No, because quite honestly Sleepy Hollow isn’t the only show out there that takes from the past. However, I will be picking out the “oh, c’mon!” moments for your reading pleasure. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being  my head is still fully connected to my neck and 10 being my head was taken clean off, I’m giving Sleepy Hollow a 5 – my head is still partially connected to my neck because the guy who swung at me doesn’t feel he needs to go to the gym.

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