At the recommendation of my mother I started watching Fox's new show Sleepy Hollow. I've mowed through the entire lineup of current episodes and frankly I find myself wanting more. It's actually been a very good year for television in my opinion. But that such a show is on fox worries me for it's future no matter what. After all, Fox doesn't have a good track record with this sort of show. I think many of us are still bitter about Firefly.
For those of you who aren't aware, Sleepy Hollow is a re-envisioning of the classic tale “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” however it is not based on the movie by Tim Burton of the same name. In this, Ichabod Crane was a soldier in the Revolutionary army who fell in battle after taking a Hessian soldiers head. In effect he creates his own nemesis in this series.
The story continues on with Ichabod awakening in present day Sleepy Hollow, two hundred fifty years removed from his own time. His wife, a witch, cast a spell to protect him however. This leads into the main thrust of this series. Stop the End of Days.
The story has continued on like this, with the Headless Horseman being the Rider of Death. One of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.
The most interesting parts of this show to me though aren't the mystical, or the spiritual, or the demonic. It's Crane's attempts to assimilate to the new time period he's found himself in. His partner, Sleepy Hollow PD Lieutenant Abby Mills (whom he address with the very British pronunciation of Leftenant) is a black woman. In today's TV and society that's nothing to speak of. For a man from a time one hundred years before the civil war it's a thing. Especially when he brings up emancipation of slavery.
There are other things that Crane brings up that are nothing to us today that drive him a bit batty. The “ten percent levy on baked goods” for one when looking at the receipt for a bag of donut holes. The state of water and why do people actually pay for it. Tomas Jefferson having six kids by a slave woman. All of this is in my opinion the most fascinating bits of story telling. A man who lives the history that we discuss in our classrooms and being appalled by what we do and don't know. The fact that he was setup in this as a History Professor at Oxford before the war only adds to his credentials on that aspect.
The interplay between Crane and Mills is what leads this show on. In fact it is the best part of it, and frankly I like that more then the hellfire battle axe going through a victims neck. That is what is going to carry this show over time.
I'm looking forward to more.