Sleepy Hollow *Was* a Good Show
Sleepy, sleepy, Sleepy Hollow. Let me start by saying that I loved the first season of Sleepy Hollow. I remember my friends telling me, "This is crap! Bleh! We love Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, etc..." But those did not speak to me. I watched Supernatural and enjoyed it from a distance, and think it should have ended after five seasons and not morphed into whatever it is now.
But Sleepy Hollow... It was a creepy Halloween show that was over the top, incredibly silly at moments, but draped in accessible horror. The show flipped the legend of Ichabod Crane on its head by casting him as an action hero, and it did the same with the cop drama by having the chief trust his detective (even with the crazy supernatural events).
Season 1 was AWESOME! I remember watching the pilot and seeing the Witnesses (what Abby and Ichabod will be called) have to outsmart or keep one step ahead of the Headless Horseman, who, akin to a Lovecraftian mythos creature or Dalek, was resistant to mundane weaponry. The only reprieve from the Horseman's wrath was the light of day. Due to the likely limited expectations, the show moved at a fast clip with the episodes and they threw real punches with plots. The chemistry between Beharie and Mison was electric.
The most riveting part of the show was the casting. The incredibly diverse cast that was the core of the show and gave it its greatest strength. Featured are two strong, courageous and intelligent black female characters with a deep and complex relationship. They were friends, enemies and always sisters. The two women of color were coupled with the time-displaced action hero Ichabod, the only white member of the team, and rounded out with the determined, clever, family-man Captain. Even the supporting cast was diverse in terms of both race and gender.
It was television written to my demographic, or at least felt like that, as I watched it. Maybe it had the flexibility to be so diverse because Fox figured it was a one-off that no one would watch. I can envision the board members of suits right now: "Come on, Chad! It's a Halloween show. Let the cast be whoever." Unless of course Matt Damon is reading this and wants to tell me otherwise...
But it was a hit and they got another season.
When I read they wanted them to add four more episodes, my heart sank. That would mean watering down what worked on the show and the executives taking a more active role in the show, which rarely turns out well. But that did not dissuade me from the second season; so I watched it. By the third episode, I knew this was not my show anymore. I remember my friends saying how much they loved the show now, how it had gotten better. In my mind, it occurred to me all of that change happened when the cast whitened. I am not saying they consciously understood, as I do, that executives have subtly trained viewers as to what to expect, that anything that goes against that "norm" needs to be on a special network or at a dedicated time for "those" shows. But their praise grew for the show as did my disdain for it.
Where was Frank? His family? Why is Abby a backseat character in her own show? What happen to my bad ass Jenny that was a double edged sword? Why do I care about this blond-haired second-rate Nathan Drake clone (I love the Uncharted Games and can't wait for the next game)? And WTF! Can we please lose Ichabod's "dead" wife. Everyone is hoping for Abbey and Ichabod to get together . . . why the constant and frustrating romance roadblocks? (I won't lie, when they put Jenny and Frank together, I liked it. I liked it a lot and thought what a great pair that would have made. ) Don't say, "Because when TV couples get together it is boring." It is not boring; it just requires good writing and it is something that has been done countless times before.
I suffered through Season 2 of the show, hoping beyond hope that they would pull it together. I hate what they did to Frank; Frank was my guy. I love Orlando Jones and was pleased to see him playing a serious role and killing it! At the end of Season 2, I turned to my lovely wife that listened to me moan throughout most of that season and said, "One more episode and then I am done." She kind of nodded with that "we will see" look, that I have become to which I have become accustomed.
This brings us to today. I watched Season 3, Episode 1: I, Witness, and that was my last episode. You know why if you have read this entire post, but for clarity's sake, let's do this. Let's start with the fact that Frank is totally off of the show; this mostly killed it for me but I had to try. All of the awesomeness has been sucked out of Jenny. It was nice to see Abby, Ichabod and Jenny interact and joke. But the moment that sexy swashbuckler Betty Ross appeared, I have to assume it is yet another stalling tactic against the Abby and Ichabod romance. I won't go into detail for fear of spoiling it for anyone that wants to watch it, but just know that you have one less geek to talk to about the show
I will be watching iZombie and loving it.