Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sleepy Hollow - Ghoul of the Weak?


Unfortunately I thought Sleepy Hollow took a step back this past episode.  After a slam bang opener that intrigued many across the TV viewing universe it fell back into cliches, familiar tropes and the tired themes that mark too many TV shows.

I'll cool off a little and speak of some of the questions I've posed recently about Sleepy Hollow. 

The morning of the day of the second episode, I asked the group of "Bunsen Burners" on Facebook how long Crane would be in his old duds as they must be a bit odoriferous by now.   As we found out early on Crane has decided to do his own laundry.  Clever.  Dressing him in modern day frocks would dilute his identity as the "fish out of water."  Better to keep him separated from the others as an out of time throw back..

Speaking of frocks here is something I am disappointed in.


Abbie Mills is now dressed in civvies as opposed to her stitched up Sheriff deputy's uniform.  So, it's paramount to preserve Cranes identity through his clothes but Abbie has to be a babe now?  Wouldn't we rather see her a little uptight and starched as a foot soldier type policemen?  It keeps her as an underdog that is always bucking the system.  Now thanks to the clothing change she's part of the system.  Bad move.

Sorry, back to some of the questions I had posed.


In last week's blog I had wondered if Katrina was going to be a series regular and were we going to see her exclusively in the "mirror universe" and flashbacks.

Answer received!

Katia Winter who play Katrina in the series received third billing after Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie.  Impressive.  This leads one to believe she may actually make it out of the "between" worlds and join the land of the living.  It certainly means she  will get a meatier role in the show.

One of my major points from my last blog was the absence of incredulity by many of the show's characters towards Ichabod Crane.  It didn't take long for Abbie, Captain Irving and two of the deputies that responded to the final gun fight to buy into Crane's story.  I loved it and found it refreshing that we didn't have to endure a season long battle for Crane to get people to believe him.

Well, that's gone!


This is very disappointing.  Talk about familiar themes.  Irving has withdrawn his support, the two deputies have recanted their statements, and as Crane noted, Abbie is already rolling her eyes at what he says, where she once trusted what she saw.   Very disappointing.


How is this for a cliched device?  The jealous ex-boyfriend.  Egads.  How tiresome.  They can't create enough tension between Abbie and Crane they have to throw in the angry ex?  Naturally he is a hunk.  Please.


Maybe I should talk about some of the things I did like.

The humor!

Watching John Cho stumble around with his head on backwards was hilarious.  Even his tearing himself out of the body bag was a hoot as he clumsily crashed to the floor.





I also found the yellow stickies in Cranes (Motel?) room funny.  They serve two purposes also.  Its a good joke that Crane can't make sense of things we take for granted every day.  It's funny to see him squirm at his predicament.  But they also remind us what a fish out of water he is.  Humor is a great asset to this show I hope they don't lose it.

Oh, let's get back to something that really bothered me.  The "Ghoul of the Weak".  


Back in the day, when Smallville was still running, they fell into the trap of the "Freak of the week".  They would introduce some Kryptonite tainted kid and Clark, the future Superman, would have to defeat him or her and wrap everything up in a nice tidy bow by the end of the episode.

That grew old very fast but fortunately for Smallville the figured their way out of that box and rescued the series.  Sadly, Sleepy Hollow has fallen into that very same trap in its second episode.  Freak created, freak defeated.  Uh-oh.  Warning Will Robinson this type of story telling is a trap.  Please don't let it sink this show!  Karina drops a hint, Crane figures it out and monster goes bye bye.

Weak.

Ok, I'm starting to bum myself out and "Agents of Shield" is on so let's wrap this up on a high note.


I love the mythology stuff.  It gives the viewing audience something to chew on much like Fringe did.  The reverse side of Kartrina's tombstone had the "All Seeing Eye" carved into it as well as the two Doves we see above.  Good stuff, keep it coming.




Also good is the introduction of Abby's sister, Jenny.  She looks crazy and kick ass.  A delightful combination.  Maybe this is why they've watered down Abby to make her sister more of a contrast.  I hope not.

OK, I'll perk up maybe next weak (week) will be better.  But if not I still have my single shot black powder pistol by my side.




4 comments:

  1. Hi Dave,
    Well second episodes tend to take a step back now don't they? My guess would be that freak of the week will be the pattern with heavy mythology episodes around sweeps, same pattern as a lot of genre shows. Fringe did it particularly well in that the freak of the week usually somehow resonated with what the main characters were going through. How well Sleepy Hollow implements this strategy remains to be seen.

    I was very happy to see Clancy Brown and John Cho back. Abby's relationship with the sheriff adds depth to her character and his demise was rather rushed in the pilot. John Cho is cracking me up! So why would the demon break his neck only to fix it and send him on another mission? Wasn't he already a minion?

    Ichabod's wardrobe. It works for now, I guess. I am personally looking forward to him putting on some jeans :)

    The mirror image doves on Katrina's headstone were a nice touch. No follow-the-eagle this week, wonder if that was just for the pilot?

    Ex-beau, YAWN.
    Jenny, hello!

    I'm sticking with the show for now. -Lynne :)

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    1. Hi Lynne,

      I like your comparison to Fringe and how they handled their own "Freaks" on a weekly basis. I know it's early but the vibe I got from "Hollow" was that Fringe did it a lot better. Maybe I am spoiled. "Hollow" is drawing a lot of Fringe comparisons and that is a tough measuring stick for them. But if you want to be the best you have to beat the best right?

      Count me as also happy to see Clancy and Cho back. I like them both very much. I feel badly that Clancy seems to get killed off all the time. As for the Demon cracking Cho's neck, I think he wanted to use him "undercover". Preserving his role as a deputy but expected to be dead by the rest of the force. It was a bit of a stretch. Since they should have noticed the missing squad car and the empty body bag.

      Jeans on Mison? Ha, I like him and I think he is dong very well. If the show took a step back it certainly wasn't his fault.

      Keep an eye out for more clues like the headstone in case I miss something.

      I'm sticking with the show also but the hunky boyfriend I could do without but Jenny looks like a lot of fun.

      Thanks Lynne!

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  2. Hi Dave,
    I agree with you..... ep2 was a little lack lustre. Must admit I was a little disappointed. I even watched it twice .... which I shouldn't have done.

    The things I did like were the stickies. Im glad they're making a point of doing this sort of thing because lets face it, Ichabod has missed the last 250 years (as he pointed out). I also like the fact that he is still wearing his clothes. I think it keeps the audience aware that he is from a different time. But, obviously, somewhere along the line he is going to have to change his clothes. He cant keep wearing the same clothes through the whole of season 1. However, I really do hope they find a way to keep him in that style of clothing though. I think the show needs that. Like you I was disappointed that Abbie is already out of her uniform.

    I loved the brief introduction of Abbie's sister Jenny. She looks like she is gonna be a real kickass strong willed character. I thought this was the strongest part of the ep ... even if it was near the end!

    I didn't like the freak of the week case. The demise of the witch was just way too cheesy and so quick! The director /producers, writers & editors have to do better than that! I hope that we don't ever see the ex boyfriend again .... that was unnecessary. And.... oh please, I hope they don't keep pushing or hinting at a possible romance between Ichabod and Abbie. The 2 main leads in a tv show don't have to hook up to make it successful. In my opinion .... it shows a weakness in writing and plot development ...and the ultimate demise of a tv show. (This is a personal bug bear of mine so I will stop talking about it ...AAARRRGGHHH)

    During my 2nd rewatch I listened closely to the dialogue ....especially at the end ...and oh man ...it sounded like they had raided a Fringe script. I hope it was just a co-incidence ....and I hope im wrong .... because there is only one Fringe ...and Sleepy Hollow will never match it.

    Despite my lack lustre opinion of ep 2, I will be tuning into next weeks ep. I like Tom Mison and I want to give this show a decent chance before I decide to throw in the towel.

    Lyn (runpaceyrun)

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  3. I'll start with you last comment Lyn,

    I like Tom Mison also. I think he is doing a very nice job and I am a fan of his facial expressions. No dialog needed to feel his frustration or exhibit his wry sense of humor. If there is anything wrong with this show it is not his fault.

    It looks like we are of like mind as for the rest. As far as his clothes are concerned, you know hat would be funny? If people started dressing like him around town as some sort of fashion statement or trend. That would be funny. Or better yet, he'll stumble across some 18th century reenactors and he'll think he is amongst his own people again. Or, I'm calling it now, he'll have to hide amongst some renactors in order to solve some supernatural crime. Like it?

    It's funny you mentioned Jenny as the strongest part of the show. I thought exactly the same thing. That's an indictment on the rest of the show.

    I usually do a re-watch before I blog but I skipped it this time and erased my DVR copy. I loved it that much.

    Thanks Lyn!

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