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Thoughts On ‘Sleepy Hollow’ After Its Network TV Debut Last Night?

Thoughts On 'Sleepy Hollow' After Its Network TV Debut Last Night?

If you tuned in last night, what did you think? 

All the footage I’d seen of the new series prior to last night’s debut intrigued me enough to want to check it out, so I definitely watched. And I enjoyed it, which is a very rare thing for me to say when it comes to network TV shows in 2013.

It was well-acted, with an intriguing, albeit familiar story, and just sinister enough (as sinister as Broadcast network TV allows) to keep me engaged throughout. 

Episode 1 threw quite a bit at us right from the start – understandably so, I suppose. Think of episode 1 as you would the first 15 minutes of your typical Hollywood movie – meant to thrill, excite and hook you as quickly as possible, so that you’ll hopefully stay on for the ride that’s to come. So I wouldn’t expect every single episode to be as action-packed as the first one, but that’s OK. They don’t all need to be. It’s a roller coaster ride!

But I dug it, and, while it’s not what I’d call a heady series, I’ll return for episode 2. 

A part of me would love to see a series like this on cable TV instead, where the rules of what’s *acceptable* to broadcast tend to be more lenient, meaning a series like Sleepy Hollow would only up the ante on what’s considered disturbing, eerie, and sinister, making it all-the-more exciting to watch, me thinks. But I’ll take this for now, and hope that it can keep up the momentum. With a cast of diverse leads (a black American woman in Nicole Beharie, a black American man in Orlando Jones, and a Korean-American man in John Cho, notably), it would be great to see a series that proves itself over time, survive the itchy trigger fingers of studio execs, looking to quickly cut those programs that aren’t drawing the kind of audience they expect them to.

As much talk as has been given to Kerry Washington’s historical “black leading woman in a dramatic TV series” in ABC’s Scandal, don’t forget Nicole Beharie could make a splash of her own in FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, which itself is also a drama, but with adventure and mystery aspects to it, making it an entirely different kind of show, compared to Scandal

I don’t have the debut episode’s ratings yet, so I can’t say how well it did. But when I have the numbers, I’ll certainly publish them here.

It you tuned in, what did you think?

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Comments

Rita Montgomery

There are NO black people in Sleepy Hollow. Also the plot is disjointed and doesn't make sense.

Akimbo

I think it's stupid fun. Some of the dialogue is bad-bad-bad, but the plot moved so quickly that you don't have time to linger on it. I thought for sure that Abby and Ichabod were going to have to spend the rest of the series laboring in secret because no one else would believe them, and was so relieved that the craziness is out in the open.

Wish John Cho had survived, but oh well. I'll keep watching until/unless the dialogue starts overtaking the plot.

Molly

I agree that I really liked the show, but the part that pleasantly surprised me the most was the diversity! Bam! They really stepped it up to what our society SHOULD expect out of our big time TV shows and movies.

That being said, I can't wait until the next episode!

Molly

george f

Great opening show…well done, looking forward to the entire season encapsulated in the coming preview shown…

cecile

Loved it! The entire cast has great chemistry, the acting is on point and I didn't want the episode to end. Bring on epi 2. Hopefully people can get past their prejudice ways and enjoy a show that's merely for entertaining and nothing else.

Ronald T. Jones

Bforreal, just think of the show as a typical fantasy, just one that happens to use Christianity as a fantasy element, the same way Clash of the Titans used Greek religion as a basis for its fantasy elements.

Bforreal

I thought Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison were great, and I'll tune in next week. But the show lost me a bit with the Revelations crap, and as non-religious person, I just don't know how long I'll be able to hang in there with the overt religiosity of the show. Honestly, it's just plain annoying and does nothing for the storyline.

bb

The direction was really good. Len Wiseman did a great job bringing shots that we primarily see in feature films to the small screen (i.e. the POV shot after someone is beheaded, the POV shot of the window in the car scene, and a few others). Hopefully they can keep the momentum going because I honestly think SH could be the next big hit.

FactChecker

I enjoyed the show. I'm not familiar with Nicole's work, but she was good. I was engaged with her performance. However, I understand the points made by Syrich, however, I will add that anytime something is popular, whether with black or white actors, other writers and producer are ALWAYS going to try and capitalize on the phenomenon. Remember, what, three seasons ago when NBC and ABC tried to jump on the Mad Men bandwagon with Pan Am and the Playboy Club?

I don't mind formula, too much, if it works. And in this case it did. I liked how they tied history to the present, and I think Beharie and the actor playing Crane have solid chemistry. This is much better than Once on ABC and certainly very different, in tone, from Elementary. Also, don't forget her other colleague, who is Asian and now tied to the headless horseman by blood. I haven't seen FOX give diversity this much of a chance since In Living Color, back in the 90s.

I will keep watching and hope others will too. I found it refreshing that Orlando Jones, and Beharie, were playing roles that — let's keep it real — probably weren't written with either in mind. And I liked how the racial/slave element was immediately addressed too.

The writing was smart. I will continue to watch and support this show and hope it does well in the ratings. … And hope people of all races, but particularly our folks, will find it and stay tuned.

Phred G

LOVED IT! (details in your 'numbers' post). As for " the actress Nicole Beharie (whom I am not familiar with) looked too petite, young and weak for the role. " . You are entitled to your opinion but please GET FAMILIAR with her work ( APARTMENT. 4E, AMERICAN VIOLET, 42 ) . She has a wide range and is fine for the part. ijs. BTW: MY LAST DAY WITHOUT YOU should be out soon. Shows she is a 'triple-threat'.

ScriptTease

I enjoyed Sleepy Hollow, as I do Once Upon a time shown on ABC.

Syrich

I am a bit reluctant to post my comment, because of all the Nicole Beharie love being expressed here. However, my post is not intended as hate against NB, it is simply my personal opinion about casting and certain formulas being applied. I started watching and was interrupted, but the flashbacks looked really good. Very visual and engaging. I love history and I was interested to see how well it would be handled in the story. I do not like the casting, the actress Nicole Beharie (whom I am not familiar with) looked too petite, young and weak for the role. I like that its a sista being cast, just wish she had a little more volume. To me she looks like she was cast because she is similar to Kerry Washington and they are trying to apply the Scandal, black woman/white man formula. From what I saw, the show had great potential, but it was being overshadowed by hints of Scandal, Once Upon Time and Grimm all rolled up together. I think the show could be good on its own, if it removes its gimicky aspect. Scripted TV is becoming more and more like reality TV, the same script is being used over and over. Nevertheless, I am going to try to keep watching to see if it becomes good TV or if something better is broadcast at the same time.

Walter Harris Gavin

Is Tarrytown, NY really that diverse a place that you have so many black folks in positions of authority? And given the storyline it seems as if it's not a new phenomena (being a bit tongue 'n cheek here). I think it's great to showcase "diversity" in this way and Nicole Beharie is certainly a star. I think the idea of "the horseman" being "death" as in The Book of Revelations is a stretch and it's a bit ridiculous that modern residents of Sleepy Hollow wouldn't know anything about the story which made their 'burg famous.
Rather than come up with this far-fetched(in this context) "Revelations" trope, why not focus on the notion that The Legend of Sleepy Hollow rather than being just a made up ghost story is "real," and have the characters deal with that situation. I think a more interesting series could be made out of that -suspense-filled, intriguing and dramatic, with a little commentary on modern life (via the Rip Van Winkle/Ichabod Crane character) thrown in for comedic relief.

Mimi

I like it. It reminds me of Grimm a bit, especially in the ways in which the horror and humor are intertwined. I am looking forward to seeing how Nicole's character's sister adds another element to the story. It was cool how they discussed the obvious racial stuff right away instead of pretending that the characters were devoid of any racial, gender, or other social markers.

Between this show and American Horror, I am looking forward to some series that deal with my favorite supernaturals…witches! Enough with the vamps already!

AJones

Great first episode. Had me all the way, until the 'headless horsman' appears fitted out with an array of assault weapons, etc. which he handled like a Vietnam Vet. So where did he learn to fire those?? If anything was unbelievable, then that certainly topped the lot. However, the concept of being reincarnated in 2013 didn't really bother me so I guess my point is mute!

onyx

Well done show. The flashbacks worked for me, but I have my doubts whether the wife/witch is really on the side of the good guys.

Nicole and Tom's chemistry was evident throughout the episode. Their banter was witty (the car scene where he's enamored at the automatic window going up and down was priceless) and Nicole's part appears to have a mysterious, chilling backstory (for her and her sister). I enjoyed it, and the ending was pretty spooky. Didn't expect one character's surprising betrayal and death, but I hope this character returns somehow.

Teddy

I was waiting for a review from S&A! I kept flipping back and forth from this show and another, so I can't really give a good review here. But I'm not sure how I'm going to get into all the Revelations and more that's going on in the show. I'll have to re-watch, and check out the next episode since I love Nicole Beharie's work.

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