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    September 22, 2013


    The modern retelling of Washington Irving “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a large deviation from the more familiar Tim Burton’s version back in 1999. But that is an advisable decision and is essentially not a wrong move after all. The TV series created by Philip Iscove, Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Lens Wiseman, works perfectly fine in this aftertaste, when television sees the revival of many classics in the streamline over the past year. I have enjoyed the modernization version of Sherlock Holmes’ “Elementary” and I am expecting myself to be sitting through this too. But what truly stands out is that despite some awkwardness, putting Ichabod Crane 250 years ahead of the supposed setting in the modern contemporary world pleasantly works. “Legend what?” you may said, but this tale about a headless veteran of the American Revolution is nothing you can ever take it lightly. Even if you wished it does not have, expect a great amount of occultism, witchcrafts, biblical mythology and so on.

    Without giving away much of the plot and premise, the pilot starts with the resurrection of Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and the headless horseman, 250 years after they killed each other. With the headless Horseman on the loose at the small town of Sleepy Hollow beheading his victims, Crane is arrested on suspicion of the murders. But Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), a police officer waiting to transfer out of that small town for a higher career prospect, knows that it is not Crane who did it, as she witnessed, in one occurrence, the beheading of her partner by the Horseman herself. Little did they know though that the Horseman is actually part of an ancient prophesy based on the Book of Revelation as trigger to the apocalypse that will pits the goods and evils in an impending war.

    While it is not perfect, “Sleepy Hollow” still makes use of its own brilliant premise and concept to set the series for further expansion in the future. All I can say is this version of “Sleepy Hollow” is a hybrid between “Grimm”, “Supernatural” and to a lesser extent “The X-Files”. The first half an hour is pretty much a standard clichéd story that you have possibly seen from countless of others. But when things start to settle and more gibberish expositions churning out, the story takes for a better drastic turn. Occasionally, you may be also feeling disappointed (for the good, though) when any attempt to guess what is coming next, is hampered by a pleasant degree of unpredictability. So, they characters are constantly on the move, as if this is an overexcited TV show where you are not sure when they are going to have a moment of sitting down, regurgitate the facts and starts on with new expositions. That’s okay, at least you know this TV series is going to be fast in pacing and would spends less time pondering why Ichabod has not making any commentary about smartphones or laptops, yet! And sure, there are some apologetic plot holes around but some great TV shows do have them too.

    The two leads are fortunately, good enough, unlike the bad and weird combo duo from, let’s say, “Alcatrez”. Tom Mison’s performance Ichabod Crane is cooked-up different from the personas of the original story, but nevertheless interesting enough to infuse the character with his own sway, sarcasm and haunting knowledge right on his brain. On the opposite, Nicole Beharie as Abbie, is tough on her own, backed with some ghostly experiences from her past, is an okay match to Crane. But time will they if they can work more than just exchanging banters for the whole pilot episode. For now, I am psyched with “Sleepy Hollow” not because it is awesome or anything, but it is a great combination between figuring how some things will work well in this drama, the curiosity of how this leads too and the transfiguration of interesting absurdity.

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