First of all lets clarify one thing: Fox’s Sleepy Hollow is a supernatural police drama and if you don’t like demons and monsters you’ll be missing half of the fun.
One of the things I love the most about this show (but not the thing) is how much it embraces the fantasy element, making it not an accessory to an otherwise ordinary crime story but its backbone and source of conflict. A bonus point are the seamless visual effects and makeups, which create a believable and rich world without the distracting nuisance of bad CGI (Yes, Grimm, I’m looking at you!)
Sleepy Hollow, now in its second season, is inspired by the popular short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, where an headless horsemen torments a poor man by the name of Ichabod Crane and his beloved Katrina. And if Ichabod (Tom Mison) and Katrina (Katia Winter) remain, the story spawns in an epic tale of war between the Good and the Evil, in a passionate revival of classical american tales all spiced up with a good dose of guns and enchantments. Ichabod, a resurrected soldier and spy in the Colonial Army, is a man of the past that finds himself slingshot in the present as one of the two Witnesses, the ultimate guardians against the apocalypse. The second witness is leftennant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), a Quantico worthy cop and Ichabod’s partner. Together they set to stop arci demon Moloch, the Four Horsemen and to free Ichabod’s wife, Katrina.
I’ll fast forward to the real reason I love this show so much, but if you want to her more feel free to pm me. Today more and more attention is given to the portrayal of women in TV. Are they strong? Are they objectified? Are they just emotional counterparts to the male lead? Slowly but steadily the roles of women in TV are if not growing in number, at least diversifying in kind and shows like How to get away with murder and Orange is the new black are proof of it. But as women grow and change, very little happens to the men beside them. We see a plethora of men who too often are macho types struggling to keep their marriage on its feet (True detective anyone?), who cheat and lie to get their way (Breaking bad) and that are made interesting by their struggle with morality. The legitimisation of male’s sensibility is 80s story, and now we’re in the age of “cool”.
Here is where Sleepy Hollow becomes truly interesting. Ichabod Crane, the show male lead, is a survivor of the romantic era, the most idealistic, honest, and well spoken gentlemen that ever walked the small screen (feel free to contradict me). Too much goodness could be a ticket to snoozetown but the show’s creators have managed to transform his 1781’s style into a fun-generating trademark, his antiqued manners in elegance and his old-fashioned idea of romantic relationship into a refreshening counterpoint to today’s mangled expectations. He’s married to Katrina, a woman who keeps slipping out of his reach, and he’s fervently looking for her, not for a moment doubting their bond. His relationship with his partner and second witness Abbie – one which in another series could have already turned in ruffled sheets and awkward silences – is nothing but a strong friendship and a military alliance. And Abbie is one of those class A women, who could easily make Ichabod’s head turn if she set her mind to it, not a B rate blonde with a gun.
And this is why I find Sleepy Hollow so good: because its able to portray the man of the future, the man who’s truly equal to the woman, smartly camouflaged as a man of the past. He blushes at the world “bum”, he’s fired up by justice and he’s capable of loyal love toward his wife and untainted affection toward his partner. And all the while chopping off monsters’ heads and strolling into Hell to defeat the King of Demons.
If we want clever, diverse women to conquer the screen, we should be able to write men that are worthy of them, or that, at least, are as diverse and funny.