Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sleepy Hollow Pilot Viewing

Ah, good day fellow casual geeks!  I hope everyone has been enjoying the weekend--here in the Pacific Northwest we are having my favorite kind of weather--rain!  I love dark storm-clouds and torrential downpours, (when I don't have to be outside in them). It's the kind of dreary weather that makes you want to stay inside, with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.  Or in today's case, hopefully, a good tv show. Rain like we're having this weekend has officially marked the beginning of autumn, and I thought it would be fun to kick off the start of the season with a post about Sleepy Hollow--a story I think many of us associate with this time of year and for me especially, Halloween (OOOoooooOOOOoooo). (And since all the grocery stores have already started putting out their Halloween stuff, I thought I might as well follow their example, since, you know, it's not even October yet.  Does anyone honestly ever buy Halloween candy this early and expect it to last until the end of October?)

Resistance is futile.

I saw a preview for Sleepy Hollow, and thought it looked kind of interesting--so I asked my mother to DVR it at her house for me, since I don't have cable.  (Not to fear, I have Netflix, and Hulu plus and between those, I find paying 30 bucks a month for cable a bit ridiculous.  If there's something I really want to watch, I ask my mom to record it for me, and I come over and watch it later.  GENIUS I SAY!!) (Also, mom's are the best.)

Now, I am only slightly ashamed to admit this, but I have never read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. (I was an English major.  In my defense, I read A LOT of books.  Including short horror stories, just not this one.)  I have also never seen the Disney animated version, (for that I have no excuse.  *slaps self in face* ) so my understanding of the story is basically this: a timid guy gets chased by a headless horseman and I want to say, dies?

I thought before I watched the pilot of this show, I would get a bit more background on the story than my basic impression, so I went to that ironclad website of facts and absolute reliability: Wikipedia.

According to their plot summary: Ichabod Crane is competing with another man for the hand of the daughter of a wealthy farmer.  One night he attends a harvest festival at the farmer's house, with the intention of proposing to the daughter, but he is refused.  On the way home, he spots a rider and is horrified to discover the rider's head is attached to the saddle (okay, I confess, I just got goosebumps).  The rider chases him for a while, and it ends with, and I quote, "The ghoul...rears his horse, and hurls his decapitated head into Ichabod's terrified face" (oh yeah, that just screams Disney movie to me).

 (Disney: "Well, we've terrified the bejeesus out of kids before; the evil queen in Snow White anyone?  Basically, ALL of Pinocchio? Frigging FANTASIA? The headless horseman is looking a bit tame now, in comparison, isn't he?" Me: "Okay, Disney.  Fair point.")

She ate the horseman's head for breakfast.
Well, now Fox has decided that they're going to do a television show.  From the trailer that I saw, my impression is that it's a cop show, with Ichabod Crane as somehow being transported to modern day New York (?) where he partners up with a female cop.  (10 bucks says that they're going to get together at some point in the show.)  Let's see how my impression lives up to reality.  I've got an assorted bag of chocolate: Hershey's Kisses, Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Rolos.  Yum! I'll pause for a moment so you can grab a snack...... celery and hummus?  Don't try to guilt me out of my chocolate because it won't work, veggie person.

Beware:  there will be massive spoilers for the pilot of Sleepy Hollow below. If you haven't watched it yet, and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading. :)

11:29am: I turn on the television, and pull up Sleepy Hollow in the DVR recordings.  I'm really hoping this show is as cool as the preview for it looked.  I hit play.

11:30am: I'm watching the last 30 seconds of Bones before my show starts.  Booth and Brennan are kissing! Awww...

11:30am: Viewer Discretion is Advised for Sleepy Hollow.  Oooohhh, this is gonna be good.  I can tell.

11:34am: We open on a scene of a battle--I'm guessing the Revolutionary War here.  A rather attractive man is firing a pistol from behind a tree.  Another man on a horse with a freaky face guard attacks him.  They fight.  Attractive man is injured.  There is a weird mark on horseman's hand.  Attractive man cuts off horseman's head.  Could this be the headless horseman? Signs point to yes.  Also, I'm thinking already that this is a loose adaptation of the story.

11:40am: Attractive man passed out.  Black screen, with jumbled voices.  Shots of jars and some sort of underground room--and attractive man rising from his grave.  It looks like some sort of spell has brought him back from the dead.  I don't think he's a zombie though. Darn.  Not really attractive anymore either.  But don't worry, I'm sure that will be temporary.

11:41am: Wow, make that super temporary.

11:42am: Attractive man encounters a road.  Oooooo, he is confused.  What magic is this?  He almost gets hit by a truck!  AAAHHHH!!

11:43am: The camera pulls out and we see that he is in...wait for it...Village of Sleepy Hollow!  *gasp*  Is this attractive man Ichabod Crane?  I think so.  So, definitely taking liberties with the character then, but they're playing Guns & Roses on the soundtrack so I honestly don't care.  If the soundtrack continues to be this awesome, I might watch the show for that alone.

Also, I'm not sure that villages have populations of 144,000.  Is it really a village then?

11:45am: We move to two cops in a diner.  Hey, at least they're not eating donuts.  One is an older white man, with a beard and kinda of a scruffy voice.  I'm calling him Gandalf for now.  The other is a young, black lady--probably Ichabod's love interest, since we know, by the laws of television, the attractive, beautiful people end up together.

11:50am: Seems like our female lead is thinking of heading to the FBI.  YOU GO GIRL!! Gandalf doesn't want her to leave.  Apparently, neither does the creepy looking preacher sitting behind her.  My spidey senses tell me that he's a bad guy.

11:51am: I really like the night shots of the 'village' and a bridge.  Very cool. I like the atmosphere of this show already.

11:56am:  Our two cops are investing a call they got from a farmhouse.  It is dark, there is lightning flashing.  There is ominous music playing.  It is horror movie cliche city. They have also split up.  So, obviously, they don't watch horror movies.  Oh man, it is not looking good for Gandalf.

11:59am: is the time of death for Gandalf.  Called it.  I'm eating a Reese's peanut butter cup in his memory. The Headless Horseman rides off into the night while the black lady cop, whose name I think is Ivy? calls for backup.  She has a WTF expression on her face as she clearly sees the Headless Horseman.

12:00pm: We cut to an Asian cop in his patrol car--OMG, is than Jin from LOST?!  Alas, no, because Daniel Dae-Kim is currently on the Hawaii-50 reboot, and when he gets out of his car, it's obvious it's not him, because OMG is that Sulu from the Star Trek reboot?  I need to look up the cast.  Hitting pause.  Just a sec...

YES IT IS!!! AWESOME! Sulu arrests Ichabod Crane.  It is now my head canon that Sulu got stranded in the past somehow on an away mission, and got a job as a cop while he waits for Kirk and company to figure out a way to rescue him.

Hitting play again.

12:01pm: Attractive man is in jail, and Ivy tells Sulu that attractive man didn't kill Gandalf.  She describes what the Headless Horseman was wearing and attractive man finally speaks!  And guess what--he has a British accent, which of course, just makes him even more attractive.  He tells the cops that the last time he saw her suspect was when he cut off his head.  Cue DRAMATIC MUSIC! 

And we have our first commercial break...I should note, I'm frequently pausing the show to record my thoughts--so the time frame is a bit off.

12:03pm: We come back in to attractive man hooked up to a polygraph machine.  He tells his story--he was a history professor at Oxford.  He was sent to fight for the British army in the war, but defected to the revolutionist's side.  He was married to a civilian nurse named Katrina (which is the name of the daughter in the story.  So obviously, things worked better for him in this version, than in the literary source--well...up until he died and is now separated from his wife by 250 years.) and then boom, he loses consciousness and wakes up in modern day.  He is confused, and angry and he wants SOME ANSWERS DAMNIT!! The cops think he's nuts, or trying to set up a plea for insanity.  I'm wondering how they can even suspect him of murdering Gandalf?  Where is their evidence?  They picked him up in the middle of the "village," and Gandalf was murdered on a farmhouse.  There is literally zero evidence that connects him to the crime. sigh.  I hope it's not going to be one of those kind of cop shows.

12:05pm: Ichabod is being escorted to a mental institution by the black cop, whose name is actually Abbie, sorry.  There is much humor being made out of Ichabod rolling up and down his window in the car.  I admit, sometimes when I'm bored on car rides I do the same thing. (No, not really.  Well okay, maybe once or twice.)  They drive past a church and see the creepy preacher.  Ichabod recognizes him! Gasp! How can this be?! Turns out the preacher is also from the past.  Though I'm not sure how--my spidey senses were right though, because they share a look. That preacher is trouble, with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pool! (what, no Music Man fans here?)

12:10pm: So, Abbie takes Ichabod back to the spot where he rose from his grave, and he tells her that the Headless Horseman is actually one of the Horseman of the wait for it... Apocalypse.  Yes!  I like where this show is going.  Apocalypses make everything that much more exciting.  Watch Supernatural if you don't believe me.

12:11pm: The horseman tracks down the preacher, who has MAGIC!! But the horseman kills him anyway.  I admit I didn't see that coming.  What is the point of having magic if you can't defend yourself from headless horsemen?  Obviously, preacher man failed his Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

More commercials...luckily I get to fast forward through them!  Mwahahaha...take that advertising!

12:13pm: The cops are investigating preacher man's death.  Ichabod is told to wait in the car, but of course, we all know he's not going to.  A bird (Hawk? I think) lands on the hood of the car and flies away.  Ichabod follows it, because um...I'm not sure.  Abbie gets chewed out by her boss for not taking Crane directly to a padded cell.  We cut to some cool shots of an old graveyard lit with a smokey red back-light from what I assume are the fires of hell.

12:15pm: Crane finds his wife's grave.  It turns out...SHE WAS A WITCH!!  10 bucks says she's still alive.  20 bucks says at some point on this show there's going to be a love triangle between Ichabod, Abbie, and Katrina. And 50 bucks says that Katrina winds up being evil--I don't know why, I'm just getting that vibe from her.

12:16pm: Crane gets a private cell in the mental ward.  Aww, how considerate.  Abbie tells a somewhat freaky story about her childhood.  Note to self: eat more chocolate.  Aww, Abbie and Ichabod are bonding.

12:17pm: Abbie goes over to Gandalf's office.  She finds a key.  God, I hope it opens the gates to hell. (Or could it be a TARDIS key?!)  That's the only thing this show is missing.

12:17pm: Nope, it opens a secret file cabinet.  Yeah, it was as exciting as it sounds.

12:17pm: Hmm...looks like Gandalf was investigating witches and the occult.  He believed the stuff about the Apocalypse and demons. Well, it doesn't surprise me that he did--I mean, he was a powerful wizard himself.

12:18pm: Abbie's boss catches her in Gandalf's office.  He tells her to leave.  She does, while sneaking out some of Gandalf's notes with her.  Her boss looks suspiciously at the office.  Now I can't tell if he's a bad guy or not.


12:20pm: We're back with Ichabod in the mental institution.  I'm pretty sure he's dreaming.  He speaks to his wife in a mirror--and winds up in a forest with her--the same forest where Abbie's freaky childhood story took place.  Turns out his wife is a good witch (Yeah, we'll see about that...I still don't trust her.) and she tells Ichabod that if the headless horseman finds his skull the Apocalypse will start. Okaaay?  The skull is in her grave and she's actually trapped somewhere else.  KNEW IT!  I wonder, did the writers even read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow?  Also, is it possible they were on some drugs when writing this pilot?  Don't get me wrong, so far it's been very entertaining.

12:21pm: A demon grabs Ichabod in his dream--which is quickly turning into a nightmare, and he wakes up.  There's a female doctor in the room with some orderlies holding him down.  The doc is clearly thinking, Damn, this guy is SUPER nuts. I'm just going to drug him up to his eyeballs so I can get back to my office and shop for straight jackets on Amazon. Fun fact: you can actually buy a straight jacket on Amazon.  I looked it up. :)

12:22pm: Abbie rescues Ichabod, YOU GO GIRL!! We cut to a random scene of the headless horseman enjoying some night swimming.  I'm sorry, so far I don't find him very scary.  Then we cut back to Abbie.  She calls Sulu and asks him to send some backup for her at the church.  Sulu whines about how he doesn't want to do that.  MAN UP SULU!  You're in Starfleet for Pete's sake!  He agrees to send back up, and then notices that the door to his apartment is open.  Uh-oh.

12:22pm: Yup, the headless horseman is in Sulu's apartment.  Yup, Sulu is working for him.  And yup, the headless horseman has upgraded his ax, for what looks like an Ak-47.  Words can't describe just how much more awesome this show became.

Commercial break...lalalalalalalalalalala

12:23pm: Abbie and Ichabod find the headless horseman's skull in Katrina's grave.  Just in time for the horseman to show up and start shooting at them.  It's not an Ak-47, it's a shotgun, and it's still awesome.  I'm so proud of this show's writers for saying: "You know what would be cool?  If we gave the horseman a shotgun." and then following through on that idea.  Writers, I applaud you.

12:23pm: My bad, the horseman has both a shotgun and an Ak-47.  Where has this show been all my life?  I'm eating another Reese's peanut butter cup to celebrate.

12:25pm: Sulu arrives on the scene.  He smacks Abbie over her head and tries to kidnap her.  She wakes up and bites his thumb.  It's gruesome.  Ewwwwwww....I thought she bit it off, but it's still there in the next shot.  That's good.  How will Sulu fly the Enterprise without his thumb?

12:26pm: Ichabod and the horseman are duking it out meanwhile.  Crane runs away and hides behind a car.  More cops show up and see the headless horseman.  We are treated to this:

This is what television was invented for.
12:27pm: The sun is rising so the horseman rides off, holding his Ak-47 triumphantly in the air.  Abbie and Ichabod reunite and share a moment of sexual tension.  They're so hooking up at some point.

12:27pm: We cut to the police station where the chief is telling us he now believes Ichabod, since the cops who saw the headless horseman can back up the story.  We get a Captain America reference which makes me happy. Note to self: idea for movie: Captain America fights the headless horseman who is wielding a sub-machine gun, while riding a T-Rex, IN SPACE!  (don't tell me you wouldn't watch that, because we both know, it would be a lie.)

12:28pm: It looks like Abbie and Ichabod are the two witnesses who have been called upon to stop the Apocalypse.  Is this all really in the Book of Revelations as they are claiming?  Somehow, I doubt it.  But, I don't care because this show has a horseman who wields an Ak-47.

12:29pm: In for me, what is the scariest moment of the show, Sulu is killed by a demon. (Man, Captain Kirk is going to be upset about that.) Abbie and Ichabod run into the cell just as he dies, and see the demon walking away in the mirror.  Soooooo creepy!  Seriously, this demon means business.  I eat a Hershey kiss to comfort myself. Mmm...chocolate.

12:30pm: And the title of the show FINALLY comes up, as Guns & Roses plays again.  We have reached the end of the pilot! Wow. Am eating a Rolo to celebrate.  (really, there's no excuse too small that can justify eating a piece of chocolate.

Well, my overall thoughts of the pilot, is that it was definitely entertaining.  I liked the spooky atmosphere, Ichabod is played by a decent actor, as is Abbie.  The story line they have set up is intriguing, if ridiculous, but at least they are owning that ridiculousness and milking it for all it's worth.  Special effects are pretty dang good, except for the horseman's horse.  The red eyes just seemed a bit cheesy to me.  All in all though, I will probably set up a series recording for this.  Perhaps, I will live blog each episode as I watch it.

Fun Fact of the Day: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow was first published in 1820 by Washington Irving.  How's that for a name?

TTFN! Ta Ta For Now!

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