Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Happy End (of sorts) with "Sleepy Hollow"

In March, I complained here about Pro7 starting to air a mystery/horror series and then cancelling the whole thing after only four episodes. The series in question was “Sleepy Hollow.” Happily, iTunes allowed me to pick up the full first season now, in English, but that’s not a problem for me.

I went on a full-fledged marathon with “Sleepy Hollow,” watching the first half yesterday in the evening (getting to bed a little before 2 a.m.) and the second half this morning. I’ve just finished the last two episodes (listed as one double-length episode at iTunes) and I can just say one thing: “More please!”
The first season ends with a huge cliff-hanger, but the second season has already been confirmed, luckily. I might have to wait for quite a while (especially since I will have to wait for iTunes to offer it), but I know the story of Ichabod and Abbie will continue. On the ‘how’ I don’t even want to speculate now.

I can see now, with the whole first season under my belt, how the officials at Pro7 might have believed that the series was not worth continuing. Not because the series is bad, but because it is very complex and demands a lot of knowledge of early American history and the more or less far-spread conspiracy theories wrapped around early America. I suspect the station just thought people wouldn’t be able to follow the series, which is stupid, but understandable.
As a matter of fact, quite some stuff is explained pretty well in the series - and we have Google and Wikipedia, which means everyone can check things online they don’t understand. There is a lot of blood and death in the series, but it is dealing with the headless horseman, after all. What else is a headless rider with a sharp axe supposed to do with his time? Chop wood? Offer free rides to small children? Naturally, he is making people a head shorter.
The series so far has been written excellently, the threads merge, the story weaves in and out, with twists and turns. There are no ‘monster of the week’ episodes in the 13 (12 on iTunes) made so far. Even seeming ‘monster of the week’ episodes, like “Blood Moon” or “John Doe,” have a meaning for the overall story arc. The middle of the season, the three episodes “The Sin-Eater,” “The Midnight Ride,” and “Necromancer,” marks a change in the story, a twist into a new direction. The motives and identity of the headless horseman are revealed, the stage for the end is set, and the group that will have to stay together in the end forms. It’s very obvious the writers knew what they were doing, where they were starting, which ways they were going, where they would end up. I like that in a series, because it shows the creators take it seriously.

What to do now? Well, it’s time to wait for season 2. I still have to finish watching the series “Dracula,” so I will be entertained. It’s too bad, though, Pro7 didn’t have enough faith in their viewers to give an excellent series a chance beyond episode 4.

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