TV Talk with Breanna #8: Uncover the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

TV Talk with Breanna #8: Uncover the Legend of Sleepy Hollow

It’s no secret that our entertainment, especially recently, has increasingly consisted of modern day retellings of stories that we heard as children. Old legends and fairy tales are frequently being adapted into new versions that match what our society is like today. Modern day retellings have certainly become a trend in our media in recent years, and the television industry is no exception. Shows such as Sherlock and Once Upon a Time have become huge hits, and one of the most recent shows following this trend, Sleepy Hollow, has done just the same.

Sleepy Hollow, whose first season recently ended in early January, is actually not as much a retelling of the original story, which was written by Washington Irving in 1820, but instead is more of a reimagining. Although the setting and a few of the characters are the same, the similarities to the original mostly end there. In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the main focus is the battle between Ichabod Crane, our protagonist and a schoolteacher, and Abraham “Brom” Van Brunt for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel. Although the iconic Headless Horseman does make an appearance, the story doesn’t focus on the mysterious events that occur in the small town.

In the newest Sleepy Hollow adaptation, the story is quite different. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) is portrayed not as a schoolteacher, but as a soldier in George Washington’s army during the Revolutionary War. While on the battlefield, Crane comes across a Hessian soldier and ends up beheading him, but not before suffering a fatal wound himself. Hundreds of years later, Ichabod awakens in modern day Sleepy Hollow, and soon discovers that the Headless Horseman has risen too — and that he is on a killing spree. Crane soon meets Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), who is investigating the murders after her mentor falls victim to the Horseman. The two eventually team up, and with the help of Abbie’s sister Jenny (Lyndie Greenwood) and police captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones), the team uncovers that the Horseman is actually Death, one of the Riders of the Apocalypse in the bible’s Book of Revelation. Now it is up to Ichabod, Abbie, and the group to protect Sleepy Hollow — and the world — from the oncoming apocalypse.

Although Sleepy Hollow is very different from the original story, this isn’t to say it’s bad. At first glance, it may seem odd how different the two are, but the original was simply used as a jumping off point to create something even greater. The television show focuses much more on the scary events that are happening in Sleepy Hollow than the original story, which mostly focuses on the romance and the battle for Katrina. Katrina does make a return in Sleepy Hollow (played by Katia Winter) as Ichabod’s wife, so there is some romance in the story, but the show has a much darker tone than its source.

The show can be lighthearted at times too, and definitely provides some laughs. Because Ichabod is so out of place in the 21st century, he often faces challenges such as trying to figure out how to operate a cell phone, which provides much frustration for him but a lot of laughter for the other characters and the viewers. Perhaps the best part of the show, though, is the relationships that the characters have with each other. Being able to watch Ichabod and Abbie’s friendship unfold is great for the viewer, especially since they are both very alone but can at least take comfort in that they are on this journey together. The relationship between the Mills sisters, who hadn’t talked for years prior to the start of the show, is also touching, and it’s one any sibling could relate to.

Although it can get a bit crazy at times, Sleepy Hollow is definitely a fun ride, and with the many twists and turns, it certainly can become a rollercoaster. With a second season coming to FOX in the fall, you have time to catch up on iTunes and find out why Time called Sleepy Hollow one of 2013’s 10 best new shows.