Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nerd Rant #5 - What is up with this season of Sleepy Hollow?

For those of you that are enjoying Sleepy Hollow, I just want to ask, "what is up with this season?'

I was first drawn to the series because I naively believed it was going to be a series much like the Tim Burton film Sleepy Hollow, which is one of my top ten favorite movies of all time.  The tv series introduces the main character, Ichabod Crane, as a revolutionary war hero and academic, cast in an eternal slumber and awoken in modern times.  He fights against the impending apocalypse with an young female cop, Abigail Mills.

I fell in love with show during it's first season.  Absolutely loved the concept, the characters and the execution.

So what's going on now?

Three things.

1.  Whitewashing

Yep, I had to go there.  The thing I loved the most about Sleepy Hollow was it's mostly African-American cast.  Main character Abbie Mills and two supporting characters, her sister Jenny and the her police captain Frank Irving were all African -American.  They were strong, smart interesting characters with different backgrounds.

And bad-asses.

With guns. Bad-asses with guns.
You don't see this many black characters in a prime-time show.  Not even Shonda Rhimes has this many primary black characters on her show.  This was groundbreaking for me.  As a Mexican-American, I want to see more diversity on my favorite shows. I want more African-American, Hispanic, Indian, Asian characters in more shows.  I'm so sick of the one token black character or the one token Hispanic/Asian/Indian character per cast.  Sleepy Hollow broke this mold in Season One.

Three African Americans, one Asian, and one white guy?  This...this has never happened before
However, in Season Two, both Captain Irving and Jenny Mills take a backseat to action and plot lines.  Neither actors get more than three lines, each episode at best.  In their place three (three!?!) other white characters, Katrina, Henry Parrish, and new character Nick Hawley get pushed to forefront.

This is the promo for Season Two, you literally see Jenny and Irving pushed to the side for Katrina and Henry.
I understand that the writers may be trying to explore more of the white male lead's past but I'm not happy that two of the most refreshing characters to appear on tv, had to sacrifice their screen time to make this happen.  I love John Noble, but I just sat through five seasons of Fringe airing on tv (not  on a Netflix binge mind you), which only featured one main supporting character of color. C'mon writers, give minorities their due.

2.  Weaker Villains

Season One, Crane and Mills faced off against the machinations of Moloch, the literal Devil.  You can make a stronger foe than that.  Moloch worked because he tried many different tactics to bring about the apocalypse and we never saw his point of view.  Moloch remained mysterious, formidable and creepy as hell.

Kegger in the woods?  Why I'd love to......AHHHH what the HELL IS THAT????

Season Two, Moloch also takes a back seat, what with being stuck in purgatory and all.  The Big Bad role is left largely to John Noble's Henry Parrish.

We need a new villain. Ok, bring in creepy grandpa.
Despite Noble's incredible acting depth, the character of Henry Parrish just isn't all that formidable. While he does have the ability to command an invincible suit of armor with him mind, Henry mostly uses witchcraft in failed scheme after failed scheme to bother his parents.  He's not allowed to kill them, mind you, Moloch won't allow him to.  Henry doesn't have an army, he doesn't try to create allies, he doesn't use the suit to rampage around Sleepy Hollow. He's just.....meh.

The writers do introduce a new character, who is Hispanic, Sheriff Reyes, with the potential to become an adversary to our leads but unfortunately all the trouble she causes Lieutenant Mills and Ichabod Crane is resolved within a single episode.


3. More T&A

Look, I get it.  Nicole Behari is a gorgeous young woman with a face that rivals even Kerry Washington. She's got a nice butt.  A really nice butt.  How do I know this?  Well....we see her butt loving framed a lot more in Season Two.  Now, in Sleepy Hollow she plays a detective, or a police officer.  I'm not really sure which, since she is mostly in her plain clothes and not in uniform.  A plain clothes cop, maybe?  That's a thing right?

Season One, we first saw her in uniform and then later in her bullet proof vest or a pair of jeans and a longish jacket.  She looked competent, brave and intelligent.

A longish jacket that covered her booty.

In Season Two, Lieutenant Mills starts wearing tighter jeans and lower cut tops.  We see more of her assets, and it's distracting, at least to me.  This is mostly because plots revolve around Crane and his wife Katrina.  Abbie's clothing misleads me into believing that she is trying to entice Crane.  This probably not the case, as I can only imagine the Sleepy Hollow wardrobe department only received the memo to "show dat ass" for the Abbie Mills character. This takes away from her integrity as a police officer and begins to reduce her to, at best, a love interest for Crane and at worst, window dressing for the show.

Note - I didn't include the screen shots that feature upshots of Ms. Beharie's butt or close-ups of her cleavage, because I was terrified of what else I might but they are out there..

So what are your thoughts?

Is this just the sophomore slump or do you think show eventually get better?


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