Reviews: Sleepy Hollow Series Premiere & Under the Dome Season Finale

Posted: September 16, 2013 in Living and Life, Review, Scary Stuff
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Two reviews in one post. That’s a new one for me. But what do you expect from me? Two very interesting series having two significant events on the same night, one after the other? Of course I’m going to do a double review! So without further ado, let’s start the analysis and reviews:

Now that’s what I call graphics.

Sleepy Hollow
Based on the famous short story by Washington Irving, Sleepy Hollow is an updated version of the classic tale, where Ichabod Crane is a Revolutionary War hero instead of a teacher. Get this: he’s the one who beheaded the famous Headless Horseman. Now the Horseman’s back, and Ichabod’s returned from the grave to stop him…and whoever’s controlling him. With some Biblical themes mixed in, some good ol’ fashioned American legend and folklore, and some superb acting, I think this could be the start of a great series.

So far I have only two complaints: one is that Ichabod, played by actor Tom Milson, seems not as culture-shocked as you’d expect for an 18th century man finding himself in the year 2013…or as torn up over the death of his wife Katrina, who appears to him in a ghostly dream. Also, I have a feeling that the series’ producers are trying to create a mythology from the first episode. While I admire that, let’s hope they don’t shove it down our throats. Give us the mythology too quickly and viewers may be turned off from it.

Other than that, the show seems really great. The characters seem very real to me, and the chemistry between Ichabod and Sheriff Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is already strong, like Mulder and Scully in some ways. Also the cast is very diverse, which both brings a little humor to the show (Ichabod is surprised that Abbie, who is a woman and African American, isn’t a slave and is instead a lieutenant, making everyone rolls their eyes or laugh with a knowing smile) and makes me think we’re actually making some progress in terms of race relations. Not much, but some. And the show is filmed in the actual town of Sleepy Hollow, New York. Yes, there’s an actual Sleepy Hollow. It changed its name from Tarrytown a few years back to honor the original Irving story, in which Sleepy Hollow is a part of the Tarrytown township or district or whatever. Who knew!

All in all, I’m giving Sleepy Hollow a 4.6 out of 5. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, and seeing whether this show can keep up the momentum or…you know what, I’m not even going to finish that sentence lest I jinx it. Let’s hope for the best.

Purists hate this show, but most seem to love it.

Under the Dome
In so many ways this show, based on the uber-long novel by Stephen King, who executive produced the show, departs from the original story. And as we saw tonight, it can sometimes stay true to the original tale. In the meantime, we’ve seen an incredible season. I was skeptical when I saw the first episode this summer (see the review here), but the story got better and better with every episode, taking the story in new directions, developing very real characters, and throwing in as many mysteries as it could without overwhelming viewers.

In a way, it’s really amazing how the show weaves in so many ideas and subplots and characters in a coherent narrative. That’s something I’d like to be able to do someday, and do it with ease as well. In any case, I’m not surprised that Under the Dome will be returning next summer for a second season, especially based on that very strange cliff-hanger of a season finale. If you haven’t gotten into the show yet, I suggest you look it up. Dean Norris from Breaking Bad could easily win an Emmy for his work on the show as town councilman James “Big Jim” Rennie, especially now that Bad‘s over and done with (at least I think it is. The series ended, right?). And Dale “Barbie” Barbara, the show’s lead played by Mike Vogel, looks underdeveloped as a character at first glance, but you find this bad-ass charm, mystery, and kindness on the second. I think it’ll be interesting to see what they do with him in the second season.

For the season finale, I give UTD a well deserved 4.6 out of 5. And for the entire first season…I’m awarding it a 4.8 out of 5, for taking a complicated story and a not-so-good start and making it one of the TV events of the summer. Yeah, I said that. Weep, Miley Cyrus. Your little freak-out on MTV didn’t hit my radar.

Expect more TV show reviews as new and exciting series, like Dracula or Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. begin this fall, and a few movies such as Carrie and Catching Fire come out. Not to mention the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, comes out this November. I cannot wait!

Well, that’s all for now. Hope to do my weekly exercises tomorrow. Good night everybody!

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