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I think Sleepy Hollow is rightly hailed as that show that has a relationship between two Black sisters at it's core, but oddly enough what tends to draw me in are Ichabod, Andy and the Headless Horseman. It's not that I dislike Abbie and Jenny - to the contrary, I want way, way more Jenny and Abbie is plain awesome, but those other three just kind of fit in my boxes of can't-look-away. I'm always a little tepid on sibling relationships or buddy-cop stuff. I don't have anything against it, and Abbie and Ichabod's energy, banter and affection are a warm and fuzzy balm to a jaded world of sharp edges, but still.

The Headless Horseman is just adorable. I'm actually a bit disappointed (or at least, uninterested) in the backstory that turns up for him, because I thought he was perfectly satisfactory as an eldritch horror from the mists of time who is having the fucking blast of his un-life messing around with assault rifles and Andy. If they'd have given me more time before springing the backstory on us, I probably would have ended up writing fic of Headless and Andy having awkward bonding moments over sad, sad Thanksgiving meals that neither of them can taste, together in dank tunnels.

(I still might. You have been warned.)

Ichabod is the one I find really interesting to watch though. Obviously, he's just great fun - he's witty and silly and looks very, very nice in his very, very nice coat. But I think there's also this more complex undercurrent to the character, that I really want to see more of.

For one, he's the male lead, but he has a personality! Lots and lots and lots of it. He gets to be both the serious, romantic heart of the show, and a total geek goofball and is really fairly emotionally open. I think he's sexy because he's goofy and chatty and has a million interests, frustrations, tiny personal crusades and we actually know to a large extent what he feels and what goes on in his head. It's never clear to me that tv-writers know that, and again and again we are foisted upon with 'mysterious', taciturn, boring main male characters that the show has to spend a season and a half peeling out of their shells before there's ever any hint of character there. So there's that.

Then there's also his time-displaced status, which I love. Struggles with alienation, in any way, shape or form, is something I can watch forever. (I used to be a member of an Anarcho-Marxist, er, well, it's been called a cult, which I suppose might go to explaining that.) I enjoy the humor of Crane vs. The Present as much as anyone, but I really keep coming back to the tiny moments when it's not funny. (or when it is funny, but not really funny.) Ichabod railing against bottled water - cute. Ichabod really feeling isolated because everyone he's ever known has been dead for centuries - like crack to me.

Another interesting aspect of him is the politics. I'm not sure that the show has politics, per se. (Not the way, say, Almost Human does.) But Ichabod has politics. He has definite and strongly held political positions. He was, in fact, an ideological turn-coat and a revolutionary fighter. He's not just lost in time, he's exiled. He was fighting a war, for a cause, and now he has been taken away from it...to find himself in the strange position of seeing how the revolution he was fighting for has turned out. That's just a fascinating position to be in, I think, all the more so because the American Revolution, naturally, has a very iconic status.

In a way, as a character (not as a person) he has the right to judge this time, this place, this America that he fought for. What does he think? Is he right? That's what I really want from the show. More of those little moment when Abbie is challenging him, challenging what he knows. She's showing him a picture of how the world has turned out, and not necessarily accepting his responses. She's no neutral party either. She has her own biases, her own narrative. There are places where she elides, simplifies. She cant' tell him everything, not in one go. So what are the choices she's making in how she presents USA, 2013 to him? What does that say about the way she (or the audience) wants to see it?

On one level, I guess casting Nicole Beharie is just refreshingly color-blind. But on another, there's something rather fraught with making Abbie black. I know it's not the show's focus (to put it very, very mildly,) but it's still interesting. Metatextually, the unusually diverse cast is almost defensive, when confronting an actual literal straight, dead, white guy from the heroic fantasy origins of America with the real thing of the present. It's like this, the show seems to be insisting, perhaps all the more so because it really isn't, not quite, not as much as we'd want. Whatever the male- and white- dominated mythos of history is, the reality of the present, is about a Black woman, it seems to be saying. And that's great. And you will like it.
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1.7

I'm not usually one for live-reactions, but this is turning out too squee-ee (ee?).

Read more... )
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No! Show! Do not tip the delicate, delicate balance of cheesy vs. too cheesy here!

Poor Ichabod, from one great tradition of American democracy, straight to the other - being abducted by men in suits.

Is the Masons and Witches thing gendered? Are all Masons men and the witches women? That annoys me, for some reason. (Though it's not at all clear that that is so. Please don't be so.)
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So what do people make of the detail that Read more... )
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Man was that a lame and mechanical plot, but man, was that some fun with political undercurrents (I have no idea what he political undercurrents are, but they're there and it's fun) and ridiculously blatant Sarah Conner shoutout.
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I'm working on my final undergrad essay, so, naturally, i'm getting nothing done and watching lots of tv. New shows and shows that are back:

- Legend of Korra: darn it that felt off. And everyone seems to be acting really dumb and, worst of all, kinda flat. Where's your nuance, show? Avatar used to be able to have people in it who more than one personality trait. Aang could be dedicated and goofy both. Korra doesn't seem to have much beyond rebellious, and it's a shame.

- New Girl: darn it, it also felt off. The subplots felt unconnected and the humor was weak. FIND SOMETHING TO DO WITH WINSTON, show, he's a main character, if you haven't noticed.

- Sleepy Hollow: if I squint and make a very careful effort not to think about the plot at all, I totally enjoy this! It's not taking itself seriously and has a cheerful wacky streak, AND there might be some interesting characterization in there, some day, with a little effort. There's potential, is what i'm saying.

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