TV Pilots in Review: Sleepy Hollow

We're reviewing six new 2013 pilots this Fall TV season! We'll be dishing about the good, the bad, and the hotties on the small screen. Twin Takedown style, of course ;) 

Sleepy Hollow
Network: FOX
Premiere Date: September 16th 
Air Date: Mondays 9/8c


Ichabod Crane is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers.


3 episodes of Sleepy Hallow have already aired, but we're going to dissect the pilot for you in case you haven't started the series yet. Or you just want to discuss! Also, if you haven't already heard, Sleepy Hollow was renewed very early for the second season on October 3rd, which means if you're the type of person who wants to be assured that the series is going to stick around before you watch -- then you have no fear for this one.

Krista: I was incredibly surprised that FOX went ahead and already renewed this series based on 3 episodes. That takes lots of confidence on the network's part.

Becca: Also we'll tell you how far we've watched into the series near the bottom of the post. So let's enter the creepy town of Sleepy Hollow!

Initial Response

Becca: The show alters between the past and the present, and I'm definitely along for the ride at this point. I love a good period piece, and the sets are done nicely.

Krista: I like a period piece as well, but I tend to dislike ones that can't decide between period and modern. Sleepy Hollow uses this odd mixture, never really deciding if it wants to stay in the past scenes or go for the modern feel.

Plot/Story Arc

Becca: Ichabod Crane is resurrected from the past. And he helps Lt. Abbie Mills solve supernatural crime surrounding the headless horseman (and perhaps the four horsemen, as was teased at the end of the episode.) What are your feelings on the season's storyline, Krista? Do you think it can hold up?

Krista: I think the storyline itself is actually pretty interesting. It has a cohesive arc with a direct big bad (the four horseman and the devil/demon controlling them). As a storyline, I actually liked it.

Becca: The present is what is hanging me up. I really love the past. I think it elicits that creepy feel, and the headless horseman actually looks scary in a setting where guns take ages to reload and people look frightened by talk of "witchcraft."

In the present, however, the headless horseman is hokey and not at all scary. It's kind of laughable. 

Krista: I agree, the headless horseman isn't the scary. A severed head is actually more frightening than just a body.

The only good part about the present, in my opinion, involves Crane's humor. He's the fish out of water -- the bumbling time traveler who is stuck in the present. The Leopold to Abbie Mills' Kate. But still, the headless man as a big bad is kind of... lame:

Are you scared by that? I'm not. 

Krista: I'm definitely not scared of the headless horseman, which was why I was glad they introduced another villain by the end of the episode. That thing, I am terrified of. 

The Characters

Becca: Crane is the highlight of the show. He's the reason why I would watch again. He's not only pretty to look at, but his humor draws me into an otherwise ho-hum plot (that can grow overtime, I realize).

Krista: Crane is definitely the driving force behind the show. He's like House or Castle, only with a little more sex appeal. He has great lines and delivers everything like a guy who just woke from a century's old coma.

Becca: I'm going to be honest about Abbie Mills. She's like Scandal's Olivia Pope without that spark and spunk. I'm not rooting for her. I find her a little bland, and I think the casting choice is just off. Who would have been better suited for this role? Meagan Good from the short-lived Deception last year.

Krista: Abbie Mills. No. She is the sole reason I probably won't be watching the show. I don't believe her panic or her badassery. And the chemistry between her and Crane is just so off.


Becca: As with most crime shows, the romance is slow-burning. There's more of a building of chemistry, and I suppose the endgame will be Abbie with Crane. I think Crane has a better connection with his redheaded ex-wife, who's a bit witchy. (I really liked her by the way. She made me believe in magic whereas Abbie made me think the horseman and the creepy town was lame.)

Krista: No. Just no.

The Ending

Becca: The best part of the show, by far, was the ending. It made me believe that there was room for the show to grow. That demon thing in the mirror (another horseman or something?) was just plain scary. I was looking for that spooky fear the entire time, and I was so, so glad that it showed up at the end. That is something that I can get behind as a real threat.

Krista: I agree. The best part of the show is definitely that ending, and it does leave room for a stellar season. But my problem isn't so much with the story line as it is with the dialogue/characters/acting. I didn't really fall in love with anyone but Crane.


Becca: Any crime show fans. Specifically Grimm (which I love by they way), Beauty and the Beast (my love isn't as strong for this one, but you won't believe how many people go crazy over this show), and maybe CSI.

Krista: Crime show fans. I think Grimm is a good comparison, but don't expect as great characters on Sleepy Hollow. Or maybe Bones with less humor.


Becca: We watched the first episode. And we haven't seen any more since. We're more apt to watch something like Hannibal which is not episodic. Krista and I gravitate towards serialized shows, and I can tell  that this is heading towards the Bones route. Just not my cup of tea. The plot was decent and Crane was perfect, but Abbie Mills and the present-day, unspooky village was a little bit of a downer. So I'm giving the show a C+ 

Krista: The first episode left me a little curious but my eyes rolled too much by the awful dialogue and...well Abbie Mills. Like Becca mentioned, we don't really watch crime shows unless they're serialized. Crane was great, Abbie sucked, and the plot was decent. Obviously people like it if it's already renewed, but as a pilot -- it wasn't perfect, not even close. C


Becca: Like I said, it's already been given a second season, which is really early in my opinion. But fans should be happy. If it can hold momentum, I think FOX will try to replace Sleepy with the tired and long-lived Bones.

Krista: I agree. I see it replacing a staple show in FOX's lineup in the future. 


It's time for your voices to be heard! Have you watched the episode? Are you planning on seeing it? Sound off below!


  1. Nice try Fox, nice try. But Johnny Depp already filmed this and let's face it it's Johnny Depp. So yeah there goes that. I mean the whole thing is interesting for sure and I do love crime shows but this is something that I'll pass. Great review girls :)

    1. Yep, Johnny Depp did it better. Everything creepy about that version is just not even close to being present in this modern-setting. I think they should have made the whole thing in the past. It would have been way more interesting.

  2. This sounds really interesting! It looks like it has a fantasy/historical setting. I hope I end up catching it on T.V. but I just don't know since I'm so busy with school and I don't have time to watch (except SUPERNATURAL <3 I make sure I have time for the Winchester boys!).

    1. Oh yes, Supernatural -- cannot wait. I'm behind about four episodes of last season, and I've been trying to catch up on Netflix before it starts. But I've heard the finale is so good so I'm anxious to get there.

  3. See, I WOULD watch it, but me? I'm a total wimp. TOTAL WIMP. So I won't be able to watch this. But it sounds sort of cool!

    1. The demon at the end freaked me out. I get scared easily, but only when things turn from campy to creepy. You definitely shouldn't watch this then!

  4. I am LOVING Sleepy Hollow for its horror factor and the hot guy (LOL). It's exactly what I've been looking for, seeing as Supernatural isn't scary these days. Loving it! Great review!

    1. I'm so glad you love it, Jeann! I agree that Supernatural really isn't as scary lately. But I still love that show :D

  5. Uh, I'm not fan of Grimm - I gave up after 4 episodes, and Beauty and the Beast is... Ummm, no!:/
    Thank you for this review, girls. It really helped a lot.

    Glass @ Way Too Hot Books

    1. I watch Grimm on and off. But if you don't like that show, then I'd say this one is probably going to be a miss for you. Glad you liked the review :D

  6. Yeah, I got through Episode 2 and haven't had the urge to watch it again. It was a little too lackluster for me...maybe because I'm just not feeling the characters.
    I think it will be one that I just wait for it to come to Netflix on a day I'm bored ;)

    1. The characters definitely aren't as compelling as I wish they were. Netflix is a good idea for this one!

  7. I have to admit that I was really looking forward to how Fox was going to bring to life the myth about the headless horseman, and now.... meh. I'm not entirely sure what to think: a headless horseman that isn't scary? Fail. Bad character choices and no chemistry between them? MAJOR fail. But I did love that first gif, though. It looks quite realistic, from what I can see, and usually TV shows don't have very good graphics.

    I don't understand, though: how can the horseman be scary in the past, but not in the present? Aren't they the same guy, and don't they use the same graphics? Or maybe the setting just doesn't suit him? And gosh, what is this THING you two speak about?! I WANT TO KNOW.

    And ooh, Crane looks sizzling hot, even if he is a bit too old for me. ;) I love his expression on that gif. It's like, *cool stare* and the whole female population faints. Boo about Abby, though. Someone as bland and dull-sounding as her definitely doesn't deserve to have chemistry with this Crane guy. Hopefully she'll loosen up a bit as the show progresses.

    Sorry this didn't quite reach your expectations, but thanks for the review! I love how you include gifs in all your pilot reviews - it helps me get a better understanding of the show in general, if that makes sense. Looking forward to the rest of the pilots!

    1. In the past, the horseman seems more of a threat. Maybe because the world just isn't as technologically advanced. But he also seems to fit in that time period better. In the present, he seems...corny. And not as threatening. And I think Krista is right. A severed head is scarier than a body without a head. There's something about the lack of facial expressions that makes the headless horseman not that frightening.

      And the thing I speak of is a DEMON-y thing. I actually didn't watch the second episode, so I'm not sure what it is. But it's almost white-fleshed colored, and it looks like something from hell.

      Crane is so hot, right? And his hair blowing in the wind cracks me up!

      I'm glad the gifs helped! And yeah, I wish this one was better for me.

  8. I watch this this! I really like it so far!

    1. Glad you like it Dana! I knew there were fans out there :D

  9. I like this show a lot! I am glad fox renewed it. Unlike NBC who cancels shows like nothing!

    1. I'm not surprised Fox renewed it. I'm just surprised they did it so early. I think Sleepy Hollow's rating is a 2.7 (which is amazing for the time slot) and it has a lead-in from Bones, which only gets a 2.0. So clearly it has its own fans from Bones, which is a good sign. And NBC better not cancel Chicago Fire! I just caught up :D

  10. Haha Krista on the romance "No. Just no." It's too bad you guys didn't enjoy this one much. I've never heard of it before but Crane looks really nice ;) I understand your problem though, if one of the leads don't appeal to you than it's hard to enjoy the show.

    -Mari @ The Sirenic Codex

    1. Cane is a hottie for sure. Yeah, Abbie was just miscast. She's bland and doesn't have much of a spark on screen.

  11. Coming from a perspective of having known practically nothing about the legend of Icabod Crane I found it interesting. I'll admit that I wasn't totally sold on the overall deal though. Crane rocked so hard, but I just wanted to punch some of the other characters in the face. Haha. And over-dramatization for Headless Horseman? Yessiree. I'll agree wholeheartedly on the ending though! WHAA? Not sure if I'll keep watching but it was totally fascinating that's for sure.

    <333 Inky