[TV Review] Sleepy Hollow and Nikita

One of these two television series has to do with books. Thus, it’s alright to post in this book blog. Well that, and because I want to. 😀

Among the TV shows that premiered in Fall 2013 that I saw, I found Sleepy Hollow to be the most interesting.

Nikita premiered in Fall 2010 and ended its four-season run in 2013. It is most likely one of my favorite shows ever.

SLEEPY HOLLOW 

Sleepy-Hollow-Poster-FOX

Based on: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
Original network: Fox
Series run: Sep 16, 2013 – present
Status: Ongoing (as of Jan 2014)

Synopsis: In this modern-day twist on Washington Irving‘s classic, Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) 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. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and only one of the many formidable foes that Ichabod must face to protect not only Sleepy Hollow, but the world.

Teaming up with Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie), a young cop who has her own supernatural experiences, the two embark on a mission to stop the evil that has awoken along with Ichabod and that now is seeping into this once-sleepy town. (from Fox)

WHAT DID I THINK OF THE SERIES?

I have not felt the desire to rave about a TV series since Nikita premiered 3 years ago (more on that later). That is, until I saw Sleepy Hollow. I figured I’d take the chance to share my enthusiasm about it here, since it’s loosely based on a classic short story written by Washington Irving. Per one of the creators, the series takes a creative spin on things by mashing up elements of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Then, they threw in a time jump to the 21st century and an impending apocalypse in the mix.

I have no problem suspending my disbelief, especially with regard to shows like this. And the fact that everyone around the leads doesn’t take too much time jumping in the bandwagon of believing the supernatural also helps. The movement of the story is relatively fast-paced, with revelations being, well, revealed one after another every episode. I also like the cable-length season (13 episodes) Sleepy Hollow had chosen to adhere to in its first season because I think it fits the show’s premise quite well. If it went on for a full 22-24 episodes, the pacing just wouldn’t be the same. I’m not a great fan of filler episodes, so I like where the show is currently standing (and I do hope they stick with it).

sleepyhollow

Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane is brilliantly cast, I think. Very charismatic in the role. I love his reactions to modern day stuff. Adorable and funny without going over the top. Nicole Beharie as the “leftenant” Abbie Mills works really well with Mr. Mison. I enjoy watching them interact with each other. They make a really good team. Katia Winter and Orlando Jones round up the cast as Katrina Crane and Capt. Irving, respectively. Oh, and of course the Headless Horseman with a handy-dandy axe.

Not every male and female lead in TV has to end up as a romantic couple, and that’s what I like best about Ichabod and Abbie. To me, they have this brother/sister vibe. I love the strong friendship and trust that is gradually blossoming between them. And I hope it stays that way. Besides, Ichabod is married to Katrina (who is currently trapped in some kind of purgatory) and I like them together. I also enjoy watching the flashbacks to their past.

I think it’s a rather well-written show. It has some great dialogue and interesting stories. I love seeing Ichabod’s reaction to and hearing his thoughts on modern-day technology and language. The episodes are not as scary as one might initially think, though they do make me jump in surprise every now and then.

Here’s to more seasons and remarkable episodes!

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NIKITAnikita2010-3

Based on: Nikita (1990 French film) and La Femme Nikita  (1995 TV series)
Original network: The CW
Series run: Sep 9, 2010 – Dec 27, 2013
Status: Ended

Synopsis: When Nikita (Maggie Q) was a troubled teenager on death row, she was “recruited” by a secret U.S. black ops program known only as Division. They faked her execution and turned her into an assassin. Nikita never lost her humanity, and when she learned that Division was a corrupt organization, she went rogue, exposing their covert operations, destroying their plans, righting their wrongs. (from The CW)

WHAT DID I THINK OF THE SERIES?

I checked out the pilot episode when it premiered in 2010, because I enjoy spy/action stuff. Having an awesome and bada$$ female lead, it reminded me of Alias (which I totally loved, seasons 1 and 2 were great). I must say, I was hooked from the very first episode. The twist at the end was fantastic, and it reeled me in to watch the next episode, and the next, and the next…

nikita2010-2

Maggie Q rocked it as Nikita. This show has one of the best fight choreography/sequences on TV. Seriously. So good to watch. Superbly written, pretty well-acted, and with a good roster of directors. Strong supporting cast  all around with Lyndsy Fonseca, Shane West, Aaron Stanford, Melinda Clarke, Xander Berkeley, Devon Sawa, and Noah Bean, to name a few.  It had two deliciously (and annoyingly) evil villains in Percy and Amanda, with The Shop/The Group joining the villain party later.

With it’s genre, it seemed to be a little out of place in The CW lineup and was eventually placed on Fridays, and then the end came. It received praises from most critics, but unfortunately, it remained a highly underrated series. Not enough people tuning in, so it wasn’t doing too well in the TV ratings (though it does pretty well internationally and on Netflix, I hear). It enjoyed a full order of 22-23 episodes in seasons 1-3, and a (very) shortened season 4 with just 6 episodes.

Watching each episode is like watching a mini movie. The twists and turns keep you on your toes, and oftentimes, you do not see them coming. Seasons 1 and 2 had your usual spy stuff — missions, manipulation, saving the world, conspiracy, deception, revenge, love, betrayal, redemption… Then season 3 and 4 had a bit of sci-fi mixed in with the spy stuff — doubles, nano cells, and other stuff like that. I think it had a pretty consistent run through its seasons, some episodes are admittedly stronger than others, but even the weak ones are nonetheless enjoyable to watch.

nikita2010-4I think season 1 and season 4 were the strongest. Season 4 was the last hurrah with a mere 6 episodes. It sucks that it was just 6 episodes, but I’m also grateful for it because the series was given a chance to end properly and was not abruptly canceled. Season 4 was just plain awesome. Given that they had limited time to flesh out the story, I still think they did a pretty bang-up job trying to tie all the loose ends as much as they can and giving the series a fitting and satisfying ending. A beloved character was lost along the way, but it was necessary to advance and end the story. The final 6 episodes were really, really good, especially the last two.

Thank you, Nikita cast and crew! It was a good run. I will always remember (and often rewatch) your awesomeness.

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Looking for a good TV series to watch? Go on, give these two a shot. Try the first three episodes, and you just might become a fan like me!

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5 thoughts on “[TV Review] Sleepy Hollow and Nikita

  1. Pingback: [Book Review] Created, The Destroyer | Undercover Bookworm

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