Fall TV preview: Hank Stuever on Fox’s ‘Sleepy Hollow’

September 16, 2013

Sleepy Hollow (9 p.m. on Fox) A minimally engaging update of Washington Irving’s 1820 horror story, in which Revolutionary War soldier Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) wakes from an underground, 240-year coma/nap, emerging into daylight in modern-day New England, where it seems the fearsome Redcoat he beheaded in battle has also returned to exact a complicated revenge on the locals. It isn’t long before a bewildered Ichabod (hipster baby-name alert!) is arrested on suspicion of murder and then partners up with a dubious deputy (Nicole Beharie), who helps him hunt for the Headless Horseman.

Deliberate and thoughtful are not options here. Rather than observe the ways a man from the 1770s might grapple with the realities of 2013, “Sleepy Hollow” seems mainly concerned with quickly launching a “Grimm”-like romp through folklore and episodic crime-solving. It’s layered with hints of unfolding conspiracies — time-travel and secret brotherhoods and what-not. It’s all done with a cold efficiency and a gloomy, disinterested tone.

Grade: C

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