Actors: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter, Lyndie Greenwood
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Box set, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (DTS 5.1)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 4
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Run Time: 790 minutes
I was on the fence about “Sleepy Hollow” after the first season, but the second season knocked me right off and onto the side against the supernatural series. What began as a creative fish-out-of-water narrative has quickly turned into a show that is more witchcraft and magic than historical or literary connections. Gone are the mysterious four horsemen of the apocalypse, in favor of endless demonic resurrections and familial connections. Even worse, it feels as though this season loses steam at the mid-season finale, wrapping up the narrative from the first season until there is nowhere else to go.
The show follows Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), who has been resurrected after the arrival of the headless horseman in modern times. Forced to learn the ways of modern society though he was last alive during the American Civil War, Crane is paired up with Police Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie). With the discovery that the headless horseman is actual a scorned lover and the third party to a love triangle between Crane and his witch wife, Katrina (Katia Winter), I began to lose interest in the show. What began as something of a horror series quickly devolved into the sappy supernatural soap operas I am accustomed to seeing on “The Vampire Diaries.” Season two makes this even worse when Katrina is involved in nearly every episode, along with her and Ichabod’s evil warlock son (John Noble).
If the continuing storyline of witchcraft and demons was not tiresome enough, the remainder of the series relies on the ‘freak-of-the-week’ formula, bringing new creatures with each episode. It quickly becomes dull and rarely advances the plot. While the first season was about the supernatural intruding on the real world, there hardly seems any reality taken into consideration with the second season. Even when a new hardnosed police captain enters the narrative, they rarely address the fact that a majority of the population is completely unaware that this supernatural war is taking place. Logic is thrown out the window, and the characters have become tedious with no real advancement in the plot.
If you enjoy shows that are all about magic and mysticism, “Sleepy Hollow” may still carry some charms, though it no longer resembles anything close to the source material. There is a reboot in the narrative a little more than halfway through the season, removing the horsemen from the story entirely. It is my understanding that the headless horseman will not be returning for season three, which will distance this show even further from what I originally hoped it might be. Occasionally there are episodes with a creative monster for them to battle, but the charms of the Crane in a different time period have passed along with any successful elements of horror. This is a fantasy series now, through and through, and only fans of that genre are likely to remain interested in where the story is going next.
While there were only 13 episodes in season one, the second increased the amount to 18, which may be one of the reasons that this season feels a bit aimless. All 18 episodes are included on 4 discs in the Blu-ray release, along with a number of bonus features. The extras include commentary tracks on select episodes, bonus material, and a handful of featurettes. Bonus footage is comprised of deleted scenes as well as a gag reel, while the featurettes are focused on both the historical aspects of the show and the variety of creatures that are featured in this season. There is also a featurette for the fanbase of the series, known as ‘Sleepyheads.’ Personally, I wasn’t aware that this show was already popular enough to warrant a following.
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 6/10
Historical Significance: 4/10