Fox Pairs GOTHAM With SLEEPY HOLLOW for Fall

Monday nights on Fox will be something of a travelogue to the fantasy realms GOTHAM and SLEEPY HOLLOW and freaks including the Penguin and Headless Horseman.

Fox has just announced that the new series GOTHAM, which chronicles events in Gotham City before the rise of the Batman (indeed, Bruce Wayne appears as a mere 12-year-old), will kick off the evening at 8 o’clock and be followed by SLEEPY HOLLOW in its familiar 9 p.m. slot.

Here is a smattering of promotional images of GOTHAM that Fox released along with the announcement.

No premiere dates have been released.

SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.7: “The Midnight Ride”

sleepyheadThe crazy-quilt trip through American history continues, with SLEEPY HOLLOW’s “real” story of Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride to warn the colonists that they were under siege. I think if history were taught like this is grade school, a lot more kids would pay attention. I know I would have!

Like the best such stories, there are nuggets of legitimate fact underneath the candy coating — for interest, Revers never shouted “The British are coming,” he discretely warned that “the Regulars are coming,” meaning the British fighting forces. And, of course, Paul Revere was hardly alone; he had supernatural cannon fodder two other guys helping.
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SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.5: “John Doe”

SHdoe02I normally do not like “infection” stories because they’re always so predictable: Our heroes encounter a strange disease, one of them gets infected and lies on the verge of death until a miracle antidote cures everyone at the last second. Can you think of an example where that doesn’t happen?

Well, that’s pretty much what we got from SLEEPY HOLLOW this week — a paint-by-numbers contagion story. But it was filtered through the show’s own particularly madcap mythos, so I didn’t really mind it all that much.
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SLEEPY HOLLOW 1.2: “Blood Moon”

SH202After last week’s pilot did the heavy lifting of establishing the show’s premise and setting up the loopy (and complicated) mythology, the second episode of SLEEPY HOLLOW had the equally tough job of setting up and status quo of the ongoing series and, luckily, it did an excellent job.

It does look like SH will follow a “monster of the week” formula, with each creature filling in some of the mythology and giving us an excuse to learn Ichabod’s and Abbie’s  backstory. I do like the winking hubris of the script, suggesting that our two leads are fated to endure seven years of biblical tribulations — that stretch would get them well into syndication territory.
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SLEEPY HOLLOW: “Pilot”

Sleepy1It was with a skeptical eye that I sat down to watch Fox’s new supernatural-tinged series, SLEEPY HOLLOW, and I was also wary about liking it because the last Monday Fox show I liked in that time slot was ALCATRAZ, and we all know what happened there.

I ended up liking SLEEPY HOLLOW quite a bit, which surprised me, because I wasn’t expecting all that much: Even if the pilot is good, I thought, where can a weekly series go? How much comedy material can the producers squeeze from Ichabod Crane as a fish out of time? Will they meet  How does the Headless Horseman find his targets?

Turns out, there’s quite a lot of potential, thanks to some clever reimagining of the premise. Making the Headless Horseman into the personification of Death and tying him to something bigger, mainly the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, was a smart move and opens up the possible storylines for the series by expanding it from a parochial story into something that could, as Crane himself says, affect every man, woman and child in the world.
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