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Thoughts On: Sleepy Hollow

Something occurred to me about midway through my new favorite TV series, "Sleepy Hollow": the representation of other-than-white people in the main cast. Specifically, the way Abbie is portrayed as the main protagonist.

Now, I've been watching with my Mom mainly OnDemand, which means we don't usually get a chance to see them right when they air. We get to it when we get to it. The episodes are formulaic as hell from week to week, but it's fun, action-packed, and endlessly entertaining, even as it plays fast and loose with American history and the mythologies it's drawing from for the supernatural conflict. I love this show.

If you're not familiar, the main plot revolves around Ichabod Crane--here a soldier from the Revolutionary War who woke up hundreds of years after his own supposed death on the battlefield, having been felled by a headless horseman--and Abbie Mills, a police lieutenant who teams up with Ichabod to track the horseman's movements and (hopefully) prevent the coming apocalypse.

What I wanted to point out here is probably not news to anyone, but I felt moved to draw attention to it all the same: our "everyman" character in this scenario is Abbie. She's the character the audience is supposed to relate to and identify with. Ichabod is the out-of-place stranger here to amuse us with his lack of familiarity with the modern world. He's the Other. Just think about that. In Ichabod's point of view especially, Abbie--an intelligent, unmarried, career-driven black woman--is his touchstone for understanding the years he missed when he was asleep. In his eyes, she is the face of modern America.

I'm not sure I'm going anywhere in particular with this observation. But I think it's a very good thing.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2014 05:25 am (UTC)
I'm surprised by how much I ended up liking Sleepy Hollow, and I really think it comes down to the characters. Yes, Ichabod Crane vs. Modern Technology is my favorite running gag. But I love, love the relationship between Ichabod and Abbie so much. And the fast-and-loose play with history/mythology doesn't bother me as much as I know it should. It's just so hard to get mad when you've got Abbie and Ichabod fist-bumping and being adorable and character development that isn't sexist or degrading to either character.

(BTW, don't know if you've seen the finale yet, but both my mom and I were yelling at the TV during the last 10 minutes.)

I LOVE how diverse the cast is. Someone made a comment somewhere that "there are so many POCs in the cast, that you can have two POC characters talk to each other about another POC". That is amazing, and I hope other TV executives are taking notice.

Here are a couple quotes that I find so interesting from the cast and crew talking about diversity.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )