Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why Sleepy Hollow is Like an Ex you Want to Ax | TV Buzz

Full disclosure: I stopped watching Sleepy Hollow on season 1.

Why, then, am I still going to add in my two cents? Why do I feel like I even can? First, read this little post about how I watch tv for some insight on my unique viewing method. Second, I am going to directly explain why I stopped watching Sleepy Hollow back when, and why I am eternity happy for this after THIS clusterfuc (I have just seen the last few scenes of season three finale and my RAGE is on).

Also, here's to hoping season 4 gets cancelled after two episodes without Abbie, because I can't with this fuckery and I don't even mind the fact I'm being super negative right now.

So. My experience with Sleepy Hollow started as love at first sight, but after rashly moving in together I soon found out Sleepy Hollow threw all it's dirty socks everywhere in the house, took pisses in the garden and stole all the dog's biscuits for itself. The breakup was pretty amicable; I packed my things and stopped coming "home"; Sleepy Hollow never called.

Slightly exaggerated? Perhaps. Let's try being a little more realistic about it. Here's the deal: when I started watching Sleepy Hollow; I loved it. I loved how it felt very similar to Castle in the type of relationship and banter Abbie and Crane had, and I loved how it was episodic mysteries that connect into a bigger, sinister, magical arc. There wasn't a lot of things like it on TV and I hoped it would fill a niche I've been needing and missing.
I continued to love it, continued to look forward to every episode and the next cute moment between our dashing heroes with the palpable chemistry until the whole thing with Henry. This was the metaphorical time I saw Sleepy Hollow fight with the dog for the dog biscuit. I promise this metaphor is going to make more sense in a sec.

You see, Henry is a sin eater. And a son. And a horseman. And a ton of other shit.

Specifically, he's Ichabod Crane's son with his witch wife. Only, Crane died without ever knowing he was going to have a son. His wife, chased by her witch coven, leaves the child in (what she thinks is) safety with a couple and then runs to lead the coven away. After which she is imprisoned in another dimension for centuries. 

Henry knows all of this. He knows his father is dead. He knows his mother sacrificed herself for him, even if it ended up being for nothing. He knows they had no choice in the matter. And still, he becomes evil because he hates them. He hates them for leaving him. He hates them for abandoning him. He hates them for how he has been buried alive by his mother's coven. Both his parents essentially died, and he's angry to the point of becoming devil's instrument to get back at them.

Excuse me while I go bang my head against a table.
This was my and Sleepy Hollow's first big fight. I just couldn't understand the freakin' logic behind this. WHY ARE YOU TRYING TO EAT THE DOG BISCUITS WHEN WE HAVE PERFECTLY GOOD COOKIES ON THE COUNTER?

Maybe if Henry hadn't knows his parents were dead to the world, maybe if he thought they really have abandoned him, maybe, then, I could fathom this plot line. As it was, I stood there baffled at his weak reasons for being the piece of shit he is.

I struggled with this unreasonable plot twist of Sleepy Hollow the entire hiatus. Mostly, it was because it showed me I couldn't trust Sleepy Hollow's writers. Because it showed me they valued shock a lot more than they did sound, logical story-telling that builds on what you've established before. Because they thought more on the twist than the reason for it. 
Or better yet, don't. This was not the last time Sleepy Hollow's writers let the fandom down.

As is my way, I chose to look at season two of Sleepy Hollow from the relative safety of tumblr; I wanted to see if it got better, to see where the next season was headed, before committing myself to this relationship any further. Sleepy Hollow has betrayed me once, and I wanted to see whether it would correct its ways or dot dot dot.

The things I saw were NOT good. I saw Sleepy Hollow becoming about family drama (that made no sense!). I saw characters being wronged and neglected to sidekicks and arm pieces. I saw finales that were on the verge of ridiculous and I saw FUCKING HENRY CONTINUE TO BE FUCKING MORONIC. (I have a lot of rage on the Henry front.)

The only thing that remained constant, the only thing I saw fans comment on time and time again was the friendship, and possible more ship, to Abbie and Crane. Their banter, their chemistry, their connection. THIS was the glue that still held the show together, the fans immense love for these two, together, on screen.
Which brings up to the point of THIS debacle. Sleepy Hollow continued despite my dislike. It hardly saw fit to cease to be because I lost faith, the scoundrel. And Abbie Mills continued to be negated and neglected until the third season finale came. Continued to become an instrument through which Crane is illustrated. The white, male hero. I don't like going there but... I'm going there.

Abbie was killed off.

Now, two things: a. I can totally believe this was the actress's wish. As a lot of people have noted, her twitter and instagram tell a very clear, stark picture. But one has to ask himself why things were so bad that she wanted to leave. The WHY is as big part of all this. For a main actress to want to leave her show...  that's not a normal situation.

b. there could have been an acceptable way to do this. Not a right way, or a good way, because the right and good choice would not have been to kill off one of your main due, which is like killing a golden goose, but an acceptable way.
Before I explain the acceptable way Sleepy Hollow could've taken this, let's review the very, very, very, very, very, very wrong way Sleepy Hollow's writers chose to take this death. Because Sleepy Hollow's writers decided to try to explain and excuse themselves inside the finale, by given Abbie ridiculous words.

Abbie tells Crane, and the viewers, inside this death vision (I actually watched this full scene and growled while doing so) that she has done her duty. She has completed her mission. Her mission to... make Crane more? She is at peace because she has fulfilled her meaning in life. Crane. To be an instruments in Crane's journey.

This was all she was meant to be, and so, it's her time to go.
This is not some subtext inside a scene. This is literally what she tells Crane. WHAT IS THIS BULLSHIT? the writers are essentially telling the viewers not to be mad. Abbie was never meant to be a main character. Abbie's relationship and banter with Crane was not the crux of the story. We've been watching the show wrong this whole time. It was all about Crane. Crane is the real hero! Here, even Abbie says it! Believe it!

Fuck. Out.
Of all the ways it could've went, you went with this nonsense? What is the purpose of degrading all Abbie was for three seasons to an accessory and a literal stepping stone? And then, you go and add to it that her soul has moved on to someone else, making Abbie replaceable? Making the person who was Abbie unimportant because she could be anyone, really, for this plot's sake?

I'm looking forward to watching (from afar) the writers trying to dig themselves out of this one. They can't have a white replacement because RACISM! The fandom would shout it, people outside the fandom would shout it, and I would most certainly shout it. The white, male hero did not need the black female heroine and so she was replaced with a white one.

If they bring in another black woman... WHY DID YOU THROW ABBIE AWAY??
Now, the acceptable way to take this death?

First, don't explain her death at all. Definitely don't bring into the whole thing a death vision where you force Abbie to make herself nothing at all. Let Crane mourn, for more than half a scene, and let the viewers remember Abbie for all she was and not this reduced existence you made her into with one choppy scene with awful dialogue. Don't bring in reincarnations (or if you feel like you must, at least not yet). Don't send Crane in a chase for a replacement for Abbie.

End the season with grieving. Respect both the character and the fandom that truly adored her. Maybe have the next season (blah) start with that as well. With Crane lost and stumbling without his Leftenant. Let the viewers FEEL the impact of Abbie and what she was to Crane, and not this blatant disrespect to everything YOU have built this show on.

Let us see how lost he is. And after we have fully dealt with her death, have come to accept that the show loved Abbie as well (which clearly, it does not, as it was desperate to get rid of the body but keep the position), introduce the idea of a new female lead.
Instead, Crane is left to mourn for a minute and a half. Then he is told by his friend not to be sad, finds out her soul still lives, and goes to look for his next companion. Making Abbie's death mean nothing at all. 

Top aces, Sleepy Hollow

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