Really: I don’t want to read another review, article or innocent blog post that prefaces their (usually even positive) impressions of Sleepy Hollow with the idiotic disclaimer “The premise/writing/plot is SO SILLY/RIDICULOUS OF COURSE!!!”
I would really like to know why it is only this show that appears to raise such expectations of intellectual depth, Shakespearean writing and historical accuracy. It’s not as if Sleepy Hollow is claiming to be any of these things. And it’s not as if the other shows in its genre are actually better written or better researched … or closer to the original inspiration. Once Upon A Time is a sort of badly acted soap opera with people named after characters from fairy tales and Disney movies. It tried to pass off a scene of a child defiantly eating a piece of pie as a big, dramatic moment! And then there is Grimm, a show that is extremely loosely based on the Brothers Grimm, who were real people known for two things: collecting folk tales and starting work on an extensive dictonary of the German language. Ironically, the people writing for Grimm cannot use a German dictionary. I would like more people to point and laugh about this, but instead I get fans defend the show, coming up with contrived explanations for the incorrect German being not a bug, but a feature.
I hope it’s not the same people who are now throwing back their heads and haughtily nitpick that George Washington did not actually secretly fight to prevent the apocalypse. Gee, really?
Some shows obviously bring out the wannabe intellectuals in people. It’s still not as hilarious as the furious rants about all the “changes” Paul W.S. Anderson supposedly made to Dumas’ The Three Musketeers for his omgsostupid steampunk version of the story. It’s really not a perfect movie, but the complaints were telling and revealed that many of the people who screeched that Dumas would be rotating in his grave, did not actually read the novel. Did not even read the first chapter, heck, not even the first two pages: one common complaint is that it’s sooooo stupid of d’Artagnan to pick a fight with Rochefort because the latter insults his horse! And anyway, d’Artagnan should be played by someone older than 18, 19. And there should have been a badass final battle against the evil Cardinal in the end! And anyway, what a stupid plot, trying to retrieve the queen’s jewels from England. DUMAS WOULD NEVER!
Yeah, The Three Musketeers was not a perfect movie, but you could tell that the script writers had actually read the source material and used plenty of lesser known aspects of it, that would, of course, confuse people who only know the 1993 Disney movie with Chris O’Donnell and Charlie Sheen. But the changes that this movie did make — turning Buckingham into a flamboyant megalomaniac and inserting airships into the narrative — were obviously deliberate, not mistakes. It’s not as if the script writers honestly thought Dumas actually meant airships when he wrote “horses”. So whining about this is a bit futile. Just like I would bet good money that no one writing the Sleepy Hollow TV show is suggesting that there is actually a battle against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse* being waged in the town of Sleepy Hollow. It is not an academic essay claiming historical truth, either. It is fiction and belongs to the genre of fantasy, which … is that genre where people don’t try to stick to realism. Look it up if the concept confuses you, but stop whining about this TV show failing some unrealistic standard that no other TV show has to meet.
*) Not actually an invention by Supernatural, btw.