Ironically, the first Washington Irving story that the recently released preview of Fox’s upcoming Sleepy Hollow series made me think of wasn’t “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” but “Rip Van Winkle”–with liberal dashes of The X-Files and National Treasure thrown in. Throw in the “buddy cop” trope (all the way down to one black partner, one white–although at least we’ve got a co-ed team going here), and you’ve got yourself a spooky detective show that, admittedly, looks pretty derivative… but also potentially a heck of a lot of fun.
I can’t even really fault the corny tag line. Given the literary source material, have you got a better one? I think my favorite bit was Ichabod (who looks a lot more like a rugged hero here than he does in Irving’s original, or in the 1949 Disney cartoon) asks if there isn’t a law against ubiquitous Starbucks stores… The man may be new to our era, but he learns quickly!
There may even be some theological grist for sci-fi Christians’ mill when this series debuts. “The answers are in Washington’s Bible,” it seems. On the one hand, that’s a nice sentiment. We don’t look to the Bible for answers nearly enough–at least, I confess I don’t; your faithful mileage may vary. But on the other hand, do we really need to encourage more people to view the Bible as a cryptic code just waiting to be broken? As a miscellany of mystic esoterica, a volume only those privileged few in the know can understand?
We look in the Bible for answers because the Bible is the inspired, unique, authoritative witness to The Answer, Jesus Christ. I hope General Washington knew that! I pray we do, as well.
(Incidentally, for all the supposed reverence the Bible gets in impending apocalyptic scenarios like these, why can’t anyone on TV or in the movies remember the final book is titled Revelation–singular, not plural?)
When Sleepy Hollow awakes this fall, will you be tuning in?