Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The American Revelation

I just sat down and watched the Sleepy Hollow pilot and, I'm intrigued. The show has its problems. The Moulder/Scully dichotomy they're trying to set up with Ichabod and Abbie wears a little thin after a while and the accents can be a little grating, but I like the feel of the show. When it's good the camera work and effects can be really creepy.

There is however one thing that they're doing that annoys the crap out of me. That said it makes me question a show where I let it pass.

Revelation in America.

Okay so the headless horseman is set up to be the horseman of death. I like the idea, but he's literally a redcoat.  This is the point where I should give my usual disclaimer about religious prophesy and how I really don't care one way or the other about the end times other than as a kind of intriguing narrative setting. Which is a clear cut way of keeping myself from asking or answering the question of how much stock I really put in the Bible. For better or worse I don't feel like answering that one until I'm facing St. Peter himself.

Anyway, the apocalypse is a big deal and it seems sort of presumptuous to figure the trumpets will sound and the last battle will be fought in 'Merica... by a guy literally out of Washington's Army.

It makes me think because I let it pass in Supernatural, probably my favorite show post High School... short of The Wire.  Why did I let it pass there?

For starters an integral part of the show is its Americana. Heck a primary set piece is the "Roadhouse". The "home" of our protagonists is a '67 Impala. I'd beat money that Dean, one of said protagonists, is named after James Dean.

My point is the show breaths American culture and iconography and did so from the beginning, a good chunk of the first season updating American urban legends, including the curse of "Bloody Mary" and "The Hookman"
By the way the clip is referring to the curse of "Little Bastard" James Dean's car.

Without that Americana Supernatural just wouldn't be Supernatural.

The religious iconography didn't start showing up until the tail-end of Season 2. Before that the show's formula mostly entailed heading to an interesting American local, including Michigan for "Hookman",  and watching Dean, who pre-character development was the ideal male of that American culture kick the ass of one of America's legendary villains.

As hard as it might be for some to admit American culture is filled with religious iconography and tall tales. If you want to spice up one of our ghost stories add in a demon possession or a deal with the devil.

The Revelation shtick felt like a natural progression of that and felt justified. Heck one of the main episodes where it got heated up involved Robert Johnson's deal with the devil.

The characters were American and you can't tell an Americanized version of the Revelation without telling an Americanized version of the Revelation.

With Sleepy Hollow I just don't see the point in adding in the Revelation stuff. A headless ghost rider chopping off heads is enough to hold my attention.

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