Three years ago, the Fox Network premiered Sleepy Hollow. There is no way to describe this series without it sounding monumentally stupid. Someone had the idea to combine the writings of Washington Irving, the Book of Revelation, and the American Revolution into one mess of a series. British scholar turned American revolutionary patriot Ichabod Crane woke up in modern day Sleepy Hollow, New York, where he teamed up with a local policewoman, Abby Mills, to stop the coming apocalypse. The Headless Horseman is there, and it turns out he’s the Horseman of Death. And everything was outlined in George Washington’s personal Bible.
Really, just describing the show makes it sound, at best, dumb. And, to be fair, it is somewhat dumb. In the first year, the series was actually rather fun. Then the second came around, and, well, it got kinda not good. Now, in season three, the show may or may not be working to fix the narrative problems of season one. How successful will it be?
My wife just finished working her way through the full series run of Friends on Netflix. We were talking and she brought up how her mother got tired of Friends after a while. My mother-in-law apparently thought Joey got too stupid, Monica too annoying, and the Ross-and-Rachel thing got rather tired. I wasn’t the fan of the show that my wife or her mother were, so I couldn’t disagree with that consensus, where I mostly wondered why any of them would willingly hang out with hangdog mopester Ross.
That’s not an unusual phenomena. Many TV shows that run long enough can become a shadow of their former glory. Anyone who’s been watching The Simpsons long enough already knows that, though.
Picturing a fantasy setting might give a person of supposedly sound mind an image which revolves around something that came from the mind, pen, or fever dream of J.R.R. Tolkien, even if the person in question thinks that name belongs to a particularly odd Muppet. Or perhaps the idea is more of some sort of Game involving Thrones. Maybe King Arthur came off his flour bag to do his thing with Merlin or Galahad or people with names way cooler than anyone else you may know, provided you don’t know any chimps of the Link family (though, to be fair, he is a rather secretive chimp).
But fantasy usually just boils down to magic and the supernatural, and if The Ring taught us anything, and it didn’t, it is that magic and the supernatural can exist anywhere, which is where the Urban Fantasy subgenre comes in.