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30 January 2015 @ 12:12 pm
another Sleepy Hollow rant  
Oh, what are you doing, Sleepy Hollow? Like, how did you look at / listen to what people liked about your show last year, and think, "what we need to do is have Abbie and Ichabod together less often, people will totally enjoy that show"?

Was this week some kind of desperate midseason course correction, like, "wow, no one likes Hawley, let's just get rid of that dude"? Also, why was that episode basically a supernatural episode of Hustle, I'm so lost? (Seriously, they even cast Jaime Murray!)

And - always - what is a Katrina? They keep pushing this character that no one likes, but no one likes her because the writers are terrible at making her a worthwhile character! She is supposed to be a powerful (and competent!) witch, but every time she uses her magic, it doesn't work and she has to get rescued by Abbie. She and Ichabod are supposed to have been deeply in love, but the actors have no chemistry (which is not the writers' fault, but it's kind of glaringly obvious when Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie are so effortlessly adorable with each other), and the characters have no relationship back-story, so the actors never have anything to play anyway. The episode before last, Ichabod and Katrina spent pretty much the whole A plot together, and were still super dull. I mean, why did these two people fall in love? Did they ever have a conversation where one of them made the other one laugh? Do they have any shared memories that aren't, like, "remember that time we hung out with Abigail Adams?" (Oh my goodness, the end of this particular episode was hilarious, because Ichabod actually said out loud, "now one Abigail has led you to another," to his wife, like, you can't even stop talking about Abbie Mills for five minutes, you are a failure, you are an eleven-foot-tall walking disaster! You are the eighteenth-century version of "When I Think About Angels," just go away with your stupid besotted face.) And now that she's here, we never even get to see her adjusting to the modern world, or dealing with not being in Purgatory anymore, maybe she has some feelings about that or something? Katrina has never been made into anything more than a plot point: Katrina needed to be a witch so she could bespell Ichabod for the show to happen, and Ichabod needed to be married so that he could have a son he didn't know about because he "died" before he got to meet the baby (etc., but I basically just ignore the Henry plot on the basis of total incoherence), and Ichabod needs to be married because it provides a convenient reason that he and Abbie can't get together. (If you want to convince me that the writers aren't treating the two of them as a potential "endgame" couple, then you have to explain to me how they are doing anything different from pretty much every other show that has had a male-female partnership where the leads eventually got together, from The X-Files to Bones. They might decide to buck the trend - and I'm certainly not saying that the writers are obligated to make their relationship a romantic one - but genre carries with it a certain set of expectations, and all of that swoony, soulful, "we can depend on no one else," "we must preserve the sanctity of our bond," "let me cradle you in my arms and stroke your hair as we rescue you from Purgatory" stuff, combined with the "let me just wipe the coffee foam off of your upper lip," "hey look, we're chained up together while scantily clad" stuff, is easily readable as Abbie/Ichabod. I don't think it's just wishful thinking on the part of the 'shippers; the usual TV grammar is definitely being used here, even if the writers plan on doing something else with it in the end. Anyway, the point is that, given how little effort they seem to be putting into the Ichabod/Katrina relationship, Katrina's only function seems to be as a relationship roadblock. [1] Even if you don't ship Abbie/Ichabod, Katrina's literal purpose is to be the thing that disrupts their relationship. Pretty much everyone commented on it in the last episode.) It's ridiculous, and a total waste, because there's no reason that an eighteenth-century Quaker witch should be this BORING.

(also, the thing where the white characters of Katrina and Hawley are taking valuable screen time away from the actually central African-American characters of Abbie, Jenny, and Frank is possibly accidental - although I'm not totally convinced that the network didn't give the showrunners a note about this with Hawley, because dude literally did not bring a damn thing to the show that Jenny wasn't already doing - but still gross.)

And then this week's episode was all about Abbie and Ichabod's partnership, and literally singing karaoke duets together while Ichabod just gazes at Abbie, and…what is a Katrina, again? Even the writers are having the characters ask this question by this point, so I am just so confused about what they think they are doing with her.

(And - let's talk about Purgatory, because Katrina was in Purgatory for a whole season, and occasionally Ichabod would go "so sad, so sad," and they would occasionally mention that they were looking for ways to rescue her. Totally fine: I figured that rescuing Katrina would be an ongoing goal for the characters; you need those on a TV show along with the immediately achievable episode goals. But then Abbie gets sent to Purgatory - and Ichabod is swearing to everyone he can find that he will come back for her, nothing will stop him, you may rely on the bond he shares with her, like…writers? Did you mean to make it look like Ichabod cares far more deeply for Abbie than he does for Katrina? Because that's a really big accident, if you didn't, and also, maybe you should pay more attention to your show.)

(and I know I keep bringing this up, but Ichabod and Abbie have in-jokes with each other that aren't plot-related, like the way she made him try yoga and he hated it, and the writers snuck in a little jibe exchange about that in the last episode [Abbie: "I know that from yoga class." Ichabod: "I'm still never doing that again"]. It didn't really go anywhere; it was just there, because Abbie would twit him about that, and Ichabod would respond with that put-on over-dignity that he uses when he's embarrassed about something. That is how you make characters seem like they actually know each other, care about each other, enjoy each other's company. You can't just yell "soul mates!" from a misty distance and then call it a day.)

[1] I feel like I'm not being as clear here as I want to be. I'm not saying that Ichabod and Abbie should get together, and certainly they shouldn't right now, because neither of them is in a place where they should be dating anyone, let alone each other. I'm only saying - or trying to say - that the writers are treating Katrina like every other boring girlfriend who is plonked onstage in season 2 with no real back-story or interaction with the male lead, but suddenly viewers are supposed to be invested in that relationship for some reason, even though it feels like a blatant attempt to cause "drama" for the lead couple or keep them apart because the writers are too lazy to come up with or acknowledge any other reason for those characters not to be together. (There are male versions of this, too: see everyone Lorelai Gilmore ever dated except for Max Medina.) Katrina is slightly different in that she at least existed before - Ichabod always had a wife - but the lack of development they are giving her makes her feel painfully like she only exists to keep the two leads apart, whether that is romantically or otherwise.
 
 
 
chelseagirlchelseagirl on January 31st, 2015 07:23 pm (UTC)
I really liked the potential of Katrina last season, when she was all phone calls from Purgatory and flashbacks, and all the bashing from the Ichabbie shippers made me want to defend her. But the writers CANNOT do anything with her that's worthwhile, so I've given up. I wish they'd let her be really cool for awhile and then kill her tragically, causing massive angstiness, and then get on with things. But they will no doubt go the tedious evil route.
tempestsarekindtempestsarekind on January 31st, 2015 11:32 pm (UTC)
I always found her sheer terribleness at giving messages rather frustrating - you know you have little time; stop being so vague and cryptic! For some reason the writers made it sound like she had lots of information, but just ran out of time in which to impart it; I would have been far less annoyed if she had just been able to glean very little but was telling Ichabod everything she'd been able to find out.

But I had hoped that they would develop her character in interesting ways, and they just haven't, at all!