A few years ago, my fifteen year old daughter and I watched all seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – a mother-daughter bonding ritual I can highly recommend. We watched the first couple seasons of Angel together, and a few episodes of Bones. Lately we’ve been trying to find another series to share. We started season one of Supernatural and watched a few episodes of The X Files, though neither really clicked for us.
We saw the trailer for Fox’s new series, Sleepy Hollow. My daughter was lukewarm about it, but I thought it looked awesome, and did some arm-twisting to get her to watch the first episode. Three episodes in and she’s already doing a little arm-twisting of her own, insisting her brother watch along with us.
I think we found our series.
And, I think I found a new fan-girl crush. (Though perhaps I won’t mention it to the children.) Ichabod Crane, as played by Tom Mison, is one of the two best things about the show. The other best this is Abby, played by Nicole Beharie. She’s a police lieutenant, sort of an Agent Scully to Ichabod’s Agent Mulder. The interaction between the two of them is pretty compelling and makes the show worth watching.
Because really, you can’t think too hard about the plot or your brain will break.
I’m not alone in my appreciation for Mr. Crane. In this post from StarPulse.com, the author pretty much trashes the show, but has some very complementary things to say about the hero:
Suprisingly, I loved Tom Mison as Ichabod. I had absolutely no expectations going in, but he knocked Ichabod’s contemporary Renaissance man out of the park. He’s so charming and adorable that I literally threw my undies at the screen.
And I’m right there with her.
Well, sort of. There were children in the room. Teenagers. You know.
Of course, while watching the show, I had to put my writer’s hat on. True confessions: I rarely take it off. Anywhoodle, out of the striking visuals, on-screen chemistry, and loopy plotlines, I pulled a more serious question. What is it about Ichabod that had him catching panties within minutes of the premier?
What makes a compelling hero?
A while ago I wrote a post on heroes for the Crimson Romance authors blog, and here’s how I answered that question. Good heroes rely on attributes besides their looks. They stand up for what’s right. They may break a few rules, but they get the job done. Whether they’re charming bad boys, swashbuckling adventurers, or deadly competent fighters, they face their internal and external demons to win the day.
Mr. Crane covers that ground pretty well. He died in a Revolutionary War battle, but 250 years later he comes back to life. Instead of freaking out over cell phones and Starbucks, he jumps into trying to save the world from the Headless Horseman. Abby drinks some weird Indian potion to fight the Sandman, and he takes a swig, so she won’t have to battle alone. His wife from back in the day is trapped in some kind of purgatory, and he’s going to save her, too.
Most importantly, he works from a core of confidence that communicates itself from the moment he crawls up through the dirt. It’s that confidence that allows him to get involved in a murder investigation, when he’s not actually a cop – and totally sell it. It’s that confidence that allows him to show humor and vulnerability and charm. It’s that confidence that makes him a leader.
It’s that confidence that pulls a girl’s panties right off her butt.
His long coat doesn’t hurt, either.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it’s possible Ichabod Crane could turn out to be a candidate for the Epic Coats Club. What do you think? Have you watched the show? Are you a member of the Ichabod Crane Fan Club?