MY FAVORITE NEW FALL DRAMA 2013

There was a plethora of new dramas this fall and I for one couldn’t have been happier. So with the fall season wrapping up, it’s time to announce my favorite new drama out of the 12 that joined the fray this season.

The Originals and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were two shows I was eager to see since they were first announced, and neither of them has disappointed me. In fact, I’m enjoying The Originals almost more than its parent show and SHIELD is great and keeps getting better.

On the other hand, Hostages and Lucky 7 were two dramas I had no intention of watching right off the bat. I do usually try to give every new network drama at least one looksee, but unfortunately for these two shows I just wasn’t interested. The reasons were partly because my TV schedule was already so full that I didn’t have a lot of openings and they both just sounded lame. I was initially torn about Hostages since I do love Dylan McDermott and I think Toni Collette is a wonderful actress, but the whole premise just seemed full of holes. It was put on the “no thanks” list along with Lucky 7. Seriously, who thought THAT was a good idea?

I was also hesitant over Once Upon A Time in Wonderland and Reign, but I did give each of them one episode to prove me wrong. As I said in my previous post “Reboots, Resurrections & Spin-offs, Oh My,” Alice was never all that for me, so I wasn’t drawn in. Similarly, the teenage angst of a young Queen of Scots left me feeling “whatever.” Don’t get me wrong I like my angsty-teen dramas, why else would I watch The CW, but Reign needs to be sent off to the Tower. These were both one then done shows for me.

Speaking of my favorite channel, there was another drama debuting on The CW that I really wanted to like and as it turns out I LOVE it! While there are definitely some storyline challenges, I’m hooked on The Tomorrow People. Between TTP and Arrow, I think Amell Wednesdays give hump day extra oomph!

Betrayal, Dracula, and Ironside all had stars leading their series that I like, love and admire, respectively, so I gave each of them a shot. They all had their issues, but I liked them enough to hang in. Alas, both Ironside and Betrayal have now been cancelled and Dracula is on the bubble. I have serious doubts about it being picked up for a second season, however, I’m not sure I care either, which says a lot.

Although it was somewhat late to the fall party, I’m also digging Almost Human on FOX.

Which brings me to the final two new dramas that debuted this season. It’s funny that these two shows are contenders for my favorite because I almost didn’t watch either of them.

I’ll start with the runner-up — NBC’s The Blacklist.

My second favorite new drama!

I wasn’t sure about this series at first, but I love James Spader so I gave it a shot. It’s fantastic! Albeit, mostly because James Spader could read the phonebook and make it interesting, but also because it has suspense, good acting, and decent writing. I can’t wait for it to return from winter hiatus.

At last we’ve come to my favorite new fall drama. You may have guess by process of elimination, but the winner this year is FOX’s Sleepy Hollow!

2013 Winner of Favorite New Fall Drama –Don’t lose your head!

It’s a twist of fate that this show would end up being my favorite new series because I had actually forgotten about it. I remember seeing something when it was given a pilot order and I vaguely recall it got picked up, but I wasn’t paying much attention because I had started a new job.

Cut to July of this year when I was walking my dog and saw a huge billboard for Sleepy Hollow. To be completely honest, I was intrigue that Nicole Beharie was the female lead. Seriously, the number of dramas that have black females as leads can be counted on one hand, so yes, in this case, her race piqued my curiosity. By the way, sending big props to FOX’s TV marketing team because without that billboard, I probably would’ve missed this show.

I was still wavering about tuning-in, but I looked it up and saw the creators & executive producers behind the show. I have found that certain Creator/EPs in the TV industry have a credible track record when it comes to making series I usually love. So when I saw Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, and Ken Olin were doing this one, I knew I had to watch at least one episode.

Good fortune smiled once again and Sleepy Hollow debuted earlier than other shows, so I didn’t have any viewing conflicts. I admittedly had doubts during the first episode. I liked it, but I felt that it was ripping-off plotlines from other shows that I LOVE like Supernatural and Buffy. The third episode was when I accepted that the writers had put their own unique spin on the story of “Sleepy Hollow” as well as the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” and I was able to let their tale unfold without prejudice. I mean it’s actually quite brilliant that one of the horsemen from hell could be the “headless” villain in the story of Sleepy Hollow.

Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane

Over the subsequent episodes I was drawn in by the superb writing along with the acting of the entire cast particularly that of Nicole Beharie and Tom Mison. In fact, when the show went on hiatus for three weeks because of silly baseball, I went back and re-watched all of the episodes. This time I wasn’t tweeting or commenting on Get Glue, so the show had my full attention. WOW!

I was completely blown away by Tom Mison’s performance. One might be tempted to brush him off as just another pretty face since he’s outrageously gorgeous especially when in Ichabod mode, but he is a truly accomplished actor. The nuances in his portrayal of the “fish-out-of water” moments in Ichabod’s story are absolutely spot-on. Some performers might play it too OTT, but he conveys more with a simple facial expression than a lot of actors do with an entire monologue. His delivery of certain lines is also a thing of beauty. He can make what seems like the most mundane sentence humorous. Again, it’s very subtle, but a lesser actor probably wouldn’t bring out those light-hearted moments.

He is the ideal partner to Nicole Beharie since she too is crazy beautiful and is also an amazing actor. I first saw her in the movie 42, and I think she’s just as wonderful in this role. It’s difficult to portray that balance of not wanting to believe yet knowing in your heart what’s going on is real, but she does it impeccably. Nicole imparts Abbie’s sincerity, intelligence, and heart. In many ways her character is the audience’s reflection. We navigate the dark roads of Sleepy Hollow through her and while we might not know where it’s leading, we do know we are in it until the bitter end.

Nicole Beharie as Lt. Abbie Mills

In addition, the chemistry between Tom and Nicole is palpable and it makes watching their interactions even more entertaining. I actually think all of the main actors have great chemistry and presence on-screen together. I will also state that I’m not a shipper. I don’t want Abby and Ichabod to hook-up. **SPOILER** Come on, it’s already been established that Katrina is the love of Ichabod’s life and he’s still married since we now know she isn’t truly dead.** Ichabod is moral, honorable, and devoted to his wife. He would never have an affair and neither would Abbie.

I find it frustrating that many viewers always want men and women who are leads on a show to be lovers. Seriously, what’s up with that? I know some shows are set up like that from the start, so you know eventually the two people will end up together, but it doesn’t always need to be the case. I honestly believe that men and women can have a close friendship and even love each other without being “in-love.” I blame when “Harry Met Sally” and other such rom-coms for enabling these romantic expectations. There are many shades of love and not EVERY relationship has to lead to kissy-face.

But, I digress! Back to what really matters. If you haven’t yet watched Sleepy Hollow go to the FOX website or check to see if your TV service provider has it available through On Demand or whatever they might call it. This was how I re-watched all the episodes and as a bonus Time Warner Cable also offered some behind-the-scenes segments that I enjoyed as well. I confess to watching each episode a few times. Hey, going three weeks without Sleepy Hollow was awful! It also helped deepen my appreciation for this series. The show is truly outstanding and is full of twists, turns, and awesome grr, argh!

Sleepy Hallow has been picked up for a second season for all you who are afraid to watch a show because it might get cancelled. On a sad note, FOX has given each season only 13 episodes, so the first season is almost over and it’s going to be a very long, intolerable wait until the premiere of Season Two. This does, however, give any of you that haven’t joined the Sleepy Hollow train the opportunity to get onboard before next fall. I know I’ll be getting my fix over the next harrowing 7-8 months until the new season starts.

So there you have it, Sleepy Hollow is my favorite new fall series!

What’s yours? Was it something unexpected or a show you knew that you would love? Let me know!

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