Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Review: Hex

I'm currently watching the latest TV show to catch my attention. The show is named Hex, and it's essentially the British version of Buffy.

Really, the similarities to Buffy are pretty strong -- enough so that they aren't likely to be accidental. Our heroine, Ella, is a 400-some-odd year old (but perpetually 17) witch, "The Last of the Anointed Ones", whose destiny is to kill the saviour of the fallen angels. (They never quite use the word "anti-Christ", but that's the implication.) The Willow cognate is Thelma, a lesbian ghost with a considerable amount of attitude. Ella is somewhat reluctantly smitten with Malachi, our Spike analogue, who is (of course), the guy she's supposed to kill -- a second-generation demon who isn't especially happy with his own destiny. There's a Xander type (Leon, the normal guy in the middle of the craziness), Watcher equivalents (the somewhat nasty archangel Raphael), and so on.

For all that, it doesn't come across as derivative. The show has a lot of attitude, and is quite a bit darker than Buffy typically was -- I've found myself thinking of it as a cross between Buffy and Torchwood. It's really all about the personal relationships in this insane situation, and does the teen-angst thing quite well. The forces of Heaven and Hell can't work directly in the world, so they are conducting their warfare through these increasingly-discontent pawns. The writing is smart, although the plotting doesn't have the depth that Buffy strove for. Production quality is pretty much what you'd expect from modern BBC, but it keeps the story down to earth, avoiding much need for special effects.

After about half a dozen episodes, I find myself intrigued. It's not a clear winner, but it has a lot of potential. It's airing on Saturday evenings on BBC America; if you like the darker shows that the BBC is doing nowadays (MI-5, Torchwood), I recommend checking it out...
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