"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Hex Appeal

I'm ambivalent about the BBC-TV series Hex, which runs on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. EDT on BBC America. Yes, it can be seen as a ripoff of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as it is set at an elite English boarding school and deals with spiritual warfare surrounding and involving the student body of oversexed teens and their clueless and/or evil overseers. Christina Cole as Cassie in HexAnd yes, the premise of the program is based on a mixture of Christian theology and odd bits of superstition, other religions, and simple chaos. Plus, the first few episodes are rather slow going, with a good deal of unnecessary meandering and chitchat. Plus there is a heck of a lot of venery going on, all of it outside of marriage, which many religious people don't like to see on their TVs.

Nonetheless, the show is interesting and entertaining. Cassie, an attractive but shy young student, finds out that she is descended from witches and is at the center of a plot by demons to bring back the Nephilim, a race of giants mentioned in the Bible (e.g., Genesis 6:2) that was created when human women mated with demons (as one understanding has it). This is an actual Biblical concept, and Hex presents it in a fairly straighforward manner, while of course sticking to the most melodramatic and exciting way of seeing it.

The story line, as mentioned earlier, is basically about spiritual warfare seen from an essentially Judeo-Christian point of view with the addition of ghosts, embodied demons, juju mumbo jumbo, and other spicy bits. As such, it's sometimes a bit of a muddle spiritually and will cause fits for some of the more literal-minded fundamentalists, but ultimately the producers' hearts and minds seem to be in the right place, and it's worth watching and sticking with.

At this point BBC America is about halfway through the 18 episodes that have been shown in Britain so far. (First-run showings in Britain concluded last December.) BBC America will be showing a marathon of Hex tonight beginning at 9 p.m. EDT. The channel's website does not specify which episodes will be running, so you'll have to tune in to find out. It's definitely worth a try, as the series can be interesting, provocative, and entertaining.

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