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Hooray for “Hex”! TV’s Next Buffy?

A friend who knows my affinity for all things Buffy and Buffy-related recently alerted me to a giant subway advertisement for a new TV series with my name written all over it: “Hex.” “Hex” premiered last Thursday at 10 on BBC America (though happily, the channel is re-airing the two-hour premier daily, if you want to catch it) and stars Christina Cole as Cassie Hughes, a girl attending a posh-British boarding school (housed in as Goth a mansion as you can find) who discovers she’s a witch. It is clearly Britain’s best answer to the enormous fan-base still wistful about Buffy and searching for something, anything, to fill the void.

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Last night I eagerly snuggled up in front of the television, ready with snacks, drinks, and the remote, and was rewarded with quite a ride. The show is darker than Buffy and dives in head first with the drama, teasing viewers with mysteries and lore about what lies ahead–something that Buffy fans really had to wait until the second season to enjoy. I found myself immediately gripped by the characters and plot, though the humor was a bit over the top and cringe-inducing at moments.

Without giving too much away, the website for “Hex” describes Cassie as “bewildered and terrified by the visions that haunt her,” but she “soon discovers that there are certain advantages to being a student endowed with mystical powers, when she learns how to manipulate the people and situations around her.” And there’s tragic romance ahead as well, if not a bit kinky sounding, since Cassie’s love interest turns out to be a fallen angel named Azazeal (Michael Fassbender), “the leader of a group of fallen angels who were banished from heaven for tasting the pleasures of mortal women.”

From watching the premiere, I’ve already determined that I’m in for all 10 episodes of the show’s first season. What Buffy fan can say no to promises of mystical powers, demon-fighting, and romances with fallen angels? Definitely not me.

  • Sintya Moreira

    Television viewing by 6-11 year olds will increase some 150% during the summer months. In addition, adult and adult female viewing patterns during that time remain unchanged during the summer, implying that much of the increase in children’s viewership is unsupervised. (Nielsen Ratings) The impact of this increased viewing could be quite bleak. Consider: Adolescents who watch more than three hours of TV daily are more likely to engage in aggressive behavior as adults. (CNN reporting on Columbia University study published in the journal, Science; March 2002). A University of North Carolina Study concluded that the earlier children are exposed to sexually charged television and other media, the earlier they have sex. Nearly 61% of all television programming contains violence, with children s programming being the most violent (www.parentstv.org) The Parents Television Council (PTC) recently released a study showing there are more violent images on children s television in the U.S. than on adult-oriented T.V. Parents need to be aware of the dangers they are inviting into their home each day particularly during the summer months. TiVo, through its new feature KidZone being rolled out on Thursday, provides parents with an easy-to-use tool for determining what programming will be available to their children in consultation with programming guides from respected experts. Here is what people are saying about TiVo KidZone and the issue of children and T.V.: The TV remote can be as dangerous as a stick of dynamite in the hands of an 8-year-old. TiVo KidZone is the safety valve parents need-to guard the minds, hearts, and sensibilities of their most precious gift: their children.” Max Lucado, New York Times best-selling author There s a big difference between children s media and what children watch. In the future, blocking will become less important than trusted guides. David Kleeman, President, American Center for Children and Media Parents have a right to have their kids watch T.V. without being shocked at what s on. Easy-to-use tools need to be in place for parents to use. F.C.C. Commissioner Michael Copps If a person walked into your house and said and did some of the things children have access to through the media T.V. and internet you d call the police! We have to admit that our children are becoming more tech savvy that their parents can ever hope to be. Technology is out-pacing our ability to respond to it. TiVo is another example of enabling parents to control what their kids are exposed to. U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) As a father of two teenagers, I understand that parents are the first line of defense I commend TiVo for providing parents such a valuable and easy to use resource to determine what programming is best for their kids. This major breakthrough of technology through public and private cooperation directly addresses the goals that Congress and the FCC had in mind when they created the Children s Educational and Informational programming category. U.S. Representative Fred Upton (R-Mich), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet More resources about the topic and related articles: For detailed statistics on children s TV viewing habits, KidZone fact sheet, high-res photos, and a complete online press kit, visit http://www.DeMossNewsPond.com/TIVO. For additional information about how TV affects our children, visit http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/tv_affects_child.html TiVo Announces New Enhancement to TiVo KidZone (http://tivo.com/cms_static/press_83.html) What do I need to know about children and television? (University of Michigan Health Systems – http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/yourchild/tv.htm) Common Sense Media Family Movies Reviews, Movie Rental Reviews, Family Movies, TV Reviews, Web ( http://www.commonsensemedia.org/) Interviews are available with TiVo executives and partner organizations. Contact: Tiffanie Wallace or Karen Dye (770) 813-0000.>

  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10757005/ Zero-Equals-Infinity

    That previous comment sounded like an advertisement. I guess someone expected your blog to get a lot of hits and decided to pitch their product. As for the new series, I will be interested to see how it turns out. (Oh and for the writer of the previous note, I don’t even own a television. I saw Buffy on DVD after a friend said the writing was quite often inspired.) It will be difficult to top Buffy but I wish the producer, director, writers, actors, and production team well in their efforts. The most important thing is the quality of the writing. Are the characters compelling and are the dilemmas they face one’s which resonate with the viewers? One of the keys is the tying into mythic themes in a compelling way. The best tales have always been mythic. Think Shakespeare, greek tragedy, Dante, Milton, Goethe (Faust), Job, et cetera. And, so here is to the cast and writers of Hex: Do not be boxed in, read the classics, and don’t be afraid to reflect current local and transnational issues. Alienation and fear are perenial as are coming of age themes. See what has worked historically in terms of great mythic literature. Build your characters through one of the great pathways. Inevitably some variant on the hero’s quest finds its way into the mix, though it can blend with the Redemption theme (which is where one of Buffy’s great strength lay. i.e. Spike’s redemption quest was one of the major threads.) Become weaver’s, blend in stories and tales from all the great cultures and tradition. In Britain, one of the places of meeting of many cultures, it would be interesting to see how these blend, conflict and resolve. As for mystical, consider a true mystical aspect, perhaps a circle of contemplatives drawn together, meeting and overseeing (like a council of watchers, only as beacons who shine the light that flows through them into darkened corners of the individual and collective soul as it struggles towards ….) It has to have an almost organic quality, hinting at where it will go, drawing and evoking the viewer by the deep emotional (can we say visceral) connections. Yes, I am asking for great writing, inspired writing, and then production values and cast members who can make it work. A tall order, but I really hope they can pull it off. Buffy is a tough act to follow.>

  • Alicia

    Too bad I don’t have digital cable (or cable) because I would be interested in checking “Hex” out. One of the great things about “Buffy,” (besides the coming-of-age theme and learning how to use one’s powers and realizing that one is special and like everyone else at one and the same time, same as Harry Potter) was that it was both familiar and also unpredictable. It took a familiar genre and mixed it up — sort of humor, horror, and high school (but not in that order). Ant the writers usually used humor to puncture expectations. The horror/threat is punctured by an unexpected laugh, which makes the story much more enjoyable. To me, “Lost” is the new Buffy because it is also original.>

  • Joey

    I saw the premiere…I thought that it was over-advertised and very hurried and it seems that they are feeding you too much of the story in one spoonful. They present absolutely zero character build up and the because of that I really do not care about their problems. And I know nothing about British schooling but do they really only have 10 kids in that huge building? It is very far fetched and it seems so much like a Buffy write-off that they didn’t bother with the details. Let’s just make a story about a skinny blond chick with special powers that is totally hot but still doesn’t fit in with the cool kids in school and ends up in a strange relationship with a creature of the night while I hang out with my lesbian friend. And when the lesbian friend died in the end (oops a spoiler for those of you who haven’t wasted 2 hours of your life), I could have cared less because I was never given a chance to know, like or relate to her. Everything was just way to hurried and rushed and I was never given the opportunity to like or connect with the characters. I love(d) Buffy and I am not being critical because I am “a crazy over-zealous Scoobie”. However this show is in no way in comparison to the genius that was Buffy and I am offended that Hex is even remotely being compared to it. Hex is lame and choppy and corny and badly written and many other piles of bile on top of it.>

  • Amulet

    I saw most of “Hex” series 1 (I live in England). It had the look, feel of a programme that was rushed into production to grab “Buffy” fans. The scripts were hackneyed. The acting was less than brilliant. The programme left me with the same “oh, come on” feeling I had when I saw “Phantom Menace” and the hinting that Anakin was the product of a virgin birth.>

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