DVD Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)

    Jemima Rooper as THELMA BATES
    Christina Cole as CASSIE HUGHES
    Michael Fassbender as AZAZEAL
    Laura Pyper as ELLA DEE

    Not Rated
    Studio: BBC

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My wife was a huge fan of the American series “Charmed.” And while I watched more than my fair share of episodes, I never got hooked. However, I did see enough to realize that “Hex” from BBC America has a very similar appeal.

This series follows a couple young co-eds in a British college. Cassie (Christina Cole) is a wallflower living with a lesbian roommate named Thelma (Jemima Rooper). Cassie stumbles upon some artifacts in old servants quarters of the school, which open up doors to her past. It also opens up a door to allow Azazeal (Michael Fassbender), a fallen angel, to start to invade her life.

When Azazeal tries to bring Cassie to his side, Thelma dies and reappears to Cassie as a ghost. Together, they bridge the real and spirit worlds to fight against Azazeal and keep him from unleashing a group of demons onto our world.

“Hex” had a short two-year run on the BBC, and this DVD set provides all five episodes from the first season along with the first five from the second, all repackaged as the first season on BBC America. If you want a sampling of the show, check out Supernatural Saturdays on BBC American in the same time block as “Doctor Who.”

The “Charmed” comparisons are not unfounded, although they are a little unfair at times. “Charmed” was definitely geared for the American audience, while “Hex” gives us a slightly more complex story. Where “Charmed” followed three hot chicks spending their days vanquishing equally hot demons, “Hex” gives us a greater picture.

Cassie is in for more than just a life as a demon hunter. Her family history is tied up with Azazeal, and she never quite realizes how deep she is in until it’s too late. Like many other British shows, there’s a grimness that underlies the sexy story. You can never count out characters from being in mortal danger in this series. Everyone is up for grabs, from the demons’ point of view.

This grimness makes this show certainly more interesting than “Charmed,” if not as exciting. I have to admit, the jiggle factor on “Charmed” was kinda hard to beat. But the lesbian overtones from beyond the grave at least make it fun to watch.

“Hex” is an interesting series, but it tends to drag a bit. The writers manage to pack a lot of story into these episodes, but still I found myself dozing off at times. There are other odd aspects to the show, like the strangely small student body and bizarre lack of teachers at the school. Also, with as many kids that die on school grounds, you’d expect the place would have lost its license a long time ago.

Overall, “Hex” was an interesting show, and things did take off a bit as it entered its second British season. I admit that I’m not sure exactly where they’re going with the story, and that’s always nice to be able to say about a series. I do wonder if it will all be neatly wrapped up in the second season release, r if things will be up in the air. Either way, it’s been an interesting run.

From a DVD-lover’s standpoint, the “Hex” discs have a bit to be desired. Not only are they without subtitles of any kind (and while it’s in English, subtitles are very helpful in a noisy house with kids running around), but the only extra features include a making-of documentary and some deleted scenes.

Specifications: Dolby Digital 5.1 Stereo Sound. Widescreen (1.78:1). Spanish subtitles. English language subtitles for the hearing impaired.

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