The premise of FOX’s new reality show Utopia seems to be influenced by the Hunger Games. At the beginning, the participants are given the rules in front of a hologram, and while they aren’t fighting to the death, they are asked to fight for their ideals, which is an intense situation. Another Hunger Games reference is the casting of Hex Vanisles, a 6ft tall, 25-year-old huntress from Detroit who has a striking resemblance to Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen.
Hex left her job as a dental assistant for this opportunity. Before she started filming, she quit her job to spend some time practicing hunting, studying hunting laws, and she says, “crying and watching Netflix” when her nerves got the better of her.
Below is a promo video of Hex eloquently explaining why she wanted to be a part of this show. She gets extra points for revering the importance of humor and candidness. She reveals in this video that Hex Vanisles isn’t her real name, and she hopes the name change will help protect her family from any potential embarrassment.
The first night the group drinks a little too much of Red’s Kentucky whiskey, and Josh turns into a slurring mess who groups Hex. The next morning Josh is an outcast over his actions, but Hex is physically suffering the worst. Her condition gets so bad that the production illusion already gets punctured when we see the crew go to assist her. She even gets sent to the hospital. Right away the show is giving us the nod that they know we know there is some degree of production “fakery” going on, and while their resources are limited, and they are under high stress by trying to work together and figure out power structures, they are not in any danger if they truly need help.
Hex does seem to be a natural leader, and producers have said that she’s already standing out and taking charge.
Part of her leadership skill is that she isn’t just assertive, she’s also respectful of others. The day after Josh drunkenly groups her and acts like a general ass to everyone, Hex tells him that she’s open to him regaining her trust, and votes for him to stay (cast-mates can vote off member who they feel are creating a toxic environment for their gore.) Although Hex says her idea Utopia is devoid of religion, she takes a more compassionate approach to Pastor Jonathan’s convictions and beliefs than some of the other members who disagree with him. Jonathan had previously prayed over her in a comforting way when she had alcohol poisoning, so it seems that this unlikely duo have developed a rapport.
Unlike other reality shows where there is a strict competition and contentions strategically form alliances, the bonds forming in Utopia seem more aligned with what most people experience in their lives. Instead of striving to reach a single goal, these are people tasked with one of the most difficult challenges of all: to find a way to live together with some degree of peace.