TV Review: Hart of Dixie – Episode 1×02: Parades and Pariahs

Previously on Hart of Dixie:
“That old dude Harley” offered Zoe Hart a job in Alabama after her med school graduation. Zoe didn’t get her Cadiothorasic fellowship and was advised to spend a year as a general practitioner, so she took up Harley’s offer. Only to find out he’d passed away and left her his practice. Zoe met George Tucker, who is hot and so into her; and Lemon Breeland, who is engaged to George Tucker, daughter of the rival doctor, and hates Zoe. Zoe lacks in bedside manner and all other things involved with caring about her patients as people, not just patients. Brick Breeland wants to be the ONLY fish in this small pond. Lavon Hayes, linebacker for Alabama University is the mayor, and Zoe’s landlord. Wade Kinsella, another hottie who is so into Zoe, is also living on the property. Lemon and Lavon have a past. Harley is actually Zoe’s real father.

  • Small Town Country Charm
    Zoe wakes to find a HUGE bullfrog on her chest, which is so freaky because if that thing got in what else is in? Ticks. Ew. All I gotta say. Gossip is the life blood of every small town, and the gossip of the moment is that Zoe Hart is Harley Wilkes’ daughter. Later on the gossip of Zoe’s misdiagnosis spreads through town and she’s mocked mercilessly by the crowd at the Rammer Jammer. After finding out Zoe is riding with the mayor in the parade the gossip changes to that, and suddenly people are liking her. At least, until the parade crash.
  • Rammer Jammer
    The first thing I have to say about the Rammer Jammer is that it’s TOTALLY MERLOTTES! Ya know, from True Blood. Inside it seems like it really is Merlottes just with a different sign and name on the menus! I see beer signs, a bar, and of course the people of Bluebell are gathered around tables eating stuff like po’ boys. Shelly, the waitress is a rock-a-billy dream.
  • Brick Wall
    Zoe being Harley’s daughter throws a large wrench into Brick’s plans to contest Harley’s will. George encourages Brick to just accept Zoe’s presence, but Brick and Lemon insist against it. At the office Brick is his cold snake self, “graciously” giving a patient to Zoe. A woman who is a lonely hypochondriac that Harley usually treated with tictacs and conversation about her cats. Unfortunately George does find a loophole in the contract, if Zoe doesn’t bring in at least 30% of the business in a quarter she’s out. Zoe thinks she can do it, and makes a not so stellar start with the next patient. A man who presents with paralysis in the lower extremities. Zoe over diagnoses and calls an ambulance, but when Brick comes rushing in (having been called by Lemon) he shows that the man simply has tick paralysis. Later on Brick rubs the 30% news in Zoe’s face. At the end of the episode Zoe goes to see the woman patient from earlier, who is on her porch with her cat. Zoe says she thinks she mis-diagnosed her, and that her illnesses began after her mother died. The two talk about family not being around, peach pie and kitties, and bond.

Zoe LOVES Peach Pie!

  • Founders Day
    It’s not a small town without a Founder’s Day event, in this case it’s a big parade on Saturday, which is apparently led up to with actors dressed in old-fashioned garb flash mobbing the town. Lavon invites Zoe to ride on his float with him in an effort to boost her public image. Emaline thinks that’s a good idea and will improve her image. Lemon and the Belles are performing a dance on their float for the parade and Lemon is a little over zealous about the preparations. Lemon is vastly jealous when she finds out Zoe is riding the mayor’s float. Zoe goes to help Wade with the float and he abandon’s her to get paint. After getting Wade back the three of them work all night on the mayor’s float, with Zoe falling asleep a bit before it’s done. Lavon loves it, and thanks Wade. For the parade Wade drives a tractor pulling the mayor’s float while Zoe, Lavon and Rose wave to the crowd. When Zoe see’s Betty having a problem on the Belle’s float behind them she overtakes Wade and drives the tractor into a fire hydrant to create a diversion. It works and the Belle float crashes into theirs giving Emaline a chance to get Betty. After treating Betty, Zoe goes back out to help clean up and Lemon gives her hell. Unfortunately the crash has undone any goodwill Zoe had accrued in the town.
  • Rose
    Zoe has a big fan in Rose, who asked for boy advice. It’s really cute to see Rose, who is clearly misunderstood in Bluebell, finally have someone who gets her. As for the boy advice, Zoe advises that she’s the wrong person to ask, she always falls for the wrong guy. On cue George comes across the square (which FYI is the same one used for Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls and Rosewood in Pretty Little Liars.) Rose skeedaddles, saying she’ll read their lips from across the square. Zoe is attempting to wrangle some chicken wire into a crimson wave for Lavon’s float when Rose comes up, upset because her crush is going to the parade with Magnolia Breeland, Lemon’s younger sister. Zoe invites Rose to ride the float with them if she helps build with her and Wade, who still isn’t back. Rose agrees and clues Zoe into the fact Wade is at his home. Rose and Wade are working on the float in the morning, with Rose going on and on about her crush, Frederick Dean. However Wade cuts her off, he doesn’t care. After the parade crash Frederick Dean comes to check on Rose, and Wade helps her out by mentioning the comic book Rose had mentioned him reading earlier that she also likes.
  • Betty
    While Brick is rubbing the 30% in Zoe’s face Lemon comes in with her cousin, Betty, who tripped during dance rehearsal. She says the only problem is her elbow, which she bumped when she fell. Later on Zoe finds Betty on the floor in the bathroom at the Rammer Jammer, and finds out she has MS. Zoe promises not to tell anyone as long as Betty doesn’t perform with the Belles in the parade the next day, it’ll be 90 out and is way too dangerous. Betty gives Lemon her excuse and that she trained a replacement already, but Lemon is clearly not having it. Getting her father to re-examine Betty. The next morning Zoe sees Betty at the parade getting ready at the float and asks what she’s doing there. Brick and Lemon interrupt and discuss how Brick re-examined her and her shoulder is fine, making it seem like Zoe made another mis-diagnosis. Betty even snarks at her, but later comes to apologize, almost crying about how much her identity as a Breeland and a Belle means to her, when at home she’s a nobody. Zoe gives Betty some medicine to take to hopefully make it through until she’s home without any more spells. At the parade Betty takes more than recommended because she feels a spell coming on, when she gets to the office with Emaline and Zoe they have to use charcoal to get the drugs out of her system. Once all fixed up Betty thanks Zoe and Zoe wishes her luck.

Zoe and Betty wish each other well.

  • Minor Towns People Plots
    Lemon is horribly jealous about Zoe riding on Lavon’s float. She calls him later, all upset. Lavon hangs up on her after reminding her she’s engaged. After the incident at the parade Emaline reveals she had been waiting for the right person to come along to Bluebell to follow in Harley’s footsteps before she moved to be with her daughter to open a bakery. Now she thinks it’s time, and that Zoe will be fine once people get to know her. She leaves, giving Zoe the files. It’s also revealed that Lemon’s mother left them, but the Founders Day parade was her favorite thing, and Lemon keeps hoping she’ll return.

TV Review: Hart of Dixie – Episode 1×01: Pilot

I’m pretty darn excited for this show! It appeals to me on many levels. Like I did for 2 Broke Girls I’m gonna break this down into bullet points for plotlines

  • That Southern Guy, Harley
    The series may revolve around Zoe Hart, but it also revolves around Harley Wilkes, a General Practitioner in Bluebell, Alabama. Zoe first meets him at her medical school graduation and he offers her a job, which she turns down. She later reveals he kept in touch over the years via postcards; so when her world in NYC fell apart she took him up on his job offer. Arriving in Bluebell she’s surprised to find that he has passed away and left her his part of the practice. While it’s not too far off for someone to be impressed with what appeared to be a medical school valedictorian and her speech there are many questions here. Why was he at that graduation? Why did he pursue her so hard over the years? When I learned he’d left her his practice I thought that she would discover he was her grandfather.
  • Dr. Zoe Hart has a personality Problem
    A large part of the show is Zoe’s personality problem. She’s perfectly nice and all but she’s very urban, it’s a stark contrast to the southern hospitality. It’s also what lost her the Cardiothorasic fellowship, her lack of seeing patients as people instead of problems. It’s also brought up in the Bluebell office when George gripes about her lack of bedside manner. Basically Zoe has such a tunnel-vision of focus on her plan that it’s actually costing her a life; she lost her boyfriend, the fellowship, and who knows what else along the way. Can Bluebell rub off?
  • George Tucker, Resident Hero
    Zoe and George first meet on the road into Bluebell, when Zoe is dropped off by the bus and is walking along the shoulder with her bags. This is his first act of heroism and by far not his last. George seems to be a stereotypical golden boy, a lawyer who had a stint in New York City before realizing he missed his hometown of Bluebell and his high school sweetheart, Lemon. But there’s some sparks between Zoe and George so there’s trouble ahead for the sour girl! George also saves Zoe midway through the episode when she comes across a gator at night, the gator (Burt Reynolds is the gator’s name) happens to be the mayor’s pet and is disposed of by George with a simple, “Beat it, Burt.” He then argues a bit with Zoe about interrupting his nightly jog to save her “well-toned ass.” Shockingly she doesn’t catch on to that compliment the way I latched onto it like a leech.

Hart of Dixie - 1x01 - PilotSweet Southern Belles.

  • Gone South
    There’s a lot of Southernisms in this show that it’s almost too much to go into. But with this first episode I would be completely remiss to not mention the Belles. Ah, the Belles. If you read my earlier review you know that this episode filmed in an area I used to live in, and during the Azalea season, which some call Belle Weather. The Azalea Belles are like roaches that time of year, they’re everywhere so stop being surprised to see them! Emmeline is right when she calls them “elite young ladies,” they are the cream of the crop and years of preparation goes into being a Belle.
  • A few medical issues
    There are actually 4 medical issues this episode which push plots forward. The first is the elderly gentleman with the DMV form, it’s obviously a scam and I like to think that Zoe wouldn’t have fallen for it had she not been bothered by her mother’s call. Of course, if she hadn’t he wouldn’t have hit George Tucker and sent him to the office in the middle of the night, leading to Zoe meeting Brick (the d!ck) for the first time. Then there is the woman who came in with some kind of fishing hook in her palm. I don’t know, I’m squeamish, I looked away. This woman acted really weird. One minute she was acting all sweet to Zoe and horrible to her daughter, but when Zoe asked the daughter about some marks on her skin the lady turned mean on both. Zoe ran into the daughter at the Dixie Stop (FACT: The Dixie Stop is actually Dock St. Market in Wilmington, NC. I used to go there many times a week when I worked nearby.) turns out Mabel, the daughter, is pregnant and her momma don’t know.
  • Levon Hayes’ Plantation
    Emmeline sets up Zoe with a place to stay at the mayor’s house, which brings so much funny. The mayor is a famous football player, Lavon Hayes, which Zoe loves. I love that he’s one of those people who intermittently refers to himself in the third person. The place to stay is a little rundown cottage on the property that shares electric with the gatehouse where a Mr. Wade Kinsella lives. When too much is going on in both houses it blows a fuse, leading Zoe to the gatehouse to confront Wade (who is yummy) and along the way back, confronting Burt Reynolds.
  • Brick the D!ck
    Ah, Brick the D!ck. He’s hunting when Zoe first comes to town, but his daughter Lemon sours all over Zoe’s parade telling her she should be gone before he comes back. He cuts the trip off early to come back when George gets run over by the older gentleman from earlier. Turns out George is his lawyer and will find a way to get Zoe’s half of the practice from her. When Zoe stops at the Dixie Stop (Ah, sweet Dixie Stop) for some wine, Lemon storms in and reveals George is her fiancĂ© and their engagement party is the very next day. Oops. During their argument Brick compares Zoe to both Katrina and the BP Oil Spill, which is insulting to the people who actually lived through those things.

Hart of Dixie - 1x01 - PilotZoe walking, and drinking, after midnight…

  • Hitting Rock Bottom
    Ya know how Zoe stopped at Dixie Stop for wine? This leads to my favorite sequence ever of Zoe walked down the tree-lined back road in the dark, lugging a box of wine and a cup, drinking all the way. All while Patsy Cline’s Crazy plays in the background. Who should come along to find Zoe at the side of the road enjoying her wine but Wade? Drunk Zoe scores one for the girls with a hot and heavy makeout session in the front seat of Wade’s muscle car, until she leans back and her but hits the horn. You know that horn from Duke’s of Hazard? Yeah. It totally is the same one. Zoe reflects that she finally hit rock bottom, because she just “played Dixie with my butt.” Little does she know, when she arrives to the cottage she finds her mother waiting for her.
  • Climbing Back Out
    Zoe has a false start in climbing back out. After talking to her mother she decides to leave because she’ll never fit in. So she sees George about the papers to sign over her half to Brick, and while she has packing gets a call from Mabel, who is very distressed and in pain, but stuck working at the Breeland’s for the engagement party. You see, this is a false start for climbing back out because the true climbing doesn’t come until the end.
  • The End
    It takes Levon Hayes name dropping his way into the party to get Zoe in to see Mabel, where she discovers she’s in labor! I’m gonna let this slide because at least homegirl “knew” she was pregnant, just in denial. Zoe takes Mabel inside to take care of her but the Ambulance will take too long. Brick barges in saying he’ll have to deliver the baby but Mabel puts him right in his place telling him to back off that he is not touching her and Zoe is her doctor. Now, right here I thought maybe Brick was the father, which is twisted and never actually mentioned. But Brick gets Emmeline and the three work together to try to deliver the baby. After an impromptu surgery Mabel has a bouncing baby girl and the guts to tell her own mama to SHOVE IT. She doesn’t want her mama’s negativity around her baby girl. As they leave Emmeline and Zoe discuss Zoe leaving town, and Emmeline finally tells Zoe the truth, even though she didn’t think it her place. She hands Zoe an old photo, in it Zoe instantly recognizes her mother, and the older man with his arms around her as Harley. It turns out he’s not her grandfather, he’s her father. She confronts her mom who confesses to it, that they met on a cruise in Greece, that her husband found out when Zoe had an accident as a kid and they thought she’d need blood. That’s why he left and had been withdrawn from their lives despite Zoe trying to follow in his footsteps. Zoe tells her mom to go, and decides she is staying. The episode ends with Zoe at the cemetery, talking to Harley’s headstone about her being lost and how she is going to try to follow in his footsteps to find her way.

Verdict: Love. It.

TV Review: Hart of Dixie – Coming Soon

Next new show up for review is Hart of Dixie. This show is coming to The CW Mondays at 9pm. I have a lot to say about this one because it hits all kinds of close to my heart.

Hart of Dixie Starring Rachel Bilson
Hart of Dixie
stars Rachel Bilson

I’d actually heard of this show before it was even done filming because, full disclosure time, it filmed in the area where I used to live and was still frequenting on business during pilot season. That area is Wilmington, NC; a gorgeous southern town. I only knew the name though, but not the star, network or premise. So imagine my surprise when it scored the triple lutz of a star I love (Rachel Bilson), one of my top watched networks (The CW), and a premise similar to one of my favorite movies (Sweet Home Alabama, but with less fashion and more medicine.)

Lets start off with the main star(s) and premise! Rachel Bilson, of The O.C., stars as Zoe Hart, a New York City doctor whom fails to score the fellowship of her dreams, and finds herself without a single job prospect in the city? So, what to do? In Zoe’s case the answer is accept a position offered yearly by Dr. Wilkes of Bluebell, Alabama; whom she met at her med school graduation. According to the preview, what follows is a fish out of water scenario where Dr. Hart finds herself surrounded by all things that make the south fabulous! Gorgeous scenery, interesting customs, and well-manner hot guys! Including a guy named George Tucker(Scott Porter) who comes to her rescue twice in the promo alone (once from an alligator)!

Then things get even more interesting, it turns out Dr. Wilkes is dead, and he left Zoe his share of the practice. Enter Dr. Brick Breeland(Tim Matheson), the other half of the practice who will end up the professional foil for Zoe, wanting to have the whole practice for himself; and his daughter who will undoubtedly be her personal enemy. It’s hysterical to meet the daughter though; as she is dressed in a brilliant yellow southern belle gown for an event, has a personality like a sour patch kid in reverse and is aptly named Lemon(Jaime King).

Aside from Dr. Wilke’s old secretary and George Tucker, Zoe’s seemingly only other friend is the mayor, Lavon Hayes(Cress Williams) a former pro-football player. There’s also her irritating neighbor Wade Kinsella(Wilson Bethel) who Zoe makes out with in a humorous scene that involves a car horn that plays dixie. Just from the previews it becomes clear that there will be conflict with a love square (George, Lemon, Wade and Zoe) as well as Dr. Breeland and Dr. Hart struggling to do the right thing despite their fighting. At the end of the promo the bomb is dropped that helps everything fall into place; Dr. Harley Wilkes left Zoe his half of the practice because she is actually his daughter.

Verdict: If this show were a sale I’d be first in line camping out to get in. Something I don’t even do on Black Friday.