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Hart of Dixie (The CW) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review

Updated on January 3, 2013

On The CW, ‘Hart of Dixie’ premiered on September 26, at 9/8c, following the 5th season premiere of ‘Gossip Girl’. ‘Hart of Dixie reunites series star Rachel Bilson and executive producer Josh Schwartz, both from FOX’s ‘The O.C.’. Co-starring are Jaime King (‘Pearl Harbor’) and Cress Williams (‘Prison Break’).

Brand new doctor Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson), a typical New Yorker, has her future planned out. Graduating top of her class from medical school and then following in her fathers footsteps as a cardio-thoracic surgeon. However, the chief resident tells her to be a general practitioner for a year, to start seeing her patients as people instead of puzzles to solve.
In the entire city there is not one residency left as GP, when Zoe receives another postcard from a mysterious Southerner called Harley Wilkes. This stranger has been asking her to join him in his small practice in Bluebell, Alabama for four years, and finally, she decides to accept his offer.
When she arrives in Bluebell, Harley appears to have passed away a couple of months ago and left her half his practice.
Southerners aren’t always as hospitable as they appear; many people aren’t happy seeing Zoe taking over half the practice. Especially unhappy about her arrival are the other doctor, Brick Breeland (Tim Matheson), and his daughter Lemon (Jaime King). The only people with a positive attitude towards Zoe are the mayor, former football star Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams), and the handsome lawyer George Tucker (Scott Porter), who happens to be Lemon’s fiance.
Already packing up her bags again, Zoe is surprised by a visit from her snobby mother. On the verge of leaving and with her mother in town, Zoe discovers a secret from her own past that changes everything.

‘Hart of Dixie’ is being compared to ‘Everwood’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’, both classics from The CW’s predecessor The WB. Indeed, it is a typical show for the network it is on, and programming it behind ‘Gossip Girl’ will probably turn out to be a good move.
At the start, Bilson’s character Zoe seems a little childish, as she keeps repeating “I’m going to be a cardio-thoracic surgeon, just like my dad. Our last name is Hart, you see, so it’s kind of predestined.” Later, in Bluebell, she acts really spoilt and supercilious. This is really not how you’d expect a future surgeon to act, but then again, that might be part of the reason why she didn’t get the fellowship in New York.
If the fact that the pace of the show is quite low is incorporated on purpose, to help create the real Southern atmosphere, this is a fairly nice touch. Since only the pilot episode was shot on location (in North Carolina) and the rest of the episodes are filmed in a studio near LA, the question is whether the beautiful Southern landscapes will keep their prominent role in the series.

What do you think of 'Hart of Dixie'?

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    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 6 years ago


      The lead character Zoe certainly has those prejudgements about Southerners. The pilot episode kind of affirms them, but then again, we haven't seen much of the village and its inhabitants yet, so it might change during the next episodes.

      It would be really nice if the stereotypes disappear together with Zoe's prejudgements (the latter is inevitable), as if the viewer is seeing the town through her eyes.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm on the fence about watching this show. The previews kind of reaffirm southern stereotypes and being from North Carolina- trying to recapture the southern landscape on an LA soundstage is pretty much impossible. Interesting Hub!