When I read the description of “Hart of Dixie” while scrolling through Netflix Instant, I couldn’t help but make the “Doc Hollywood” connection. It does have a somewhat similar plot overall—Dr. Zoe Hart, aspiring New York heart surgeon, comes to Bluebell, Alabama, to take over the practice of a small-town doctor that turns out to be her biological father—but it certainly has a little more depth to it.
The main thing that drew me into this show was Rachel Bilson (“The OC”). She is absolutely lovable in this part and I never get tired of watching her in her Sex-in-the-City-type ensembles. But I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the woman set up as the villain of the show, Lemon Breeland (Jaime King). She’s like a blonde Scarlett O’Hara, and like Scarlett you feel strangely sympathetic for her, even though she’s constantly wrong-doing to take down Hart, whom she feels is threatening just about everything in her small-town life, including her relationship with her fiancé.
Though the relationship drama in this show gets exhausting real fast, I like everything else about it. Zoe’s best friend/town mayor/previous linebacker, Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams), is the most charming character ever depicted and he and Bilson are great acting sounding boards for one another. Zoe’s neighborhood, Wade (Wilson Bethel) is also great eye candy to keep Zoe busy while she pines, unwisely, for an engaged man, George Tucker (Scott Porter, “Friday Night Lights.”) He’s great in this role, but I don’t really get his appeal as a leading man, which makes this show easier for me to watch. (Since I don’t necessarily believe the two people in this Ross-and-Rachel dynamic should be together.)
Again, the relationship drama is exhausting, but I feel this show nails the charm of a small town, which I haven’t seen since “Gilmore Girls,” and I don’t even find the accents exaggerated, which seems to be an incessant habit of Hollywood when attempting anything southern. However, that could just be because I’m not as familiar with the Alabama accent. If this show were set in Texas, their voices might sound like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. But overall, I’m enjoying it! And think it’s worth a watch.
All of season one is available on Netflix Instant, but you can watch this season’s episodes at this link.