Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Hart of Dixie

Instead of an older TV series, I'm talking about a current one this time. After a hiatus of several weeks, HART OF DIXIE returns to the CW line-up this week, although its move to Friday nights—a dumping ground of sorts for the CW, if not for the other broadcast networks—may not bode that well for its future. Which would be a shame, because this comedy/drama set in a small town in Alabama, now in its third season, is a very likable series.

HART OF DIXIE is one of those quirky, small town, fish-out-of-water shows in the tradition of NORTHERN EXPOSURE (although to quote the great Herb Tarleck from WKRP IN CINCINNATI, God help me, I never "got" NORTHERN EXPOSURE). One of my daughters who's a big GILMORE GIRLS fan loves HART OF DIXIE as well and says that they're very similar. I can't offer an opinion on that because I still haven't seen any of GILMORE GIRLS, but I'll get around to it one of these days.

The protagonist of HART OF DIXIE is Zoe Hart, a New York doctor played by Rachel Bilson, who through a complicated set of circumstances finds herself living in the small town of Bluebell, Alabama, which of course is full of zany Southern characters. People who really live in small towns in Alabama probably hate this show because of the stereotypes. Believe me, as someone from Texas, I know the feeling. But taking it as the fantasy it is, this is a smart, funny, well-written series with some surprisingly complex plots. Almost everyone in it has been involved romantically with everybody else at one time or another, and I've been known to say that I don't know how the writers can keep up with it. There's also a lot of deadpan humor, including a show-within-a-show about golf, of all things. From top to bottom, the cast is really likable, from old pro Tim Matheson as a folksy doctor to Jaime King as a scheming but sympathetic Southern belle to Scott Porter (FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS) as an earnest young lawyer.

If you haven't seen HART OF DIXIE, I think it's certainly worth watching and I'd love it if more people did so and increased its chances of being renewed. It's a sweet, funny series, lightweight to be sure but really entertaining and sometimes that's exactly what I want to watch.

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I loved GILMORE GIRLS so I will give it a look. Hope I get there in time.