TV Recaps

‘Hart of Dixie’ Review: ‘This Kiss’ feels like a nightmare

Last night’s Hart of Dixie was the perfect example of everything that makes the show great and everything that makes it absolutely terrible wrapped into one episode. “This Kiss” featured a town event, which always makes for comedy gold, but it also had the return of Zoe being selfish and awful, leaving me to ask once again why the writers seems so determined to make the audience hate the main character.

I’m going to start with my favorite storyline of the episode, which (to the surprise of no one) was Wade and Lemon and their attempt to reopen the Rammer Jammer. I love everything about these two and watching them as business partners is the best. Unfortunately, the town doesn’t seem to agree with my assessment. The entire staff left the restaurant, forcing Wade and Lemon to attempt to hire a new one. But the two could not agree on anything or anyone.

Lemon ended up hiring a French chef and Wade chose a pretty waitress and they were back in business…that is until the new chef quit when the customers complained about his ability to make grits. Lemon took over, but she couldn’t keep up with the demand. It didn’t matter though because Magnolia pointed out their waitress was only 16 and the sheriff had to shut the place down and take away their liquor license. Wade and Lemon were ready to throw in the towel, but a talk from Wally made them realize that they wanted to fight for their business.

Of course there was one more obstacle in their way. The woman who controlled whether or not they got to keep their liquor license was one of the people who had applied for a job and the two had rejected her. Lemon and Wade did some major backpedaling and agreed to hire her in exchange for the license. After that, things were running a little more smoothly, but I’m sure there will still be bumps ahead and I’m looking forward to watching these two working through them.

Dash (aka Carl Winslow) was hosting the town event for the week, which was a Shakespeare revival. He was gathering people to play the big roles. Annabeth was excited to do a scene with Lavon, but he was terrified since he’d had a bad acting experience in high school. Despite his therapy sessions with Brick (more on that later), Lavon still told Annabeth that he couldn’t go on stage with her. But in the end, Annabeth talked him into it and Lavon nailed the part. These two are seriously cute. If Ruby comes back to ruin my life again, I will have to hurt someone.

Why was Brick playing therapist? Apparently, it was a tradition that Zoe’s father had started where they offered people a week of therapy since everyone in town is crazy. Okay, that wasn’t the exact reason, but it sounds good, right? Anyway, Brick’s first patient was Zoe because she’d had a romantic dream about George and she wasn’t sure what to do about it. By the way, this stemmed from what was probably supposed to be a cute moment over the New York Times, but all it did was remind me that the show’s only logic for these two being together is that they’ve both been to New York.

Anyway, Brick pointed out that Zoe was still dealing with having her heart broken and she was just projecting feelings for George because he’s currently unavailable to her and therefore, can’t hurt her. It was actually really good logic, but we all know that Zoe doesn’t really listen to logic, despite her constant insistence that she’s a doctor and she’s all about science. Brick advised her to stay away from George and not allow herself to wind up in any potential intimate moments, but that proved to be difficult when Dash cast Zoe and George as Romeo and Juliet.

Neither of them was thrilled with the idea. George was concerned that Tansy would be jealous. Speaking of poor Tansy, she was originally supposed to play Juliet, but she wound up with laryngitis so she was sidelined and forced to “talk” through a dry erase board. George and Zoe convinced Tom and Wanda to take their place as Romeo and Juliet, but Tansy wasn’t happy about that. She pointed out to George that his going out of his way to avoid kissing Zoe was a bigger sign that he still had feelings for her than if he just went ahead and kissed her.

So George ended up back in the play and so did Zoe because she couldn’t go through with feeding Wanda’s bees (Wanda is a stay-at-home bee keeper now). Tansy sat in the audience during the big scene and Zoe did everything in her power not to kiss George. But George went for it to prove to Tansy and himself that there was nothing there. Unless I’m misreading him, he really meant it, but of course Zoe did not. She told George that she felt nothing, but then she was obviously jealous when George asked Tansy to move in with him since her trailer had been invested with bees (thanks to Zoe).

The thing that made this scene and Zoe even more annoying for me was the fact that right before she talked to George, Zoe had a brief scene with Wade where she congratulated him on the Rammer Jammer. Then she proceeded to tell Wade that she was very messed up and a big part of that was his fault and he told her that he knew. It was uncomfortable and sad, but it felt so real. To go from a scene like that to Zoe’s petty jealousy over George just felt insulting.

I know there are George and Zoe shippers out there and there are also people who probably think my complaints are shipper bias. They’re really not. My problem with George and Zoe as a potential couple has always been the fact that from the beginning, the show has told us that they are perfect for each other, but it has done nothing to show us that. We’re nearly done with Season 2 and the writers are still pushing the ‘we both love New York’ card. I love New York too, but that doesn’t mean I think George Tucker is my soulmate (and not just because he’s a fictional character).

Love triangles are pretty much a staple of primetime (and daytime) TV and there’s nothing wrong with that if the writers would make them balanced. Season 1 consisted of Zoe pining after George and George cheating on his fiancée while Wade was there for Zoe in every episode. Season 2 has been George dating everyone and then finally settling into an opposites attract and turn out to be perfect for each other relationship with Tansy and now all of a sudden Zoe thinks she made a mistake not choosing him, but there has been no indication as to why she feels that way. To me, it feels like Brick was right when he said that Zoe just wants the man who is unavailable and all that does is make me dislike Zoe because she clearly has not grown at all as a character.

Speaking of Brick, remember last week when he had the MRI and told everyone that he was fine? It turned out that he was lying. He started to open up to Shelby, but the show did one of those fade out things so we didn’t actually get to hear what he told her was wrong with him. However, the previews for next week revealed that he has a brain tumor. Seriously, show, why do you want me to be sad? I refuse to accept any outcome to this story other than Brick having surgery and then returning to perfect health. No one is here for sadness, no one.

Next week also brings the return of Jonah, which makes sense since he’s Brick’s nephew, but I’m still not happy about it. He was a (pretty) waste of space and screen time. Of course, there’s not much I’m happy about with this show after this episode. Again, it really feels like the writers want to drive away the audience. This should be a lighthearted show. Make it happen.

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

  • Cathy

    I agree. George and Zoe are more friends.

    I loved the Wade and Zoe scenes and too was disappointed that it ended with her back on George. This show has not showed us they should really be together. Wade had been there for Zoe from the beginning. He made a mistake and she should learn to forgive him. I just don’t see the same chemistry with George as I do with Wade.

  • Jane

    I really agree with you Mandy. This show is losing its way these past weeks. Zoe and George do have some chemistry, but it’s such a “friendship” chemistry that it makes it very hard to believe any of these supposedly cute or romantic moments between them. Especially when they are always contrived and pretty ridiculous. And especially since the other end of the triangle has such a real, complex, natural and sparkling chemistry. It’s too imbalanced. I’m sorry, I know people think that is biased, but it seems so clearly imbalanced between Zoe/Wade and Zoe/George in terms of chemistry, storylines, character growth (and the show is certainly not helping with the stupid storylines they give Zoe/George) that it’s not even a contest and any scene between Zoe and George ends up having that nice yet tame feel that fits a friendship and not a romance…and certainly not a Soumate-Meant-to-Be type of romance. Yet even in a 30 second scene between Zoe and Wade, you feel more emotions, honesty and plain yearning than any of the manufactured moments they gave Zoe and George last night. It’s sort of too late for that now. Not only has the audience made its choice a long time ago and actually been shown how great Zoe/Wade are for each other, but the writers dropped the ball in s1 with the writing for any real emotional history between Zoe/George, so it’s too late to backtrack now. It’s even less believable after we saw Zoe with Wade and it confirmed that it is IT. Especially when the Zoe/George thing is not even done slowly and organically but just pops up in its exact same form as in s1, disregarding everything we were shown for 3/4 of the season. The writers really need to pick it up because it’s starting to lose the interest of many fans.

  • Caroline

    I did enjoy the episode. You pointed out that this should be a lighthearted show. To me last episode was lighthearted and fun. I actually liked everything about it. I thought the Romeo Juliet scene was pretty funny. I agree that the New York card isn’t doing much to make the George Zoe pairing believable. But the chemistry between the actors makes up for that IMO . I enjoy Rachel Bilson and Scott Porter in their scenes together and hope to see more of that. But my hope is also there will be better storylines to back up this natural chemistry.