‘Hart of Dixie’ Review: Dear Show, We Need to Talk…

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Greg Gayne/The CW

Okay, Hart of Dixie, it’s time for us to have a conversation. We’ve tried to be nice and give you the benefit of the doubt. We enjoy our time in Bluebell every week. We love the characters. We love the wacky storylines. We even enjoyed tonight’s episode, even though it made us a little nervous for some of our favorite pairings, both romantic and platonic. But why on earth are you trying so hard to make Joel and Zoe happen?

Family Tradition” was another season three episode that we can add to the list that a nonessential character got more screen time than both of the male leads. Okay, show, we know what you’re going to say. All of Joel’s scenes were with Zoe and she’s the main character so of course she’s going to get most of the hour. That’s fine. But why do Joel and Zoe have to be separate from Wade and George and even Lemon? Come on, show; when was the last time Lemon insulted Zoe? We miss that.

Is this some kind of punishment for all the complaints about Zoe and George putting us to sleep? While we’re not sorry for saying that, this was not the alternative we were looking for. We want to see characters we care about interacting. Zoe had that brief scene with Lavon and AnnaBeth (more on them later) and then she had a few scenes with other minor town characters, but that was it. Seriously, this is not the show that we signed up for and don’t think we didn’t notice that this was another episode that Zoe and Wade didn’t even exchange so much as a look. We’re not amused, show.

Greg Gayne/The CW

Greg Gayne/The CW

Now that we got all that out of the way, let’s talk about what the episode did have going for it: Lemon and Wade. Their friendship is the best and even though there is some chemistry between the actors, we’re happy that it’s only friendship between them. Things have been going well at the Rammer Jammer, but Wade is getting on Lemon’s nerves by sleeping with the staff and with delivery people and Lemon is a little too classy for some of the things that happen at the Rammer Jammer.

Lemon gets an offer to buy Fancy’s and she mentions it to George, looking for his advice. He points out that she’s got a good thing going with Wade and she shouldn’t risk it. But Lemon isn’t completely happy so she tells Wade that they should buy Fancy’s too. He’s not interested, but offers to buy her out. He seems sad, but once again, this shows just how much Wade has grown as a person over the last few seasons. Unfortunately, Lemon can’t come up with enough money to meet the asking price.

She asks Wade if he’d be willing to take her back and he says he will – if she can tell him that the Rammer Jammer will make her happy. He knows it won’t and she knows too and poor Lemon is left wondering where her place in the world is once again. Wade is confident that she’ll find it and the two cement their friendship over a bottle of wine and he promises her she’ll always drink for free there. These two are the best and we’re sad their partnership is over, but as long as they still have scenes together often, we can live with it.

Greg Gayne/The CW

Greg Gayne/The CW

Before we get back to Lavon and AnnaBeth, let’s talk about George and Lynly really quick. We don’t hate them, but they’re not that interesting together either. However, it was cute to see Lynly getting the upper hand and George finally admitting that she was right and that he’s been interested. She’s not Tansy, but thankfully, she’s not Zoe either, so we can be good with this storyline, especially since it seems to be a minor subplot at this point.

Okay so Lavon and AnnaBeth – he figured out she was keeping something from him because she was much too accommodating of his Vegas bachelor party football teammate weekend. Lavon skipped it and surprised Annabeth, whose parents were in town. AnnaBeth didn’t want to tell them she was dating Lavon because of the whole football rivalry thing. But it turns out that AnnaBeth’s parents care more about their daughter possibly marrying the mayor than they do about football.

Greg Gayne/The CW

Greg Gayne/The CW

Here’s the thing that bugs us about this storyline. AnnaBeth is obviously upset that Lavon is not in the same headspace she is. She wanted him to propose and he’s clearly not ready for that and it’s starting to look like the writing is on the wall for their relationship. But why is AnnaBeth so intent on getting married? Didn’t she just get divorced? We’ve never been married or divorced, but it seems like the kind of thing that a person might not be in such a hurry to rush into the second time? We’re side eyeing this story a bit.

Finally, there’s Zoe and Joel and no, this was not a ‘save the best for last’ kind of thing. Zoe decided that she wanted to find out more about her family so she crashed a child’s birthday party and had Joel pretend to be the magician. She met her cousin Vivian, but she lied about her name and didn’t let on they were related. A great time was had by all at the party and then Zoe confessed the truth and Vivian was not okay with it. She more or less told Zoe that she wasn’t welcome because she didn’t put forth any effort.

Mike Yarish/The CW

Mike Yarish/The CW

And once again, here is our main problem with Zoe. She never grows or changes or learns. What did she think was going to happen? Her family would learn she lied to them for hours and then they’d welcome her with open arms because she decided she was ready to like them? That’s not how it works. We get that she was scared, but sometimes life is about taking risks and this was Zoe’s chance to step up and move outside of her comfort zone and she decided to play a game and Joel went along with it.

That’s another one of our problems with Joel; even if we can get past the fact that he’s not all that interesting, he doesn’t challenge Zoe ever and that’s one more reason Zoe belongs with Wade. He’s constantly challenging her and making her see the world a different way, even if she’s not always comfortable with it. Zoe needs that in her life or she’s never going to grow out of this – whatever this is – stage. Joel might be a nice guy who has his life together, but he’s not the right guy and sooner or later, Zoe is going to see that (right, show?).

What did you guys think of the episode? Are you sad Lemon and Wade’s partnership is over? Did you like Vivian? Do you miss seeing the main characters talking to one another or even standing in the same room? Who do you think is the right guy for Zoe? Hit the comments and share your thoughts with us!

About The Author

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Editorial Director since 2012. 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.

  • Jill

    Yes, they are really dragging Joel and Zoe out.

  • SourceMandy

    That’s a really good point. I do think there’s a purpose to this relationship, even if it is translating into dull television more often than not. I just wish they’d get to the point faster.

  • Jill

    I think the writers are writing Zoe separate from with the other characters as a symbol that the Joel relationship is not a good one for her in Bluebell, and I definitely agree that Joel does not challenge her the way Wade did. Also, would Zoe ever have been reading about high blood sugar and dementia when she was in bed with Wade? I don’t think so.

  • Michelle

    I’d also like to add; last week lemon and Lavon interacted throughout the entire season, and nite with this week’s AB scenes, I think it’s safe to say that soon enough they will revisit Lemon and Lavons relationship that never started. I’d love to see them actually make a go at it.

    Joel may be boring but man if he isn’t cute. If he and Zoe ever break up, I hope he sticks around. Maybe he’ll find a connection with another woman in town, with better chemistry.

    I’m not entirely sold on Lynnley and George, but they’re kiss at the end is slowly convincing me. She’s less pathetic and more sure of herself, which is always a good thing. Can’t wait to see Lavon react to the news.

  • SourceMandy

    For me, it’s not. I watch this show because I like the characters and I like the chemistry, whether it be romantic, friendship, frenemy, whatever, that they have with one another. I’m not against new people being involved, but what was the point of Zoe coming back to Bluebell if she’s never going to interact with anyone else in the main cast?

    I very much agree with your point on the party crashing though. It was a very immature and selfish thing to do, especially since she said that she’d already ignored a lot of their invitations since she came to Bluebell.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment! We might not agree, but I like hearing other opinions!

  • Michelle

    I got off Twitter and message boards for this exact reason, isn’t enough that all the characters are on being shown on screen?

    Today’s episode was good, I liked it, but I too, am disappointed with Zoe’s self centered-ness.
    In my opinion, she should have never crashed the party. She should have reached out to her family at a different time. She can’t force people accept her when they don’t even know her.

    But to my first point…. I rather have good stories with characters all over the place instead of them repeating storylines over and over because some viewers can’t accept that they meet new people and do other things.