‘Hart of Dixie’ Review: ‘How Do You Like Me Now’ (We Don’t)

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Greg Gayne/The CW

Is it just me or does Hart of Dixie feel like it’s treading water this season? Nothing ever really happens from week to week. Zoe wants people to like Joel. Lemon is an outcast with the Belles. Wade stands behind the bar. Lavon has some big town award that he’s trying to win. George is a mess. Where’s the charm, the fun, the interaction between characters we actually care about?

To be fair, “How Do You Like Me Now” did have more interactions between the main characters than the past few episodes have, but there still hasn’t been any forward movement in any of the stories. Wade made a ‘blink and you miss it’ quip to Zoe about how he was the one she was still in love with and she barely reacted before the moment was over. Remember all the ups and downs of the first two seasons? Are we really just pushing those under the rug?

Unfortunately, the ‘Zoe and George and destiny’ card was played once more in tonight’s episode and no one was here for that (fine, there might still be George and Zoe shippers out there, but I have always found their relationship toxic. It literally makes me hate both of them when they’re onscreen together trying to act like they’re some epic love instead of just two people who both spent time in New York). Anyway, George has been mad at Zoe all summer so it probably was time to get those feelings out and move past them.

That part of the episode actually did work for me. I can buy Zoe and George as friends, but they’re much too alike to be interesting together. No matter how many times the bus full of tween girls swooned at the idea of their story being romantic, I’m still never going to be onboard for them as a couple and I’d really love it if the writers never mentioned it again. Either that, or take the plunge; let them sleep together, see that it was a huge mistake and then never mention it again. But enough is enough with the hints that they’re supposed to be the greatest love story.

On the positive side of things, Lynly is slowly redeeming herself. She’s not as bratty as she seemed in the first few episodes she was in and I genuinely felt bad for her when she was trying to get George’s attention. It seems like he might be more interested in her than he wants to let on and I can be okay with this developing into something, even if I do still miss Tansy. But Lavon is not going to be happy when he finds out and Wade’s probably not that far off with the whole ripping off his toes and feeding them to him notion (still laughing at Wade having to help since he doesn’t pay rent).

I still don’t understand why Lemon isn’t allowed to be happy for more than a minute at a time. Things were so great with Peter last week and this week, the Belles were mocking her and questioning his existence. She got some payback when she stepped in and took over the gazebo project and Meatball’s declaration was pretty sweet. Lemon handled their kiss being caught on camera very well and she seems willing to let the Peter thing go, which makes me wonder if maybe he’ll be back after all…when she least expects it. I hope so because I just want Lemon to be happy.

Since we’re talking about things I want, why can’t Wade have his own storyline? Is he being punished for something that he’s only stuck in bartender mode or occasionally brought out to be a friend to Joel, which is really to get under Zoe’s skin? Sure, he had that inappropriate woman thing last week, but isn’t there something better he could be doing? He does have family and friends. I don’t mind that he’s still in love with Zoe, but can’t he be in love with Zoe and have more than a few lines in each episode?

As for Zoe, she is as over the top as ever, but it seems all the more grating since it’s focused on Joel. Like Lynly, he doesn’t bother me as much as he originally did, but unlike Lynly, I don’t really care about him or his happiness. If Burt Reynolds decided to use him as a late night snack, I wouldn’t miss him. I’m really confused as to why the writers are so determined to make Bluebell (and the audience) care about this character when we all know that sooner or later he’ll be gone and if we’re being honest, we want it to be soon, very soon, like how quickly can we get him a ticket to New York?

Despite how negative all of this sounds, the episode wasn’t terrible. None of the episodes this season have been bad, but they haven’t been good either. It’s the kind of thing where you watch it, delete it from the DVR and then forget every detail before the night is over. That makes me sad because this show has some fantastic characters and I’d really like to tune in each week to see them doing fun, memorable things and interacting with one another. There’s nothing wrong with guest stars or minor characters being involved, but can we please get more scenes with the main five? Please and thank you. Also, I missed AnnaBeth this week, but it looks like next week will make up for it.

What did you guys think? Am I way off base? Are you enjoying the season? Have you warmed up to Joel and Lynly? Do you still want to see George and Zoe happen? Does Zoe still have feelings for Wade? Do you miss seeing Zoe and Lemon interact regularly? Or Wade and Lemon? 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.

  • Marnie

    Good review. I agree with your points as well as Valeria’s. I do think Lemon will get to be happy, and now that she’s nice I actually care. I also care that Wade isn’t getting enough screen time or story line, but there’s got to be more for him on the horizon or he’ll never have a way to live up to the potential Zoe saw that scared him last season, and he has to do that if there’s ever going to be a Zade again.

    Meanwhile, I get that new characters and new options for old characters are necessary to keep the show from getting stale, but they can’t afford to neglect the characters fans have become invested in for 2 seasons. There is not enough of the old quirkiness and banter, definitely not enough Zoe/Wade, Zoe/Lemon, Wade/Lemon and even Zoe/Brick interaction. I assume it will eventually come back. I just hope it happens before too many fans jump ship and doom any hope of a Season 4.

    As for Joel, I think he has taken the place of George Tucker for Zoe. He is someone like her who shares the NY connection she doesn’t want to completely break, and also is “respectable” and doesn’t require her to completely change her picture of who she is, as Wade told her she needed to do in Season 1. She tried to change her picture last season to let Wade in and got badly burned, so she retreated to safety – New York and a New York boyfriend. Now she has has recovered enough to change her picture back to Bluebell, but still isn’t brave enough to take another chance on Wade, even if those of us on Team Zade think he deserves one.

    I think we’ve seen Lemon, Wade and George all grow this season, but Zoe has little incentive to move forward as long as she has Joel for a safety net. So Joel, you’re not a bad guy, and you are moving up in Dash’s blog poll, but buddy you’re in the way and you’ve got to head home so we can go back to focusing on the characters we really care about. And writers, you’ve got to step up your game and give us more of the Bluebell kookiness and romance that we’ve come to depend on.

  • Valeria Fontanella

    I loved Zoe for two seasons: smart, beautiful, funny; now she’s so passive, concerned with defending his choices instead of making choices, and where is this true love for Joel? She doesn’t look in love, and how can she be in love? The only word to describe Joel is: tasteless, or meaningless.
    I do not consider George, the couple Zoe-George has always been an idea (bad) and never a reality, so why talk about it? They are so ugly together.
    But let’s get to the love of my life: Wade. I continue to see the series only in the hope that he and Zoe will stay together, and especially I hope that Wade is restored to the prominence it deserves in the show. Like Zoe, he has become passive, I miss him!

    (I’m Italian, so I apologize for any errors)