I never expected to like Hart of Dixie as much as I do. I gave the pilot a chance because I love Rachel Bilson, but I definitely did not love the first episode. It was just okay; the kind of thing I expected to watch a few episodes and grow tired of the show, or maybe just put it on in the background while I did other things. But instead, it turned out to be one of the few new shows of the season that I enjoyed and looked forward to every week even when I was mad at it (If you read my reviews, you know I was mad at it a lot).
The show is not perfect by any means. But it’s fun and lighthearted (for the most part) and even if the plot will never be OMG! Amazing, I’m so happy the show got picked up for a second season. Overall, I’d give the show a solid B for its first season. Check out the lists below to see what I thought the show did best and where it (totally) failed.
- The Supporting Cast: Wade (Wilson Bethel), Lemon (Jaime King) and Lavon (Cress Williams) far outshined the leads (more on that below). Their characters grew and changed as the season went on and even though there were some setbacks along the way, the three of them only became more root-worthy each week. All three of them were layered and despite their flaws, they managed to continually pick themselves back up again after their mistakes.
- Bluebell: It will never be Stars Hollow, but it’s pretty close and not just because they use the old Gilmore Girls’ sets. The quirky small town and its odd traditions are one of the highlights of the show. Most of the time they’re super silly, but so what? It’s fun to watch and laugh at just how ridiculous it is to see everyone dressed as pirates or digging ditches for a fake disaster drill.
- The Lavon/Lemon/George Triangle: Love triangles are pretty much the staple of any drama on the CW and this was one of the better ones. Even though I loved Lavon and wasn’t much of a George fan, I still wasn’t sure who I wanted Lemon to end up with. Both options were written well and I truly believed both men loved Lemon in their own ways and that she loved both of them.
- Guest Stars: The show knows how to use them and interrogate them into the storylines without overshadowing the plot or going with the obvious stunt casting (Scotty McCreery aside). Brick Breeland (Tim Matheson) was the first to be bumped up to a series regular and I’d really like the same to happen for Annabeth (Kaitlyn Black), Tansy (Mircea Monroe), Magnolia (Claudia Lee) and Rose (McKaley Miller). And obviously I’m hoping my personal favorite, Justin Hartley, will return at some point as Jesse.
- Family Ties: One of the recurring themes of the show was family connections and all of them were written extremely well and felt very real. Zoe moved to Bluebell after she found out that the man she thought was her father her entire life wasn’t and the man who was her father had died and left her his medical practice. Zoe had some nice scenes with both of her parents, but she also found somewhat of a father figure in Brick. His relationship with Lemon was one of the best parts of the show as was Wade’s troubled relationship with his father.
- George Tucker: He was the least developed character on the show, yet he was supposed to be the leading man. There is nothing I hate more than when a show tells me something instead of letting me see it on screen. Having the townspeople prop George and talk about how he was the greatest thing ever was annoying, especially when there was no evidence to back it up. After watching 22 episodes, all I know about George is that he’s a lawyer and he went to New York once.
- Zoe’s Lack of Growth: It’s never a good sign when you want to root against the main character, but that happened a lot the last few episodes of the show. Zoe was behaving like an immature brat when she was ‘fighting’ for George and trying to come between him and Lemon. She ignored her friends and the people who had been there for her all along and it just made her look silly. If being with George makes Zoe regress into acting like a teenager with a crush, how is that good for her character?
- Wade/Zoe/George Triangle: I really don’t understand how one show can write two very different triangles. Wade and Zoe had a lot of buildup, they interacted in every episode, they were constantly toeing the line between love and hate and their chemistry was off the charts. But George and Zoe both declared their love for each other in the last few episodes. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how and when that happened since it clearly was not shown onscreen.
Feel free to sound off below with your own highlights and lowlights from season 1 and what you’re most looking forward to in season 2.