When it was time for midseason reviews, Hart of Dixie was the clear choice for most improved and that holds true now that the season finale has come and gone. The show still has its flaws (looking at you, Zoe Hart), but overall, the second season has been so much fun to watch.
As I sat down to write this, I consulted last year’s best & worst list and so many of the “bests” have been carried over to Season 2. This is definitely a good thing. The show multiplied its strengths and cut down on weaknesses, but sadly, the biggest one remains. The worst thing about this show is Zoe and her personality changes. We get that she’s trying to find herself, but why does she repeatedly land on the worst qualities and ruin the fun vibe the show has going?
On the other hand, who would have thought George Tucker would ever end up on one of my ‘best’ lists? He was one of the worst characters in the first season because he was not developed at all. This season changed that and allowed Scott Porter to shine. The man does comedy so well and how awesome was his relationship with Tansy? Of course Zoe ruined it, but I have hope that’s not the last we’ll see of them.
Season 2 deserves an overall ‘A-’ for the year. The positives far outweighed the negatives, but that doesn’t mean the negatives can be swept under the rug. The destruction of Wade gets a solid ‘F’ and Zoe’s character flaws are teetering between a ‘C-’ and a ‘D’, which is not a grade the main character should ever receive. This show is very lucky that (1) the supporting cast is fantastic and (2) Rachel Bilson’s adorableness makes up for a lot of Zoe’s terrible life choices.
#1 The Supporting Cast Steals the Show
This was #1 last year and it still holds true. The decision to put Wade and Lemon in the same orbit (in a non-romantic way, at least for now) was brilliant. The two play so well off each other and as different as they are, they have more in common then they want to admit. All of their scenes were flawless. Seeing more of the Breeland family in general was definitely a plus. I worry that we’ll get less Magnolia next season since Claudia Lee’s pilot was picked up by FOX, but I’ll take what we can get. The Lavon/Annabeth pairing was a surprise, but it really worked. Annabeth is awesome and I hope to see Kaitlyn Black as a series regular next season. I also hope the writers bring back Tansy because Mircea Monroe has been flawless.
#2 Comedy Rules
One of my issues with the show has always been when it tried to take itself too seriously and it did that a lot less this season. In place of the drama, we got a lot of comedy, usually centering on some big Bluebell event. Nothing will top the “hostage crisis” in the season premiere when the whole town gathered because they assumed Lemon had taken Zoe hostage with a knife. The alligator rescue plot in the season finale was pretty great too as was Wade and Lemon’s wine bar vs. sports’ bar standoff. Honorable mention to anytime we got to see Wade and George singing and/or playing musical instruments.
#3 Happy Couples
We are all TV watchers here so we know that in the land of television, happy couples equal boring. But in a show like Hart of Dixie that doesn’t need to be the case because there are so many outside factors to give the couple something to do other than stare happily into each other’s eyes. Wade and Zoe trying to pretend they were just friends with benefits and then attempting a real relationship was fun because neither had any clue what they were doing. The unlikely duos Brick and Shelby and George and Tansy turned out to be so cute and they didn’t need third parties to interfere because they had other issues like age differences and Tansy’s brothers to deal with. (Mini Gripe: Let’s give Lemon some romantic happiness next season. She’s long overdue).
#4 George Tucker Gets a Personality
I cannot stress enough how happy I am with the changes the writers made to George this season. No, I still don’t think he and Zoe belong together, but George feels like a real person instead of some kind of deity that we’re being told to worship. This season allowed him to have flaws and we saw him making a fool out of himself in his first few attempts at dating. Then we saw him find something real and unexpected with Tansy and it was awesome. But I think my favorite George moment was when he told Zoe how terrible she was for trying to get him back after she let him go and he found happiness with someone else. I love when characters get to play truth teller.
#1 Ruby Jeffries
What kind of awful was this woman? Ruby returned to Bluebell from somewhere so she could brag about how wonderful her life was. She became my enemy in her first episode when she kicked Lemon when she was down, but things got even worse when she decided to run for mayor opposite Lavon. Then she got back together with him and made Lavon awful (Cuteness with Annabeth aside, I still haven’t completely forgiven him for how mean he was to Lemon after Ruby left him). We thought we were rid of her at midseason, but evil returned to Bluebell. Thankfully Lavon sent her packing since he wanted to be with Annabeth. Let’s all hope she never returns.
#2 Wade Cheating on Zoe
Arguments have been made that Wade cheating was in character for him because he’s a screw up and he purposely ruins his life when things get too good. If this was Season 1, I would have accepted this. But to me, this argument is invalid because Wade grew and changed so much from the pilot episode and into Season 2. I read somewhere that Wilson Bethel was devastated when he read the script and I can’t blame him. I wouldn’t want to read that I was about to be thrown under a bus either. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this was lazy writing and a copout. Zoe spent all the episodes leading up to the cheating being unsure of their relationship and not fully committing. Then suddenly she was girlfriend of the year and Wade was the bad guy. Sorry, no, but I’m not buying it; not then, not now, not ever.
#3 Zoe’s Personality Changes Every Few Episodes
There are many sides to Zoe Hart and sadly, most of them are awful. For every episode where we get the cute, quirky doctor, who tries to help and ends up making the situation worse (like when she dated Rose’s crush), there’s the Zoe who sets out to ruin people’s lives. Okay, fine, she thinks she’s helping, but really, she’s just being annoying. Zoe strung Wade along because she didn’t want to admit that she had feelings for him and she ended up hurting him. Zoe randomly decides that she’s in love with George again (they both read the New York Times, people!) and she torpedoes his relationship with Tansy. For an adult, professional woman, Zoe comes off immature, bratty and spoiled and it’s not flattering for her nor is it fun for the audience to watch. She needs to start growing up and not making the exact same bad choices week after week because no one is here for that nonsense.
Hit the comments below and share your favorite and least favorite moments of Season 2 with us.
Hart of Dixie will return Mondays in October for its third season on The CW.
“For an adult, professional woman, Zoe comes off immature, bratty and spoiled and it’s not flattering for her nor is it fun for the audience to watch. She needs to start growing up and not making the exact same bad choices week after week because no one is here for that nonsense.”
This more than anything else is the essential flaw of the show. It is one thing for a show to be comedic, but the main character is an ADULT woman and it is clear that the writers have forgotten. It’s fine for one to be confused about one’s place in the world and still discovering, but Zoe is an adult. Many times the writers have Zoe be impressed, like and react as if she was a 15 year-old girl. Have Zoe own up to her decisions even the bad one and handle them like an adult and apologize, remorseful and penitent. Let Zoe be a positive force on the community instead of selfish one. What happened to the selfless Zoe who was willing to sacrifice her reputation for the sake of a patient? I don’t know, but she was a far more interesting character.
Thank you! I will never understand why the show doesn’t let Zoe learn from her mistakes. Audiences want to root for character growth. I beat the George/Zoe forced relationship to death in my weekly recaps so I didn’t go into too much detail here. Even taking Wade/Zoe off the table, I still don’t think George and Zoe are right for each other. They’re too alike. They need partners who balance them out.
I think this is a really great review. I also feel that Zoe comes across as immature quite frequently and that the relationship between her and Wade wasn’t handled wonderfully. One thing I think you didn’t go into detail about was the forcing of Zoe and George. Though I do think it’s cut down since the first season, I still think that the writers are forcing something that has been overdone and just doesn’t work well. It also brings out the worst in Zoe. Though I admit I am completely for Zoe-Wade, so my judgement may be off.
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