Hart of Dixie Pilot – Recap and Review

By Anthony Medina

**This episode originally aired in September 2011. If you are unfamiliar with the series, be aware this review contains spoilers.**

“Could you get me a venti soy latte so I don’t fatigue?” – Dr. Zoe Hart

Ever find yourself wishing the OC would come back on the air?

Didn’t think so. But like it or not, Summer Roberts has made her triumphant return as a big city doctor in a small town practice. Her name may be Zoe now, but we all know it’s really Summer under that stethoscope. Can I get an Amen?

No? Well, alright then.

We open on a bus headed towards Blue Bell Alabama. The voice over introduces us to Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson), a wannabe cardiothoracic surgeon, who has left her old life behind and is moving to the Heart of Dixie (get it?!) to work in a private practice. We’re given a flashback to her graduation ceremony, where she proudly delivers the commencement address. Afterwards, a kindly and somewhat creepy old man approaches and offers her a job as a general practitioner in Blue Bell. She politely turns it down and explains she already has her plans figured out. She has an amazing boyfriend and is well on her way to becoming a kickass heart surgeon. But just as everything is coming together, everything falls apart. Her longtime boyfriend breaks up with her and she’s denied her fellowship because she views patients as puzzles and not people. With her plans in ruin, she decides to take up the kindly (or was it creepy?) old man’s offer and moves to Alabama.

When she reaches Blue Bell, we’re introduced to a slew of colorful characters. From a good looking lawyer, to a former football star turned mayor. There’s even a high strung Southern Bell that clashes almost immediately with our fancy New York girl. Some stuff happens, then other stuff happens. Everyone hates her so she decides to leave. Then, she finds out the creepy (or was it kindly?) old man was really her long lost father, so she stays. And then it’s over.

Now, I’m sure many of you out there think you know what this show is all about before even watching a single scene. Some cutsie little dramedy without one ounce of originality or depth. Well, to you cynical TV watchers out there, I have only one thing to say! Obviously, you’re absolutely right. But, that doesn’t mean this an automatic “skip”.

I’m not so naive as to pretend this show is some little gem you’ll all love. From a purely objective point of view, this show is below average in just about every category. The acting is mediocre, the fish out of water angle is trite and uninteresting, the dialogue is embarrassingly corny and every joke is basically “HEY, I’M NOT FROM HERE!” But, with that being said, Rachel Bilson is too damn cute to hate. Subjective and superficial praise to be sure, but I calls em like I see em.

If you’re able to give yourself into this show, it will basically cradle you in its arms, pat your head, and tell you everything is going to be alright. It’s a fluffy white cloud with no real substance. But what can I say, it has a certain charm I just can’t ignore.

This show is everything I was worried it would be, but I didn’t come away hating it. It’s sweet and utterly predictable. There are worse things you could do with an hour.


Author: Thinking Man

The Thinking Man is an aspiring screenwriter and film maker. Follow him on twitter @ThinkingMan01