Hart of Dixie: TV Review

Hart of Dixie
CW Network

Who's In It: Rachel Bilson, Scott Porter, Jaime King, Wilson Bethel, Cress Williams, McKaley Miller

What It's About: From Josh Schwartz (Chuck, Gossip Girl) and Stephanie Savage, Hart of Dixie follows a New York City doctor who moves to a small Southern town, inhabited by an eclectic and eccentric group of characters in this dramedy, after she inherits a medical practice.

When It Airs: Fall; Mondays at 9 p.m. on the CW

This overdone fish-out-of-water story is surprisingly touching and may appeal to the CW's young female audience.

Rachel Bilson plays a fast-talking, heartless New York doctor who heads South to pursue her dreams.

Hart of Dixie (Sept. 26, 9 p.m.) is one of those shows on the CW that will surprise you (and not just because the star is not a witch or a vampire). 

CW does well at giving series a sense of place (and, as a side note, they really haven’t turned out anything as offensively bad as Charlie’s Angels, when you’d think that would be perfect for the network).

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No, the CW can make a surprisingly touching little show when it’s not trying to be all upper East Side uber-bitchy. And Hart of Dixie focuses on the hyper-driven Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson), a doctor who wants to emulate her always-absent surgeon father. She’s got his drive and apparently his heartlessness, which is why no matter how talented she is, she can’t land that New York dream job. And she’s a New Yorker through and through.

But at her graduation, after a killer graduation speech, Zoe is approached by a kindly old doctor who tells her she should come his podunk town of Bluebell, Alabama. She tells him that’s not possible because she’s got a plan (to dominate the doctor world), but faster than you can says “I saw this fish out of water story coming an hour before the show even started,” she’s accepting the offer to be a doctor in Bluebell.

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Complications arise, many of them too rote to mention. But Hart of Dixie would (or could) have miles on it if they made Zoe look more like a doctor and less like a high-priced call girl. It’s a lot over the top – we get it, she’s not in Manhattan anymore – but perhaps the pilot really wanted to hammer home the New Yorker in Alabama thing. Pilots do that.

If you’re looking for some sentimental lesson-learning, the wafer-light Hart of Dixie may fill an hour for you. It’s I, Claudius compared to Charlie’s Angels and it could certainly appeal to the young female demo of CW.

Email: Tim.Goodman@THR.com