The CW’s Hart of Dixie is a charming, fluffy drama about a big city doctor who moves to a small town. Infused with quirky townspeople and traditions, sort of like Gilmore Girls, season two finds the good doc finally fitting into her surroundings and peers in the South. Personal relationships flare and falter, romance is rocky, and the recurring cast swells.
As season two begins, Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) is sleeping with Wade Kinsella (Wilson Bethel), having turned down George Tucker’s (Scott Porter) offer of a relationship until George can get over Lemon Breeland (Jaime King). George soon moves on with Wade’s ex, Tansy Truitt (Mircea Monroe, Episodes), after a brief fling with Shelby (Laura Bell Bundy, How I Met Your Mother), who then begins dating Lemon’s father, Brick (Tim Matheson). Lemon’s ex, Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams), begins seeing his former beau, Ruby Jeffries (Golden Brooks, Girlfriends), though Lemon’s best friend, Annabeth Nass (Kaitlyn Black) has a crush on Lavon. So, basically, everyone eventually dates everyone else.
As with many dramas, the main character, Zoe, has a basic choice between two men, Wade and George, and that is the primary romance that most viewers care about. George is the more sensible choice, but Hart of Dixie decides to try out Zoe with the bad boy first, saving George for another season, though most will assume that George and Zoe will be together eventually, if not in the end.
Wade is more than a scoundrel, of course. He is a womanizer at the start, but actually really likes Zoe, and tries to change his ways for her, which he is at least partially successful in doing. Zoe doesn’t see that at first, though, and one of her faults is how she can be judgmental. It takes her a long time to realize that she’s mistreating Wade and start to give him a real chance.
Besides the main characters listed above, there are many memorable citizens in the town of Bluebell, who occasionally have their own plots that intersect with the larger story, which helps round out the world. Dorky Tom Long (Ross Philips) and hyper waitress Wanda Lewis (Mallory Moye) find true love early in the show’s run, and have quite the visually exciting wedding. Dash (Reginald VelJohnson) is often seen running the local events, and Lemon’s materialistic sister, Magnolia (Claudia Lee), causes trouble.
Most of the acting is campy, but that’s in keeping with the light-hearted tone of the series. Bilson is goofy, in a good way, fully committing to the part, and the supporting cast is fun. Hart of Dixie won’t make many’s “must-see” list, but it’s an enjoyable way to pass the time.
And occasionally, it does delve into some more serious fare. There’s a really moving bit with Wade’s father, Crazy Earl (Christopher Curry), in the Christmas episode, which rises above the typical quality of the drama. Lemon also shows real growth over the course of the season, slowly becoming less annoying and more of a strong, self-sufficient character. These elements are why I continue to watch Hart of Dixie, because if it ever realizes its full potential, and moves past the constantly fluctuating pairings, it could really be something. Even if it doesn’t mature, though, it’s not a bad program.
As one might expect, the season finale drops some big stuff, changing the landscape for season three, though surely everything will return to normal not too far into the junior year. Since the show came back on the air a week ago, watching the DVD now will allow you to jump right in, without the long wait to see what happens next.
The Complete Second Season does have all twenty-two episode from last year on five discs, but sports not a single special feature. That’s the sort of release some old shows without a ton of anticipation may do, but it’s baffling that a currently-running series would dare not offer any extras for their fans. Weirder still, the cast has released some very humorous stuff online, proving they are worthy of featurettes and shorts, but none of which is included here. Combined with a very simplistic menu system, that looks old and boring, it’s not a strong DVD contender.
Hart of Dixie The Complete Second Season will be released this Tuesday, October 15th.