'Hart of Dixie' delivers stereotypes
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With "Hart of Dixie," The CW seems to be trying to get back to its WB network roots.
Not only does "Dixie" (9 p.m. Monday, WPCW) have a small-town setting reminiscent of "Gilmore Girls" -- the same "Gilmore Girls" town square set will be used beginning in the second "Dixie" episode -- but one of the show's conceits is lifted wholesale from another WB series.
Just like in The WB's "Everwood," "Dixie" features a new-to-town doctor from New York who has to share patients with an unenthusiastic, established doc.
Starring: Rachel Bilson.
Too bad "Hart of Dixie" couldn't have borrowed some smarts from both "Gilmore Girls" and "Everwood."
Rachel Bilson ("The O.C.") stars in "Dixie" as Zoe Hart, a smug, self-absorbed New Yorker who lowers herself to join a practice in a small Southern town.
"This is my purgatory," she gripes to a nice local lawyer (Scott Porter, "Friday Night Lights") who gives her a ride. He tries to set her straight: "I guess if purgatory is a place where neighbors take care of each other. ... I call it home."
Both Zoe and her family's New Yorkness (her mother suggests they "just go home and discuss this in therapy like normal people") and the town's Southernness (debutantes wear hoop dresses as they dance in a park) are gross exaggerations of obvious stereotypes.
There are a few intriguing secondary characters but the best one, played by Nancy Travis, will be gone after a couple of episodes because of Ms. Travis' commitment to star in ABC's new Tim Allen sitcom.
Zoe's terrible bedside manner at the start of the pilot improves by the hour's end, showing that she is capable of growth and actually caring about someone other than herself. Perhaps with more attention to concrete character details and less reliance on silly stereotypes, "Hart of Dixie" will manage to grow into a show that does not provoke multiple fits of eye rolling.
First Published September 25, 2011 12:00 am