Hart of Dixie

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

8
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Sep 26, 2011 on The CW
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

8.2
out of 10
Average
125 votes
  • New favourite show

    10
    This show is even better than the ads would have you believe. For all those who have been missing Gilmore Girls, this is a great replacement. Quirky characters, drama and great humour. Love it!
  • Actually enjoyed it!

    9.0

    I wasn't expecting much after reading in a TV.com article that Rachel Bilson was to play a surgeon in an upcoming series. Never thought that she might be able to pull it off. But it was cleverly done with her sophisticated background. I found Bilson very believable in her role. The pilot reminded me somewhat of the movie 'Doc Hollywood' (starring Michael J. Fox) where a plastic surgeons ends stranded in a small town. So it isn't really a new story but it could work remarkably well because it would rely much more on the characters than on flashy OR scenes. Although there is plenty room for interesting cases as Dr. Zoe Hart would be a general practitioner.
    The main character is a brilliant surgeon who is socially challenged to put it mildly. Also nothing new but played quite refreshingly by Ms Bilson. I wasn't expecting to like her from the start and she got me half way through the pilot.

    Throughout the episode we got glimpses of the other characters who really seemed intertwined a lot which shouldn't be surprising after all it is a small town and NOT New York City (which I find really refreshing). This could turn out to be really entertaining concerning the prospect of some future love interests. And I see great female rivalry (between Zoe and Lemon) looming ahead.
    I won't spoil the pilot with retelling details which you better find out for yourselves. It was really entertaining to watch and something I'm looking forward to watch next week. It could turn out to be the perfect show to unwind with a good glass of Chardonnay in your hand which doesn't come out of a cardboard box. (A little pun intended). ;-)

  • not what i expected...

    6.5

    so a YOUNG doctor gets confused on what to do or where to go and she comes up with the idea of going where an old man has offered anopportunityto practice... which turns out to be ... her dad.. which i wish theyshouldn'tput that out on the first episode.. but seems that they needed to brake it down since she was about to leave town in a hart beat...


    in the end... myimpressionsare ... LOTS of drama... well what u expect from a small town...


    A former NFL player .. as a mayor? mmpossiblebut .. wasnt necessary... thou it obvious that he has got an affair with the lemon when his boy was gone to NY... i wonder if we gonna see a non-negro policy on the brick family.

  • Been here, seen this. But still interesting and goodin some ways.

    7.0

    This kind of show isn't really my cup of tea, but curiosity got the best of this cat and I watched the ep on the CW site. Well, it certainly wasn't the best pilot episode for a show like this - or for any type of show, for that matter. While the premise about a big city doctor coming to practice in a small rural town (uh, Doc Hollywood? Dr. Quinn? Any of these a-ringin' a bell?) is hardly anything new, I found it was still worthwhile in certain other elements. First, most notable is the lead character Dr. Zoe Hart played by the awesome Rachel Bilson. I love this actress, as does everyone else it seems. So this was one of the biggest reasons for checking this show out. Rounding out the rest of the cast include Jaime King as Lemon Breeland, Scott Porter as George Tucker, Cress Williams as Mayor Lavon Hayes, Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella and Tim Matheson as Dr. Brick Breeland. As prerequisite for a pilot, it doesn't take long for the lead character to meet this...unusually usual cliche of other characters that will inevitably affect her storylines in collectively different ways. For example, upon her arrival, Zoe first encounters George Tucker, the so-called town "Golden Boy" who happens to be a lawyer and she seems to immediately become quite smitten with him. But hold up: he's also engaged to Lemon Breeland, a true Southern Belle-type who automatically resents Zoe when first meeting her (predictable jealousy in our obvious primary love triangle here). Of course, Zoe's defensive, impatient attitude toward Lemon on their first encounter didn't exactly help matters. Despite this, George appears to be a friend and ally to Zoe. Speaking of, Zoe then meets her second ally/friend, Lavon Hayes, the mayor of the town and former pro football star (that alone gives him mega props in my book!) and the two of them hit it off right away, with him even inviting her to live in a small house on his plantation estate. I already love the friendship thing between these two. He is obviously gonna be something of a mentor/advisor for Zoe to help her navigate her way around town and, more importantly, the people. Shortly after this she meets her second rival, Dr. Brick Breeland, who owns half the practice she inherited and is also Lemon's father. (Foot note: two rivals whose names are "Brick" and "Lemon". Okaaaaay....) Lastly, but in no way the least, Zoe has a couple of very brief but VERY engaging scenes with town bad boy redneck Wade Kinsella, a local who drives a muscle car (complete with a horn that plays "Dixie" when blown), plays video games like "Guitar Hero", lives on(and presumably helps maintain) Lavon's plantation, and thus happens to be Zoe's neighbor/second love interest. But more on this in a little while.


    Now, with the list of mains on the table, I wanna retract here for a moment to how Zoe got to this place and these people. Zoe is a top-of-her-class New York med school graduate who is approached by Dr. Harley Wilkes at the commencement ceremony and he offers her a job as a General Practitioner in his small hometown of Bluebell, Alabama. She (sorta) kindly declines his offer. But soon her life plan of becoming a cardio-thoracic surgeon goes south (so to speak) due to a short series of unforseen (and, if you will, slightly ridiculous) circumstances. Said circumstances include her boyfriend dumping her because she obviously cares more for her work than an actual relationship with him, and she is denied a medical fellowship that would undoubtedly help escalate her to achieve cardio-thoracic surgeon status because it is implied her bedside manner is something along the lines of her caring more about the mechanics of being a surgeon rather than actually caring about the patients themselves. Desperate, she tries to become a partner with her absentee surgeon father who, for reasons unknown at this point, refuses her request. REALLY desperate now, and apparently having no other options, she accepts Dr. Wilkes' offer to GP in good ol' Bluebell. Dr. Wilkes had been sending her postcards for the past four years since her graduation hoping she would finally accept his offer. Again, for reasons unknown at this point. Nevertheless, it's at this particular point that Zoe packs her bags and her uncaring bedside manner and heads to Bama. From here most of the episode is comprised of the events of Zoe's very long first day. Her attitude, compounded by her anxiousness to start the job right away, hinders her ability to make a seamless and/or smooth integration into the town and its people. She makes a connection with George as he used to practice law in New York, so she can somewhat relate to him, only to ultimately get him injured via a mishap with a legally blind patient, leading to heated confrontations with both Brick and Lemon. She finds out she inherited half the town's GP practice from Wilkes, whom we find out has passed away. She befriends Mayor Hayes and later has a quite comedic encounter with his pet alligator, affectionately named Burt Reynolds, no less. Her first encounter with Wade is unpleasant as she blasts him for using up the electricity as apparently, as neighbors, they share the same generator. He sees she's rude so he just coyly dismisses her, but not without obviously checking her out. After her fights with both Lemon and Brick, and George's accident, along with finding out through all this George's engagement to Lemon, Zoe winds up in a drunken stupor that leads to an impromptu make out session with Wade that doesn't last more than just a few seconds before she abruptly ends it (in a very hilarious way, at that), swearing him to secrecy about it, and quickly but clumsily exiting his car, but obviously increasing his attraction to her. To top it off, her day ends with the sudden arrival of her snobbish publicist mother, highly irked and demanding to know what Zoe's doing with her life.


    The rest of the ep deals with Zoe's aftermath of her failed attempts to fit in with the town. With the help of Mom's ranting as well as her experiences the previous day, Zoe does indeed decide she doesn't belong and is set to leave Bluebell as well as sign her half of Wilkes' practice over to Brick. Yet in the end she shines through and proves she's a very competent doctor when she is called by a young single mother and has to deliver a baby through an emergency C-section and seems to earn some respect of a few of the townspeople, even Brick. But it's also during this Zoe learns a shock: Dr. Wilkes was her real father, which is why he left her his practice and wanted to offer her the job to begin with, and also why Zoe's present absentee father seems to have no real interest in her anymore. Needless to say, yet another heated confrontation ensues, this time between Zoe and Mom, and (predictably) in the end Zoe decides to stay in Bluebell to follow in her real father's shoes.


    So, with all that set up, I'll start my deconstruction by stating that the ep was packed. And a little too much, if I may. It moved at such an incredibly fast pace that it felt forced to put so much of what could have easily taken a whole season to do into one episode. Most significant was the revelation of Zoe's real father. Okay, I can deal with the fact that the man died before Zoe got a chance to know him and I appreciate the tragedy in a story like that, but I would really have loved to see some viable connection with that. Like, say, oh, after writing so many postcards in a four year period and not once tell her the truth? Also, that minor story of Mabel having her baby was just unreal. I mean, come on! How can any woman not know she's pregnant, especially when she has the baby the NEXT DAY after Zoe suggests she even take a test?? Just....unbelievable tripe here. And her drunken make out with Wade was quick and seemed utterly useless and also out of place for her character at this moment. However, I have to remind myself that this is still just a dramedy. The writers obviously had to get Zoe to this place and these situations somehow, and it IS still just the pilot, so I can forgive these flaws. But for now only to a point. Like I said before, all this major stuff has been done many times over elsewhere. Nevertheless, it still marks the way for the writers to expand on these stories. One thing in particular was the short exchange between Lemon and Lavon at the party. Hmm. These two obviously have a past, and I didn't see that coming. So that will be interesting to watch. And I hope it is, because I've gotta admit I'm not looking forward to the main Zoe/George/Lemon triangle. I understand every story has to have at least one, but this one reeks of predictability. And George, bless his heart, for as hot and funny as he is, he's simply just boring to me right now. And Lemon is so far coming off as the one-dimensional requisite be-yotch it's gonna take a while for me to warm up to her, if even possible. And here's where I say thank God for Wade and Lavon. I just covered the little tidbit about Lavon and Lemon, but as for Wade....well, I'm such a sucker for opposites attract so I am TOTALLY rooting for him and Zoe. Agree with me, disagree with me, or even sue me, but Wade's three very short scenes completely won me over to his team. Especially that last shot of him at the end driving by Zoe in his car and winking at her and giving her a friendly finger nod with a very charming, endearing smile on his face. Not to mention you can tell where a lot of the show's humor will fall, with him and Zoe. In addition, it was nice to see Zoe start to soften toward these small town folk, such as the scene where she tries to defend Mabel to her mother. Finally, it was weird but kind of neat that Zoe makes reference to the postcard she read at the beginning of the ep regarding the Tark twins wrestling in poison oak, showing she is starting to think like her father Wilkes and reminding us of that little fact from early in the ep. And it's the small moments like that in the ep that held and kept my interest and make me actually want to keep watching. And it's also those things that the writers can hopefully build on to turn this show that is more or less a "borrowed" premise into something refreshing, and maybe even transform it into something even better and different. Again, it's just the pilot, so time will most certainly tell.


    Nooks and crannies:


    - While I agree that the ending wasn't the greatest, I admit that I liked the song ("Little Miss" by Sugarland) that played during Zoe's visit to the graveyard, then her passing Wade on the street and then her getting the phone call from Mrs. H about the Tark twins. I thought the song kinda fit with the character and her situation. It can also be heard shortly after she arrives in town, after George drops her off and she first goes to Dr. Wilkes' office.


    - I particularly loved the scenery in the show. It gave it a real southern comfort feel. And Rachel Bilson absolutely glowed in it.


    - Being a southern gal myself, I didn't believe the accents from the actors. Sometimes it seemed genuine, but for the most part one can easily tell it's force-faked. I hope they have a dialog coach that will help them improve.


    I'm rating this a 7. It's not perfect, but it's not that bad. As I stated above I enjoyed the smaller moments the most, and the major points have potential pending the writers ideas. I will tune in again, and hope that it will continue to grow on me. I would like to see this as a keeper and this is usually not my kind of show.


     


     


  • Interesting....

    8.5

    This show was exactly what I expected it to be andI liked that. The way small town life is shown is very realistic.Sure there are other medical shows out there but this one does have a few things the other don't and that makes it interesting to watch.

  • A very very bad show.

    1.0

    i thought this can be a decent show not good but decent and it wasnt it makes gossip girl look like it deserves an Emmy the characters are annoying the plot is boring and there is nothing good about this show at all except Rachel Bilson. We get to see her face on TV once more and that is the only reason i gave this episode a 1 although it doesnt even deserve that. I will tune in for episode 2 to see if it gets better or even worse if that is even possible and to see Rachel Bilson. For the ones who like this show i dont think it willsurvivethat much cause its premiere was under 2 million and that is bad even for the cw so enjoy the show while you can but again i can be wrong and the cw can renew it we just have to wait and see.

  • Not bad for a pilot. Also, Rachel Bilson!

    8.0

    OK so First I need to say that I enjoyed this. The characters interacted well together, the story was set up wonderfully, and the setting is quite amazing. When Lemon and George were under that tree at their engagement party I thought it looked magical! There were enough little twists that kept me really interested and I thought that setting the whole episode over a couple of days really gave you a good idea of how Zoe felt the whole way through the episode.


    Here's the thing that bothered me. Rachel Bilson as a plausible doctor/surgeon. All the doctors I've met personally do not act in any way like she did (excluding the parts where she actually performed sutures and medical examinations). Not even the chicks in Greys Anatomy act like her, really. I thought asking for a special coffee was a bit much, and the stuff with the fish, and I find it super odd that she wore heels throughout most of the show. And also if this was supposed to be her last resort, wouldn't she have researched a little more? Found out how much she would earn, actually CALL before catching a "stinky" bus all the way there?


    So the start of the pilot puzzled me that a smart doctor would do all these things, and so I think the writing can be improved. Although, I do know many people that are super smart, but don't have much common sense. It is also plausible that she would think so highly of herself that she'd get a job straight away in a small town like this.


    Other things of note:


    - hooray! A black character (the mayor none the less) in the middle of Alabama! (looks like he had something going on with Miss Lemon there too)


    - Nancy Travis (Mrs. H) is awesome! Love her.


    - Burt Reynolds the alligator! What a pet!

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