HART OF DIXIE – still don’t totally buy Bilson as a doctor, but love the show regardless!

Tonight on The CW, after the season premiere of GOSSIP GIRL, be sure to tune into the series premiere of HART OF DIXIE, a new dramedy (is that still a thing) created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s team, and featuring a cast that boasts lead Rachel Bilson and Scott Porter.

HART OF DIXIE (not a mis-print – the Hart in question belongs to Zoe, as in Dr Zoe Hart, Rachel Bilson’s character) is about a NYC doctor on the fast track to a cardiothoracic fellowship at a prestigious New York hospital who has the rug pulled out from under her when she learns that a snarky, fashionable woman with not a pinch of bedside manner does not a good doctor make.  When she remembers that a really nice, albeit oddly presumptuous, older gentleman had offered a job at his practice in Blue Bell, Alabama, and that he has been sending her postcards nonstop over her years in practice in NY, she hops a bus (maybe a plane and a bus) to the small town that time seems to have forgotten.

Along the way, she meets the rest of our townsfolk: Scott Porter as George, the white knight who saved her from walking into town along a dirt road in heels, and spoiler alert, her soulmate; Jaime King as Lemon, her built in nemesis because old-Lem’s dad is the competing doctor in town.  She’s that perfect combination of sickeningly sweet and completely hateful; Cress Williams as Lavon Hayes, former NFL-er turned town Mayor who lets Zoe live on his property – I can’t take him seriously as a nice man; Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella, her Pacey, if you will; JoBeth Williams as Mrs Hart, her nasty mother; and Tim Matheson as Dr Abbott to her Dr Brown (EVERWOOD references abound).  Add to that love triangles and turf warfare, and you have HART OF DIXIE.

The show is a classic fish out of water story, with a spoiled city girl who learns some hard truths, and decides to stick around a make a difference.  To me, Rachel Bilson is never not charming, and even though I don’t totally buy that she’s a doctor, and the show is predictable to a certain degree, I still found myself tearing up at the end of the pilot (both times I watched), and wondering what comes next.   Check it out tonight at 9/8c and let us know what you think!