For the past four years Hart of Dixie has been one of my favorite television shows. For the entirety of its run if I had a choice of shows on my DVR and Hart of Dixie was one of them, it was the show I chose to watch first. Oddly the short period of time last spring when Hart of Dixie and Hannibal played on Friday nights was one of my favorite blocks of television ever. I miss it.
Sadly Hart of Dixie presumably came to end this past Friday. The CW hasn’t officially canceled it for whatever reason, but everyone who watches and everyone involved knows it’s done. This season was definitely written as the last, so even though I’m sad there won’t be any more at least we won’t be left hanging.
If for some reason you’re not familiar with the show it stars Rachel Bilson as Zoe Hart. She’s a New York City surgeon, who moves to a small town called Bluebell and takes over the medical practice after the man who was the biological father she didn’t know about left it to her in his will. I’ve heard many people say that Hart of Dixie fills the Gilmore Girls sized hole in their lives, and I get that and not just because they use some of the same sets. The small town goofiness and all the town characters are definitely reminiscent of that aspect of Gilmore Girls. However, Hart of Dixie is a much lighter and ridiculous show. It didn’t have all the deep, emotional family stuff that was really the heart of Gilmore Girls. The plots entirely revolved around love triangles and inane town goings on.
The ridiculousness of the show was what made it so endearing. I like all the prestige dramas just as much as everyone else, but sometimes I also just want a fun show to watch. I don’t think there’s anything else on TV that will fill that hole now that Hart of Dixie is gone. TV will be much poorer because of it.
So in honor of the passing of this beloved show I present to you reasons why I love it.
1. The music. If you have ever read a single thing on this blog you know how much I love music. Television has been a great way in the past decade to find new artists. Tons of shows play large amounts of indie rock every week, but what made Hart of Dixie special was that they did this for country/folk/bluegrass music. I was recently having an exchange on Twitter with someone lamenting about how hard it is find country artists that haven’t been adopted by the country music machine in Nashville. There are a lot more avenues to stumble upon indie rock artists than non-mainstream country artists. Hart of Dixie provided a great avenue for these types of bands not only playing their music in the background of the show but also bringing many of them on to play in the town’s bar, The Rammer Jammer.
2. Zoe and Lavon’s friendship. I appreciate that never, not even once did Hart of Dixie hint at making Zoe and Lavon’s relationship anything more than being best friends. I can ship with the best of them, but it’s so rare for male/female best friends on television not to ultimately go down the road of being more than friends. There were plenty of other relationships and love triangles/quadrangles, so it made me happy that the writers left that friendship alone and just let them be friends.
3. Annabeth. Over the last few seasons of Hart of Dixie they really developed the character of Annabeth, who started out in a bit part as Lemon’s best friend. She ultimately became my favorite character on the show and not just because she had the best dresses. If someone wanted to package up all the dresses she wore on the show and send them to me, I’m just saying I wouldn’t turn them down. I am sad that she and Lavon didn’t end up together because they were my favorite couple. I eventually did come around to her pairing with George at the end even though it seems like they wound up together because they were the only two unattached main characters at that point.
4. Not being afraid to let the George/Wade/Zoe triangle go. The initial conceit of the show had Zoe in a love triangle with Wade and George. It initially seemed like the writers were going to make George and Zoe the one true pairing, and even if they didn’t most shows would have stuck with that triangle in various formations throughout the entire run of the show. Once the show moved on to a Zoe and Wade pairing and allowed George to move on it was very obvious his character was better off not pining after Zoe. It really worked for the show, and I’m glad they just let it go instead of trying to keep making George and Zoe a thing.
5. Joel. I groaned as I’m sure did everyone else when Zoe showed up with Joel as her boyfriend in season 3 obviously to drag out getting Zoe and Wade back together for good. However it turns out I really wound up liking Joel and his relationship with Zoe. Too often writers try to bring in a new character to create a love triangle and keep the one true pairing apart, but they do a crappy job with the new character. Either the characters aren’t there long enough for you to actually care about them, they’re not fully developed, or they are awful people that you’re really supposed to root against. I much prefer situations like this one where the new significant other is so great you actually start to question whether you want the original couple to get together. I was always a Zoe and Wade fan, but I liked Joel so much I really wouldn’t have minded if she had ultimately wound up with him.
Obviously so much of what I loved about the show were the relationships and the well written characters, which is good because that’s really what the show was about. I’m really going to miss having a great, fun character driven show on my television each week. I don’t see anything else like it on the horizon, but hopefully that won’t remain the case.