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Monday, October 8, 2012

Hart of Dixie falls to pieces

The CW's Hart of Dixie ended its freshman run last spring with Dr. Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) in bed with Wade (Wilson Bethal), whom she finds annoying, but who has harbored a crush on her for some time. Then George (Scott Porter) cancels his wedding to be with Zoe, leaving the good doctor in quite the pickle.

Season two picks up the next morning with "I Fall to Pieces." George is disappointed to hear that Zoe needs some time to think, as she does admit to having certain feelings for Wade, too. Wade, for his part, falls back into his immature ways, pretending Zoe is just a one-night stand for him and insulting her, and professing not to care if she dates George. Zoe is torn, knowing Wade is just covering for insecurity, but also not sure George is ready to jump into another relationship so soon after his long-term one ends.

Hart of Dixie solves this problem much as many shows before it have. Zoe chooses no one. She wants George to heal and Wade to grown up before getting seriously involved with either one. The thing is, though, no one is perfect, and many men have trouble articulating, or even knowing, their feelings. While both could definitely be in better positions than they are, Zoe may be waiting for something that will never happen.

It's also a cop out. It leaves the series room to try each of the three characters with more people before settling back into its love triangle. Television dramas must keep the drama going, and hooking up the main character with one of two love interests so early in the show's run kind of shoots itself in the foot in terms of keeping tension alive. So instead, the writers frustrate fans all over by providing no resolution.

Now, both Wade and George would make decent partners for Zoe. But until she figures out which one she wants, she can't commit to either. So Zoe's lack of choice is as much about her as it is either of the guys.

Interesting, Zoe's flirtations with Wade continue post-announcement. Wade may just be happy to still be in the game, assuming he had lost to George before even getting started. But knowing Wade plays the casual hand well, picking neither may open Zoe up to more casual sex with Wade.

Meanwhile, for Lemon (Jaime King), being dumped by George may be the best thing that has ever happened to her. She is a strong woman, and she discovered that while George was away. When he returned to Bluebell, she lost some of that, and by marrying George without ever leaving her father's (Tim Matheson) house, she risks any chance of true independence. So Lemon is sure to have a great year post-George, figuring out for herself what she is capable of.

The fact that Zoe is the one who helps set Lemon on this path is nice because there should be a warming up between the two of them. They are very different people, and probably won't ever be besties, but they have enough in common that they should be able to make peace. I look forward to it.

Also, Lavon (Cress Williams) is surprised by the arrival of his ex, Ruby (Golden Brooks, Girlfriends), back to town. Ruby intends to stay, throwing Lavon for a loop, and dredging up old feelings. This should keep Lavon away from Lemon for awhile, thus negating any interference he might have with her plot.

The only thing that rings weird in "I Fall to Pieces" is why Ruby becomes friendly so quickly with Zoe. Zoe is clearly self-centered and using Ruby to bounce rambling off of. Sure, Ruby might welcome the chance to stop by Lavon's house, but even setting that aside, it's like Hart of Dixie is forcing an instant friendship between Ruby and Zoe. For what purpose? Why not just let a friendship develop naturally?

Hart of Dixie airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.

f you like my reviews, please follow me on Twitter! Check out my website, JeromeWetzel.com! First posted on TheTVKing

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