Take Me To The Pilots '11: The CW's 'Hart of Dixie'
[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]
Show:"Hart of Dixie" (The CW)
The Pitch: It's less "Doc Hollywood" and more "Northern Exposure" in the South. Or maybe it's "Medically Brunette." See what I did there?
Quick Response: See, it's a Vocational Irony Narrative *and* a Nomenclatural Irony Narrative, because Rachel Bilson plays a cardio surgeon whose name is Hart, but who doesn't have enough heart herself. She's Christina Yang meets Summer Roberts, which is a little awesome and a little off-putting, depending on how quickly you buy into Bilson as a doctor. Willing suspension of disbelief, y'all! I bought in pretty quickly and just let Bilson's adorable charm carry "Hart of Dixie" over more than a few Southern cliches and Scott Porter's erratic accent. There are good supporting performances from the likes of Cress Williams and Tim Matheson and Nancy Travis (likely to cease to exist due to her "Last Man Standing" commitments) and if the universe is properly evolved, the backdrop could become the Alabama equivalent of Star's Hollow from "Gilmore Girls." I think there's a lot to work with within the premise, though I have some concern that after shooting the pilot on location, "Hart of Dixie" will move production to Los Angeles. Also a concern? "Hart of Dixie" is the latest in a string of CW attempts to channel the spirit of the old WB. It didn't work with "Privileged." It didn't work with "Life Unexpected." And I don't know that this show is really a great match with "Gossip Girl" on Monday nights.
Desire To Watch Again: At least for a while, I'll happily set my DVR to watch Rachel Bilson yield a stethoscope. See, it's like that brief time in "The O.C." Season One when Summer was a candy striper?