Review: ‘Hart of Dixie’: You’ve got to hide your anger away
I tend to watch a lot of emotionally taxing shows. Every summer I spend weeks alternately worrying about whether or not Jesse Pinkman will survive ‘Breaking Bad’ and when the other shoe will ultimately drop and Walter White will be exposed.
I spend my falls in a haze of wine and bourbon trying to make it through ‘Sons of Anarchy’ without a complete mental breakdown. I’ve been in a holding pattern for the last two years worrying about whether or not Juice will die as a result of his indiscretions. Week by week my anxiety takes its toll as the stakes are pushed higher and higher. And Opie’s death will probably one day be pinpointed as the cause of most, if not all, of my neuroses.
On the other end of the spectrum is ‘Parenthood’, a show that makes me cry so much every week that I should start sending my wine and tissue receipts to NBC for reimbursement of expenses. What I’m trying to say is this: sometimes a girl just needs a good, anxiety-free show to counterbalance the emotional roller coaster that these kinds of shows put her on. And ‘Hart of Dixie’ is that show. It doesn’t give me high blood pressure, no one has cancer, it’s a feel good show. It’s the perfect counter to the rest of my regular TV schedule and for that reason I look forward to it each and every week. Well, that and the opportunity to ogle Wilson Bethel’s abs too, obviously.
It’s been a month since Zoe put her heart on the line and asked Wade to formally be her boyfriend, a request which he then accepted much to the delight of Zade shippers everywhere, myself included (sorry, there won’t be any objectivity here; I’m a member of the Church of Wade where we worship his glorious abdominal muscles and southern drawl). They’re still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, and Zoe’s overt happiness isn’t really appreciated by the still-mourning Lavon (perk up, bro, Ruby wasn’t even that cool).
Perhaps because he was annoyed to find the two happy lovebirds giving each other googly eyes in his kitchen (“People eat here, ya know”), Lavon decided he needed some company for his misery and told Zoe that Wade would eventually screw something up and they’d be fighting again in no time. Which is why I blame Lavon for everything that happens after this point. He planted the seed of doubt in Zoe’s mind and God knows, if there is anything Zoe needs less of in life, it’s someone giving her ideas and messing with her emotions. She is perfectly capable of ruining her life all on her own without outside help.
Something else Zoe needs less of in her life is Crickett giving her advice of any kind. Crickett is not exactly the smartest person in Bluebell, and the fact that Zoe would listen to her for any reason other than perhaps asking directions for how to get from one side of the town square to the next, is ridiculous. Zoe might be a newbie when it comes to relationships, but she should be smart enough to realize that holding in all of her anger will only result in one big eruption down the line. She’s a doctor for crying out loud, she had to take science classes, right? Because let’s be honest, that’s a pretty basic aspect of science. Even I can understand it. But because she’s Zoe, she listens to Crickett and stops voicing her opinion when Wade inevitably does something that annoys her (loses her car while there is dead fish in the trunk), angers her (tells the town she’s the mayor of, and I cringe as I write this, pound town) or disappoints her (cancels on orange picking to go to a bar with a guy named, I kid you not, Meatball).
Zoe and Wade’s romantic relationship is still so new that now is the time that she should feel comfortable doing these things. Setting boundaries, voicing her concerns, letting her partner know how things they are doing make her feel, all of these are things people in relationships need to be doing. It falls under the general heading of communication. I’m not a relationship expert by any means, but I’ve watched ‘Friday Night Lights’ more than anyone else I know and I can tell you that the key to a successful relationship is communication and a man who resembles Coach Eric Taylor.
Zoe needs to stop listening to everyone else’s advice and listen to herself. She knows what she wants and she needs to let Wade know. And she should probably do it before something big happens like her outburst at the First Feast in front of the whole town* and a reporter from a magazine who’s doing a feature on the entire pioneer days event.
Sure, it was funny to see Zoe with her various projects – a quilt that she could sew her emotions in to (it should be noted that there is no way she sewed that, especially not by hand and not in a few hours), and the giant garland she made with the Belles – but at the end of the day, not even Lemon is that Lemon anymore and the bit grew tiresome by the time Wade realized what she was doing and baited her into getting angry.
It’s obviously not uncommon to see characters go through these sorts of stages in relationships, but I like my Zade happy, like in the final scene in which they had a shaving cream fight in her bathroom, or completely angry so that they’re yelling at each other (hello, chemistry!). There will undoubtedly be more growing pains for these two, that’s what drives good television and makes relationship authentic, but as long as Zoe understands that she needs to communicate with Wade from now on about their relationship, I’ll allow it. Especially if those moments are balanced out with more shaving cream fights and scenes with Wade in a towel.
Some stray observations:
- “The B storyline involving Annabeth and Lemon catering the First Feast was a downer, mostly because outside of seeing Lemon in period costume and being ordered around by people like Tom, I didn’t like the way Lavon treated Lemon. Yes, he has absolutely every right to be angry with her after the way she treated him in regards to their affair and the way she helped to ruin his relationship with Ruby, but to keep her from the spotlight (being recognized as one half of the catering company) out of his own personal anger was wrong. And Lavon Hayes knows better.
- The C storyline involving Brick and Laura Bell Bundy is a snore and I don’t care one bit about it, though it did lead to an exasperated George utter the line, “Why am I suddenly this entire town’s Dr. Phil?”
- “You’re Wade Kinsella, I’m pretty sure you know how to piss off a girl.” – George
- Strip clubs go back to the Bible, Wanda. Everyone knows that.
What did everyone else think? Did you enjoy the Zoe and Wade relationship or are you still rooting for Zoe and George (it’s OK, you can tell me, I won’t be mad)? Did you enjoy the Pioneer Days? Is Alabama actually an orange-producing state? What exactly is the temperature in Alabama in January?
*But then again, the townspeople probably come to expect these sorts of things from the pint-sized doctor. It might be awkward and weird to have an event in which Zoe doesn’t ultimately embarrass herself or ruin something.
Photo credit: Danny Feld/The CW