The title Hart of Dixie is a play on words. Rachel Bilson is Zoe Hart, a cardiothoracic or heart surgeon, and Alabama is the Heart of Dixie. Get it. Yeah, this show is not subtle. The career driven, city girl transplanted to the country is a familiar fish out of water story in both film and television. In this version, after pinning all her hopes on a prestigious fellowship she does not get, Dr. Hart accepts an offer to go south and work in a small town general practice.

You know going in that the New York City bred Zoe is going to be appalled by the folks and customs of Bluebell, Alabama. But, before you can say, “aww, shucks” she’ll realize that these are good people with old-fashioned values who need her just as much as she needs them.

Hart of Dixie is the television equivalent of comfort food. Like mashed potatoes it’s warm, familiar and goes down easy. Zoe is a cute, modern version of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. As can only happen in this idealized world where everything will always turn out all right, Zoe meets the town’s golden boy George Tucker, played by Scott Porter of Friday Night Lights, literally minutes after stepping off the bus in Bluebell.  As if this were a recruiting program to get single city women to move to charming, small towns, Zoe’s neighbor Wade (Wilson Bethel) is a good-looking, untamed country boy only too willing to give her a taste of what a real man is like.

All does not go smoothly for Zoe though. It turns out she’s been left half of a medical practice she must share with Brick Breeland (Tim Matheson) who has no intention of splitting his practice with an upstart outsider. He’s determined to run her out of town and unless she can contribute 30 percent of the business, she will lose the practice.

The little town of Bluebell has a few slight curves that may keep it interesting. Zoe’s father may not be the man she thought he was while growing up. The town has a Black mayor, Lavon Hayes (Cress Williams), a pro football hero who seems to like to shake things up. George’s fiancé Lemon Breeland (Jaime King) may not be as proper and conservative as she seems.

Will Zoe keep her share of the practice? Will the townspeople accept her? Will she end up with a gorgeous, good man at her side? Duh, we all know the answer and that’s exactly the appeal of the show in today’s overextended world of 24/7 crises. While I can’t wait to watch what remains of humanity square off against zombies in The Walking Dead, on those days that there’s been one too many televised revolutions or massacres, I may want to check in on the fantasy world of Hart of Dixie.

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