Hart of Dixie Season One Report Card: B+

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Hart of Dixie has lived to fight, joke and diagnose for another season.

Yes, the light-hearted CW drama has earned a renewal and will air on Tuesday nights this fall. What do hope to see in 2012-2013? What would we change? What should remain the same?

Follow along below as we grade Hart of Dixie Season One in our latest TV Fanatic Report Card.

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Best Character: Wade Kinsella. I adore the Hart of Dixie cast and was excited for this show from the outset, having been a huge fan of Scott Porter, Cress Williams and Rachel Bilson on previous programs. I still very much am, but Wilson Bethel delivered the most entertaining character on a weekly basis. I'll leave it up to female readers to debate his penchant for tank tops and simply focus here instead on Wade's one-liner delivery, ability to pour drinks and the depth he showed toward the end of the season, such as when his brother came to town.

Worst Character: Lemon Breeland. One of the worst on television, I'm sorry to say. Nothing but a one-dimensional southern stereotype.

Getting Hot in Here

Best Episode: "The Big Day." The finale ratcheted up the love triangle like never before, left us with a legitimate cliffhanger and finally pulled the plug on a wedding we all knew was a terrible idea.

Worst Episode: "Aliens & Aliases." Some seriously contrived storytelling here involving Joelle and her ex-boyfriend, along with a pretty ridiculous Case of the Week for Zoe.

Most Welcome Weekly Sighting: A great deal of skin.

Most Unwelcome Weekly Sighting: Lemon's giant hats.

Most Unexpected Moment: Scott Porter blowing us away on stage in "Destiny & Denial."

Favorite Bluebell Event: The turtle race and Planksgiving (tie).

Hope for Season 2: Hart of Dixie is that unique CW show that doesn't shock you with crazy sex shenanigans (hi, Gossip Girl) or a dozen twists each week (hey, Vampire Diaries). It's content just telling stories within its somewhat outlandish, fictional world of Alabama. And that's refreshing, but it can be a bit of a drag. Spice up the plots a bit, speed up the action and avoid some of the cliches. Also, kill off Lemon. Painfully.

Overall Grade: B+

Your turn, TV Fanatic: What grade would you give Hart of Dixie Season 1?

 

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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One more thing about George: I found it very selfish of George to insist on moving the wedding to a freaking firehouse in the middle of a downpour. The way all the townspeople rushed to help him represents George's power. They don't have a clue what's going on internally, and they don't see that they're being used. I found this day more telling of George's true character than any other episode. He's willing to use people to get what he wants. He has definitely used Zoe. The hard work wasn't for Lemon. It was all for him. If I were Wade, I'd be a little resentful of George too. Perfect contrast: Wade giving Lavon's parents a Bora Bora room (nothing in it for him) vs. George using everyone in town to get to the altar before he changed his mind. George needs to grow up and he so deserved that punch!

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I think George has a lot of emotional maturing to do, and I think the only way for him to do that is to hit rock bottom. Wade may not have the material success of George, but Wade had to grow up pretty fast because of his dad. So I think Wade is more capable of displaying true emotion than George, and for me, he's more appealing than George because he's more human and vulnerable. George is spoiled and worried about what people think. Wade isn't worried about appearances, and George needs to get to that point if I'm gonna root for him. Otherwise, I'm pulling for the underdog ;)

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T--excellent points. I like Scott Porter. I think the George character is supposed to represent the facade of perfection in the small Southern towns that still expect and reward Andy Griffith-era goodness. This is evident when George gets fired up against his dad to stop the large mart store. It seems like George is a general do-gooder, but he doesn't really carry that over into his romantic relationships. Look at the way he got the wedding ready vs. the way he ignores Lemon. I think his upbringing turned him into the stereotypical Southern male--he's supposed to be a provider and keep everyone happy, but inside, he feels inadequate. Nobody cares about the good Southern male's insides, so to speak. I think he lacks a real emotional connection with Lemon because they were taught to just go through the motions. It's all about appearances. Zoe represents an opportunity to open up and stop playing his traditional role.

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(part 2) intentionally portraying this superficiality in what the "leaders of the town" valued and the contradiction in George's character, it'd be one thing. But apparently we're supposed to root for him to insult Lemon about the things that matter to her and play up to her insecurities, treat Zoe as a rebound who will pathetically wait around for him, and dump his fiancee when she's preparing to walk down the aisle. Like I said, I love George; I just don't love being told he's perfect (for Zoe and in general). Side note: I particularly find it funny that Zoe made the catty comment about "a town he felt the same way about as a girl" in the pilot when the only evidence they've given for the Zoe/George=soulmates argument is their New York connection.

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A - I actually am quite fond of George - I love him in scenes with Lemon, Brick, and Wade in particular. I just don't want to see him with Zoe. He's a very interesting character and has great chemistry with just about everyone in the cast...except Zoe. Perhaps my greatest complaint is how Zoe is written in regards to him and their relationship - she ends up not being a character to root for or even find very likeable. My other complaint is that the writers apparently think we're supposed to agree with the town's perception of him as being the perfect Golden Boy when he's acted very much like a jerk to both Zoe and Lemon, as well as several other people throughout the season. I think the MOTY ep was the most telling in that regard - he gets the award, Brick and others are jealous of it. And the only person actually being a decent human being (helping Magnolia, etc.) is the one person who would never get such an award. If the show more clearly demonstrated they understood and were intentionally portraying this superficiality in what the "leaders of the town" valued and the contradiction in George's character, it'd be one thing. But apparently we're supposed to root for him to insult Lemon about the things that matter to her and play up to her insecurities, treat Zoe as a rebound who will pathetically wait around for him, and dump his fiancee when she's preparing to walk down the aisle. Like I said, I love George; I just don't love being told he's perfect (for Zoe and in general).

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A--My problem with George is that he's so perfect he's boring. Maybe the writers have done this on purpose. Maybe George has been built up as town golden boy because he's going to suffer a bad breakdown. Zoe will choose Wade, Lemon will move on, and George will hit rock bottom. He will no longer get whatever he wants, and he'll start breaking down. Zoe will of course want to be there for George as a friend, Wade with the chip on is shoulder will get jealous and mad, and they'll have a big fight. After the fight and fallout, I could see George dying a hero's "good die young" sort of death saving Zoe or Wade's life somehow. If any of the main characters need to die, that scenario makes a lot more sense than killing off Lemon.

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Also:
1. I really don't understand why people have a problem with George
2. Season 2 should be shown in England - NOW, or at least put on the internet. When will it show in America?

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I love both George and Wade and would feel really really sorry for the one who doesn't get Zoe, George because he cancelled his wedding for her and broke off a really long relationship, and Wade because he would feel betrayed and a substitute for George. I think both George and Wade are hot with great personalities that can't be said to be one better than the other because they have different good qualities. If I was Zoe I would find it an impossible situation and would have no idea what to do because also she can't base her decision on using a promise as an excuse, because she told George she would wait for her, but she has just kinda made a promise with Wade by having sex with him.

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*Tongue IN cheek lol...Another thing I'd like to see them develop is Wade's relationship with Crazy Earl. Discovering all those money jars in the yard upon his dad's death will be an emotional scene for Wade. Hello Wade's Bar. Buried money jars-- the most authentic Southern imagery of the whole season. My grandfather did that. There are so many other authentic touches that'd drive/enhance the emotion of the show, & That's one thing I hope they'll work on for S2.

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T-- I totally agree with you. I don't think Lemon should be killed off. She's a purposeful character and I too think they'll begin to tone her down now that they've established her role. I thought they did a good job establishing the roots of the Lemon character. Every show needs a character that adds conflict. HoD would not be the same without Lemon. I know that it's tongue and cheek and fictional, but my point was that I think they could convey the prim and proper over-the-top Southern belle more authentically. I know PLENTY of women who act like Lemon-could do without the hats and accent to show that.