the Buzz for November 27th, 2011


don’t bring me down

posted at 3:23 pm by brandon in terra-trees

“Homecoming?! Adorable! It’s… it’s like Friday Night Lights,
but without all the depressing parts!”

— snooty New York socialite-slash-party-planner Gigi Godfrey (actress Megan Stevenson), half-mocking her best friend Zoe Hart (actress Rachel Bilson, a million billion miles away from The O.C., bitches), on the CW’s improbably charming new dramedy Hart of Dixie, which has really come into its own over the course of its eight aired episodes following a terribly stilted and stuffy pilot. (A has us watching this series religiously every week because it reminds him of his beloved Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, and, indeed, Dixie‘s driving premise isn’t so dissimilar: it swaps out 1860s-era rural Colorado for modern-day rural Alabama as its primary home base, but otherwise, it’s the standard-issue fish-out-of-water story of a young hotshot surgeon from Manhattan who ends up relocating to a backwoods burg in the deep American south to take over her father’s medical practice, and who suffers from instant and extended culture shock from all the quirky eccentrics she runs across on her journey. And in the latest episode, it was homecoming week at the high school in Bluebell, Alabama, hence the quotation referenced above.) When you look at the bright, bubbly Bilson, you don’t immediately conjure the image of a brilliantly sophisticated surgeon, but she is unquestionably an ingratiating actress, and Dixie‘s crackerjack creative team has cannily built around their leading lady a whip-smart supporting cast, which includes former Lifetime-movie king Tim Matheson, oft-shirtless stud Wilson Bethel (an equal million billion miles removed from the intolerable sleaze he recently played on The Young and the Restless), and — wink, wink — Scott Porter and Cress Williams, a pair of Friday Night Lights grads who are showing off enchanting new colors in their latest roles. Dixie is certainly not life-changing television, but it’s full-to-bursting of heart, and it’s a cute and harmless way to spend a measly hour of your week. (It is also a lovely reminder of the glory days of the CW’s immediate progenitor, the WB, which, prior to its ghastly makeover five years ago, once stacked its schedule liberally with appealing series in this exact vein. Oh, how we should all long for those days to return.)