CAU: Like, an entire bottle of rosé.
OMG, homies. I have just binge-watched ALL of Hart of Dixie and it’s the sheeze. (Auto-correct just tried to say ‘sneeze’.) (Furthermore, I feel like maybe you respect me less for that first line, but frankly my darlings, I don’t give a damn.)
Okay, I’m willing to admit that this isn’t Faulkner’s deep south, but this is the glorious cotton candy romantic comedy storytelling that our lives have been missing. Seriously, has your heart not been pining for a decent romantic comedy on the big or small screen? Well, here it is, living inside your Netflix. (If you don’t have Netflix, it’s literally the best nine dollars you’ll spend a month. Get with the fornicating program!)
Where was I? Yeah, romantic comedies. Have you noticed that they’ve died? There was a time in the 90’s and 2000’s that there were wonderful three-act predictable rom-coms that played right into our completely unrealistic ideas of what love could (or in our deluded minds should) be. We all knew that it was bullshit, but it was fun to dream for a while. We got to buy into the tropes of the quirky or neurotic girl who inexplicably drew the attention of the unassuming good boy, or better yet, the bad-boy with a heart of gold, through a cooky series of obstacles and happenstance that eventually brings them together.
It’s escapism, people. And it’s awesome!
I know, there are a thousand really poignant and thought-provoking shows available to my premium cable having ass, but with a tip of my hat to brilliant screenwriting, evocative cinematography, and thoughtful show-running, I sometimes wants me some candy–I want a show that plays out like a Taylor Swift song. And that’s ‘Hart of Dixie.’
It’s a traditional love triangle, and doesn’t pretend to be anything else (until it tries, in season three, to become a kind-of love-square). There are inexplicable musical numbers, unnecessary but appreciated bare man-abs, loves ridiculously unrequited due to repeated “bad timing”, and happy endings so outlandish that Jane Austen would blush.
Hate me for loving it. I. Don’t. Care.
If you watch Hart of Dixie and don’t, in turn, root for George Tucker and Wade Kinsella, then you’re an insane cynic and I weep for your poor unromantic soul. There’s even a great moment in the third season (episode 5) when the show goes fully meta and Joel (the guy any rational woman actually marries, however in this context, none of us root for) addressees that he’s the second-act obstacle to the Zorge (Zoe/George) storyline, but Wade mega-meta corrects to say that obviously he’s the real hero of this story. Which Zoe dismisses, but of course, he actually is. It’s like the writers winked at us all and said, “Yeah, we know what you want Baby. We got your back.”
CAU: I’m on to Scotch.
I’m just saying that I’m a total feminist and enjoy being respected as an equal (thank you, ‘9 to 5’) but dammit, can’t a gal dream, burn, pine, perish–if only for the time spent in front of the glowing dream machine of my living room tv? I miss you Bridget Jones, Someone Like You, Sweet Home Alabama, The Mindy Project (yes, Hulu but c’mon, really? Hulu? I can’t deal with another streaming service). Really the only remaining bastion of rom-com is New Girl. (Bless your splendid soul.)
That’s where Hart of Dixie blazes in our hearts until and beyond the time when Netflix condescendingly asks, “Are you still watching Hart of Dixie?” Yes, Netfilx, you jerk. I’ve been watching Hart of Dixie for three hours and I still want to watch another episode of ridiculousness, because after the actual hours of my real life I want more fantasy. Bite me.
I want more beautiful people trying to get together. And yes, when I run out of the episodes included on Netflix I will pay 20 bucks to stream season four on Amazon Instant Video because, though I know what’s gonna happen, knowing and seeing are different things.
And yes, I do want to see it culminate in a ridiculous musical number that conveniently dots the i’s and crosses the t’s, because we need that like we need frickin’ cat videos or clips of puppies learning to descend stairs…set to music. No one knows why, we just need them.
Whatever. My life is pretty well-set and predictable. I married a Joel, because that’s what reasonable people do. I like my romantic drama where in belongs, inside the safe confines of a screen. Because a relationship with real-life Wade would be hell. I know because I dated “Wade,” and that dude is a
dipshit terrible partner. But I like to think that it worked out for someone, sometime in fictitious history. Please, Hollywood, keep giving a thirty-something who has deep-rooted fantasies of Jake Ryan something to cling to.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna Youtube videos of Wilson Bethel (Wade, of ab and bad-boy fame) being interviewed because when you’re done binge-watching, that’s all you’ve got.
Fodder, Out. (I just physically gestured a mic drop.)
Okay…One last thought.
In the sixth episode of season three there’s a crafty little scene when they address the complete and wonderful lack of racism in a show set in a bucolic town in the deep south. It deals with Lavon (who is black) and Anna Beth (who is white) and her father’s apparent disapproval upon the discovery of their relationship. When Anna Beth’s father walks away:
Lavon: Is about what I think it’s about?
Anna Beth: Some people are just so set in their ways in the South. We like to think that we’ve changed but…
Anna Beth: We are not in a post-rival America.
See, Lavon is an Alabama Crimson Tide hero and Anna Beth’s parents are die-hard Auburn fans. It turns people’s assumption that it would be about race on its head. I love that the writers basically said, yeah, we get that there is some amazing racial integration going on in this show. Enjoy it. This isn’t the venue for deep discussions of racial inequality. In this world everybody is equal. And also eating pastries by the boxful will not make you fat. It’s basically utopia. Go with it.
P.S. Anna Beth (Kaitlyn Black) is my favorite portrayal of a character on that show. (Say whaaaaaa?!) She was just so unexpected.
P.P.S. Did you notice that they went a little crazy with the spray tan in season four?