Title: Hart of Dixie (Seasons #1-4)
Released: 2011

Fix: Quirky Small Town Antics, Compelling Love Triangles, Rachel Bilson, Women Telling Women’s Stories, Escape From The Dumpster Fire News Cycle
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

Fast-talking city girl Zoe Hart winds up patching up the locals of a tiny town in the Deep South when she inherits a medical practice in Alabama.

FYA Summary:

Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the executive producers of previous FYA Rewatch Project The O.C., took the best part of that show (Rachel Bilson, duh) and transformed her into the brilliant doctor we all knew she had the potential to be, with showrunner and creator Leila Gerstein writing one of the cutest damn shows this cute-loving couch potato has ever seen. Dr. Hart leaves her whirlwind life in Manhattan to run a practice in the quirky small-town apex of Bluebell, Alabama, and antics, as you might predict, ensue. As does friendship! And romance! But man oh man, especially the antics. 

Familiar Faces: 

Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart

As previously discussed, The O.C.‘s secret weapon gets the leading lady treatment and she’s a marvel in the role: funny, flawed, persnickety, willing to learn and grow and become a much better person by the series finale. She wears a lot of Cocktail Shorts. It’s a Thing.

Cress Williams as Lavon Hayes

Williams played Wallace’s dad on another Rewatch Project (Veronica Mars!), but here he’s Hart of Dixie‘s MVP as cuddly, principled, former NFL-star-turned-mayor Lavon Hayes. Being an all-timer bestie must run in the Fennel family, because Lavon and Zoe are major BFF goals. 

Jaime King as Lemon Breeland

First positioned as the prim and proper Southern lady foil to Zoe’s rough-edged New Yorker, Lemon turns into so much more: a badass, nuanced and at times totally bizarre character played to perfection by former supermodel King.

Scott Porter as George Tucker

FNL‘s Porter plays one point of Hart of Dixie‘s primary love triangle, a dreamy Southern lawyer with a heart of gold. But the best part of Hart of Dixie is that after Season 1, it lightens up on all the typical love triangle stuff and just starts to focus on the wonderful and unconventional friendships that make up Bluebell’s citizenship – and that includes George, who turns out to be a real goofball under all the dreaminess.

Wilson Bethel as Wade Kinsella

Bethel isn’t quite as FYA-friendly as these other names (although he’s had big roles on shows like Daredevil and The Astronaut Wives Club), but damn, he should be. He’s the third point in Hart of Dixie‘s main triangle, and he lives in next-level swoon territory. He starts out as very much a small-town bad boy, and like every character on this show, grows into something much more interesting and complicated. (Less important but still important: boyfriend has abs for days.)

Kaitlyn Black as AnnaBeth Nass

It takes AnnaBeth a little time to join the show’s A-team of characters, but once she does, it makes you wonder how we ever lived without her. She’s dry and hilarious and unafraid to be emotional, making her a lovely balance to the varying shades of steely-toughness radiating from Zoe and Lemon. Black hasn’t been in much! And that’s a real shame, because she rules. 

Tim Matheson as Dr. Brick Breeland

Matheson’s been making TV for nearly 60 years, but he’s probably best known for his role as Vice President John Hoynes on The West Wing. But he SHOULD be best known as Brick Breeland, Lemon’s dad and Zoe’s partner and sometimes competitor at her practice. Continuing the trend, he starts out as a bit of a two-dimensional jerk who, by the end, will make you cry in pretty much every episode because his heart is so big. 

Warner Bros’ Small-Town Set as Bluebell, Alabama

Your eyes do not deceive you: that IS the gazebo from Gilmore Girls and Pretty Little Liars! Bluebell is every bit as idyllic and charming as Stars Hollow, and though lacking in the intrigue of Rosewood, it boasts just as much picturesque scenery. They’ve got your townie gossip, your ridiculous traditions, your town-wide celebrations. I want to live there and, as a person who fled a small Southern town the moment I turned 18, I’ve never said that about a small Southern town before.

Couch-Sharing Capability: One Is The Loveliest Number

Sure, you could share this with a pal and love it together, but Hart of Dixie feels like prime binge-by-yourself material. It’s cozy and warm like your favorite old PJs, and is exactly the kind of show you’re going to want to stay up late watching without anyone else’s schedule to impede you.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: White Wine Tipsy

Zoe LOVES her some white wine, and you know we love themed drinking here at FYA. (Full disclosure: I did my first Hart of Dixie binge quite sober on an exercise bike, which is also a valid choice.)

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: What The World Needs Now

Hart of Dixie improved my anxiety better than actual meds or therapy. It’s remarkably conflict-free but manages to stay interesting in spite of that. While the comedy often goes to absurd places, the drama never does – it remains grounded in real feelings and humanity. Everyone on this show is a good person who makes mistakes but learns from those mistakes in believable and emotionally compelling ways. Sure, Bluebell is an unrealistic dream world, but that also makes it the perfect place to escape to when the real world gets disappointing.

Meredith Borders is formerly the Texas-based editor of Fangoria and Birth.Movies.Death., now living and writing (and reading) in Germany. She’s been known to pop by Forever Young Adult since its inception, and she loves YA TV most ardently.