Midseason report card: Has ‘Hart of Dixie’ season 3 done enough with Scott Porter, Jaime King?

Zoe and George -For our third edition of our Midseason Report Card series, we’re looking at a show that we have long coined to be a slice of fun in the primetime lineup: “Hart of Dixie.” While it’s technically an hour-long “drama,” we’ve always viewed it more as a romantic comedy, and something very different in tone and style than anything else playing on TV. There are some great characters, moments of laughter, and moments that could make you somewhat emotional.

But for season 3, our feeling so far about it is mostly mixed in the same way that it is for most of the internet. There are some aspects of it that are entertaining, from the relationship between Lavon and AnnaBeth to the arrival of Joel. We personally felt going into the season like anything that could keep Zoe and Wade apart would be a mistake, but we genuinely like the guy. He brings a little more New York energy to the cast, and gives BlueBell another perspective. Plus, Wade’s still had plenty to do even while “pursuing” the good doctor in a different way.

The shining stars? – The biggest one so far is probably the move to promote Kaitlyn Black to series regular, and fleshing out AnnaBeth’s relationship with Lavon a little more. This story realizes some of what this show is about, just like watching Joel and Zoe try to fit into this traditional Alabama community.

As for the Zoe / Wade dynamic, that’s where we are torn. In some ways, we have found their adventures to be fun; but, at the same time, we have a hard time making the logical leap that Wade would want to really spend a lot of time with a guy who is dating his ex. What is the logic in there, save for maybe trying to accentuate how he is better than him? It’s weird that Joel would want to be pals with him, and vice-versa.

What needs work – You could put the Wade / Joel relationship in here, but like we said, there are parts of it that we enjoy. Our biggest gripe with the season is what they have done with Lemon, one of the best overall characters on the show, and also George. It feels like there could be so much more happening with both of them. Lemon’s story the past few weeks has revolved around a restaurant that she doesn’t even own, and as for George, we have a hard time still getting behind Lynly as a character. It feels like her major purpose is just for Scott Porter’s character to confront some of the awkwardness present between him and Lavon, and we want to see George have a more concrete path in the second half of this season. Jaime King is not going to be in every episode the rest of the season due to maternity leave, but she will still be present enough for another story to build.

Overall – It’s a better season than we felt it was going to be when it first premiered, where we had major anxiety about a new love interest for Zoe making things even more complicated than they already were. It hasn’t been perfect by any means, but episodes like the fall finale “Miracles” show just how great much of the show can be if the stars align. Grade: B-.

If you want to read our other entries in our Midseason Report Card series to see how some of your favorite shows stacked up, be sure to follow the link here.

Photo: The CW

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