You Gotta Have Hart: Why Ringer Has Me Whistling Dixie


The CW’s Hart of Dixie is not jaw-droppingly brilliant TV, and it’s not some seminal literary work about the American South. It’s not Faulkner, it’s not Flannery O’Connor. It’s not Tennessee Williams. Heck, it’s not even Alexandra Ripley’s sanctioned Gone With The Wind fan fiction, Scarlett. There are more corny stereotypes than you can shake a stick at, and Jaime King‘s unfortunately (but accurately) named Lemon frequently looks like she wandered off the cover of a Civil War-era romance novel. But for all the elements it’s weak in, HoD has oodles of (to indulge the cliché) heart. And that’s something sorely lacking in the other new CW show I’ve been sucked into watching, Ringer.

Though both HoD and Ringer are shot in LA instead of their respective small town Alabama and New York City settings, the two series couldn’t be more different in tone. Maybe it’s the residual vibe from the Gilmore Girls‘ Star’s Hollow set that HoD is using, but there’s a warmth in every frame. Contrast that to the cold, distancing, almost alien mise-en-scene of Ringer. And both shows boast fantastic, talented, casts… but the characters are on different planets.

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