Tag Archives: TV show

New TV Series “Hart of Dixie” Review

24 Sep

I had the opportunity to screen the CW’s “Hart of Dixie” series in
advance. The hourlong dramedy, which premieres on Monday, September
26th, stars the lovely Rachel Bilson as Dr. Zoe Hart and is set in
Blue Bell, Alabama.

Bilson thrives as a chic yet gritty NYC-bred wannabe cardiothroacic
surgeon turned small-town general practitioner. Yes, she’s a bit
bratty and a bit blase about the (stereotypical) Southern town.
However, there’s something lovable underneath the tough-girl exterior.

The premise is this:  Dr. Hart lost both her boyfriend and her chance
at a cardio fellowship in New York due to her lack of compassion, her
poor bedside manner, and, her generally just not being
feelings-oriented. She is forced to make a decision and moves to Blue
Bell due to the urging of a kindly older doctor. Once she arrives in
the small town, she makes a few friends, a few enemies, a few
mistakes, and learns a couple of surprising secrets. She also does
some good, and begins to grow into the kind of doctor that she was
born to be.

In her quest to learn “to see patients as people to help and not
problems to solve,” she has her Christina Yang-esque moments like when
she snippily wonders “why everyone is so obsessed with bedside manner”
and as she snobbishly demands office staff to find her a soy latte.
But underneath that facade is a girl just wanting to be loved by her
uncaring parents… and a girl who is also feeling lost and alone. She
is essentially an outsider wondering how she will ever fit into this
tightknit community that seems so backwards to her.

Yes, it is a show that seems rife with Southern stereotypes. The pilot
episode contained a Dukes of Hazzard horn, references to the Crimson
Tide, women dolled up in Gone With the Wind era garb, a girl named
Lemon, an alligator, country music, gossipy old women, and mud, muck,
and pickup trucks. That being said, it also contained laughs, tears,
and drama.

The CW stays true to form in having a mostly absurdly attractive cast
from the hunky smalltown lawyer, the suave ex-NFL star mayor and the
annoying-but-charming boy-next-door, to the perky and pretty Lemon,
and the stunning, stylish Dr. Zoe Hart herself as a brunette beauty
with a killer sense of style. But, the show also has some real people
with real problems and, I expect, will cultivate itself a real
following.

I know that I will be tuning in again.

The Hart of Dixie premieres Monday, September 26th, on The CW at 9/8c.
Check your local listings — and after you watch, feel free to leave a
comment and let me know if you agree with my critique!

~~ Ashley Boynes-Shuck

Review: Romantically Challenged ~ A “Pittsburgh” Based Sitcom? The Red Foam Finger Stuck Out Like a Sore Thumb!

1 May

Romantically Challenged (Alyssa Milano’s new ABC sitcom, “set in Pittsburgh”) is … cute. Mildly cute.

However, for being set in Pittsburgh, it doesn’t “feel” very…. “Pittsburgh” to me.

First of all, the city has only been mentioned once (that I could count) in two episodes. (Last week, a waiter said he was returning to his previous job with the Pittsburgh Police Department.) That’s fine and all, but, when they show fleeting outdoors shots, it doesn’t “look” like Pittsburgh to me, either.

Why “set” a series in a city if you aren’t going to “play into” that city?

(Additionally, to me, the show is trying too hard to be “Friends”, which, it clearly isn’t. There IS a coffee-shop hangout. There ISN’T the Rachel-Ross-Phoebe-Monica-Chandler-Joey chemistry and humor.)

It’s just … somehow LACKING to me. I feel like that if the show could really bring some LIFE and some CHARACTER into it, really SHOW people what Pittsburgh IS, then it may have a chance at being a success. (Since it IS ‘based’ in Pittsburgh, and all….supposedly.)

To me, it just doesn’t seem to have the right type of humor, the right type of camaraderie, the right type of characters. Something seems a little off.

The coffee shop is not “hometown” enough. The taxis throw me off. The red foam finger in the last episode was all wrong. What Pittsburgh team is RED? Why would someone living in Pittsburgh have a RED foam finger? Grr.

The whole thing just reeks of L.A people.-displaced-in-NY-pretending-to-be-in-Pittsburgh.

The show has a chance…maybe. Alyssa Milano is ADORABLE. But, ehh….I dunno. Mediocre at best?

Maybe they should cast some REAL Pittsburghers in it and show ’em how it’s DONE in Da’ Burgh!!!!! 🙂

Thoughts?

What IS the Price of Beauty?

20 Apr

Have any of you seen the show “Price of Beauty” with Jessica Simpson?

I must say that I really enjoy it.

I always love learning about the everyday social norms of other cultures, and it is really interesting to see what other cultures traditionally consider beautiful. I’m always open-minded and try not to judge, and I am fully aware that I shouldn’t base my concepts of what is beautiful on a magazine cover.

However, being a young woman in the United States, it is very difficult not to do so.

It is refreshing to journey to other countries with Jessica Simpson and company, and to see other cultures’ perceptions of what is beautiful vs. what is not – both inside and out, and to explore both current and historical beauty regimens.

In one country in Africa, the bigger you are, the more beautiful you are. “Fat” is not a derogatory word. “Skinny” women are frowned upon. In Japan, the eyes that many consider beautiful and exotic are a burden for some of the women there, who have cosmetic surgery to have their eyes made to appear more rounded and bigger, like a “doll.” Also in Japan, there are two very different cultures of women: the Harajuku girls who are very modern and whimsical in their clothing choices, and then also the very ultra-traditional Geisha, and everything in-between. In a Middle-Eastern country, Jessica gets scolded for showing too much leg, as the woman doing the scolding was showing quite a bit of cleavage. But who are we to judge? To each his (or her) own.

One common theme throughout the show is not about the rituals (some of which are crazy – fish that eat fungi off of your feet, laying buried in sand for 2 hours, mud baths, grape jacuzzis, and more) – but a theme of finding inner peace, loving yourself, and thus, radiating beautiful from the inside out.

The concept of this show could become cliche and contrived. However, as corny as it gets at times, Jessica and her friends give it the perfect dose of comedy and humor mixed with an honest vulnerability and a true desire to learn what, exactly, true beauty really is.

I love it, and I think that Jessica has become stronger because of it. Let’s face it – the girl has been a target of tabloids and “fans” alike. I think she’s great and I applaud her! (read my recent blog about Jessica’s recent “no-makeup” Marie Claire shoot, here.)