'Hart of Dixie' signals a welcome return to form for the nostalgic WB crowd; set in the fictional town of Bluebell, Alabama, it tells the story of Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson), a big-city doctor who inherits half of a medical practice in the close-knit town and must learn to embrace the human side of medicine, all while resisting her attraction to the sadly engaged George Tucker (Scott Porter), the town's golden boy.
Jaime King plays Lemon Breeland, George's fiancée and Zoe's natural Southern nemesis, and AOL TV caught up with the effervescent actress (who also happens to be a blogger for our sister site The Huffington Post) to preview the upcoming episodes. Read on for King's thoughts on Zoe and Lemon's rivalry, the juicy secrets her character is hiding, and, most refreshingly, her candid thoughts on the shallow nature of Hollywood, and how the pressure to be perfect helps her relate to Lemon.
While we're at it, here's another thing to know about the new series: Just because Rachel Bilson is working with 'The O.C.' creator Josh Schwartz again doesn't mean her new character, Zoe Hart, will be anything like Summer Roberts.
" Summer was definitely her own entity," she told AOL TV, nixing the idea that the two characters might be similar. Of course, they are played by the same actress, so it could feel a little familiar. "You know, you're yourself, so some of her mannerisms might match up."
She did steer clear of one thing when crafting her new onscreen persona, Zoe, a New York City doctor who inherits a medical practice in a small Alabama town. "I tried to stay away from the 'ew,' that was sort of Summer's trademark. I decided to do it with a different inflection on the word."
These quotes are meant to illuminate the characters' inner lives; they say stuff like, "Dumping you was the worst mistake I ever made," or "When I'm with him, I'm thinking of you," or "I'm done paying for your mistakes." It's all very intriguing; or at least, intriguing-ish.
But now, the actual series pilot is upon us, and it's time to see if it lives up to the pre-show hype. Who are these pretty young people? What is 'My Generation' (Thu., 8PM ET on ABC) actually all about?
[Warning: Spoiler alert.]
The cast told us that recreating high school life as adults wasn't as easy as it might look. King and Brooks, in particular, found cheerleading and playing full court basketball as if they were still energetic teens particularly exhausting. But reenacting school isn't all work: Everyone had good things to report about shooting the faux prom.
More casting news after the jump.
The sketch was co-written by King and Taryn Southern and is sponsored by Her Energy in support of breast cancer research. The entire six-part series is called "Tit for Tat." Let's hear it for amusing double-entendres.
Still, it's for a good cause and stars a plethora of television personalities (including the ever-cute Ms. Hannigan whom I've adored since her days on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), so it's worth a look even if you're just a perv who likes watching female celebrities grope each other. Video is after the jump.
And when I mention "talent," I don't mean series creator Ed Yeager, who helped foist Still Standing on the American public for four years. I'm talking about stars Jay Mohr, Paula Marshall, Ed Begley Jr., and Jaime King, as well as esteemed sitcom director James Burrows. They're talented people stuck in a show that contains the same wacky plots and "setup-joke" rhythm that has led many to think the multi-camera sitcom is as dead as disco.
Jay Mohr moonlights away from his regular gig on Ghost Whisperer to star as Gary Brooks in this traditional sitcom. CBS has paired Gary Unmarried with The New Adventures of Old Christine, which creates an interesting dynamic. First, you have Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a divorced woman trying to live her own life while dealing with her ex and their kid. Then you get Jay Mohr as a recently divorced man trying to live his own life while dealing with his ex and their kids.
In fact, this seems to be almost the same show, only from the ex-husband's point of view rather than the ex-wife's point of view. Husband is a bit more lax with the kids while mom is overbearing and a bit crazy. I do like that in this variation, the kids have more distinct and important personalities. In fact, Gary (premiering tonight at 8:30 PM ET) has a much wider cast altogether. Both spouses have new relationships and Gary's girlfriend has a kid of her own.
... and I think it's a terrible idea. I have a small fascination with the titles of TV shows. They are never the total cause of a show's failure, but I do believe they can play a part. That's why my ears perked up this weekend when CBS ran a spot for Project Gary. At least, it looked like a spot for Project Gary, but my TV was now telling me it was for Gary Unmarried. What the heck is that?
It gave me a bit of deja vu. Suddenly I flashed back to September 2006 when I wrote a post about bad show titles, prompted by the name change of Let's Rob Mick Jagger. As you'll recall, that one became The Knights Of Prosperity, and things didn't work out so well. Not all name changes are bad. The CW changing Surviving The Filthy Rich to Privileged actually sounds like a good idea, but Gary Unmarried, no. I don't think the new name is going to sink them, but when combined with the fact that they didn't land in the safe harbor of the Monday night comedy block, I'm starting to get nervous for Gary.
I suppose most people would lead with the fact that Jay Mohr has signed on to Ed Yeager's untitled comedy pilot for CBS. After all, Jay does have that regular gig on Ghost Whisperer. In a nutshell, Mohr and Paula Marshall play a couple that has recently divorced, after fifteen years of marriage. The funny is scheduled to arrive as we watch Mohr's character try to juggle his ex-wife, their two kids, and his new girlfriend, played by Jaime King.
That's all well and good. For me though, the far more interesting bit is Paula Marshall's involvement. I find her career fascinating. She's been on a bunch of great shows. The Wonder Years, Seinfeld, Nash Bridges (don't laugh, Nash was very successful), Spin City, Sports Night, Just Shoot Me, Nip/Tuck, and Veronica Mars, to name a few. Yet, for whatever reason, whenever she gets a starring gig, it all seems to go to hell. See Cupid, Snoops, Hidden Hills, and Out Of Practice. I don't get it. I like everything she's ever done, but it just doesn't work. So, I don't have high hopes for this production. However, it does offer a thought. It's quite possible that Paula was all set to star in a great new show for Tim Minear. Unfortunately, the sheer power of their combined abilities to kill shows sent the series itself back in time, canceling itself before the idea even came to be.
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