George wins Bluebell’s Man of the Year

Hart of Dixie Season 1, Episode 16 (“Tributes & Triangles”)
Scott Porter, Hart of Dixie

“It’s not that he’s emotionally unavailable that makes you love George Tucker, it’s the fact that he’s George Tucker”. George Tucker is probably the most liked person in town and so far in the show he has been mostly perfect. It has been difficult to find fault with him. He is kind, generous, always willing to help out the town, never thinks of himself, smart, attractive, and just an all around stand-up guy. Unfortunately this makes him probably the least interesting character on the show, despite being the guy that the main character is in love with. He has connections to all of the other characters on the show as well and this episode really examines each of their relationships with him. In this episode, George wins Bluebell’s Man of the Year (MOTY) and it is apparently a very big deal. His father is so proud that he comes to town to attend all of the festivities surrounding the MOTY. Lavon is forced to throw a party in his honor which Zoe has to end up saving because of Lavon’s jealousies about him and Lemon. And in doing so, Zoe makes it very clear to the entire town that she is in love with George. Wade is supposed to write a song for George but is unable to go through with performing it because of his own insecurities surrounding George.

Lemon is very suspicious of George’s dad’s intentions when he comes to town, considering that the last time he was there, he and his wife tried to manipulate George and Lemon into moving to Montgomery. George is hopeful that he wants to change, but Lemon is not convinced. When a reporter comes, George believes the worst in his dad – that he just wants to honor George because it will look good for his brother who is running for State Senate. George gets into a fight with his dad over it and during that fight his dad has a heart attack. Later George unfairly blames Lemon for it because she was the one that was so negative about his father. Especially when he finds out that the reporter wasn’t writing about his brother at all, George feels guilty and further blames Lemon. This to me is the first instance where George was fully in the wrong, and it felt like an excuse to push George towards Zoe. Given all the past behavior with George’s parents it is perfectly reasonable to think that he had other motives. Lemon was trying to protect George and keep him from continuing in a cycle with his father that was harmful to him. She didn’t want to be right about it, she was just being careful. Also shouting at people does not cause them to have heart attacks if they weren’t already pre-disposed to having them so George cannot say Lemon caused his dad to have a heart attack.

Everyone in town is helping with the tribute to the MOTY, including Wade who is supposed to write and perform a song for him. Though he and George have been friends a long time, George is always a bit of a sore spot for Wade. He feels inferior to him and he is bitter that everyone sees George as the “Golden Boy” who can do no wrong, and they see him as a failure. People hope their children will end up with guys like George, not like Wade. His insecurities about George lead him to essentially bail on the song, living up to what people think about him. He is especially upset when he hears about how Zoe gushed about George at the MOTY ceremony. George however has been given a lot of advantages in life that Wade hasn’t had. George was born to a well-off family, he has parents who funded his education and pushed him to be ambitious. Wade’s father is poor and an alcoholic who can’t hold a job. Going to college was likely never really an option for Wade, or something that he was pushed to work towards. This doesn’t excuse his immaturity, and he does realize that he hasn’t exactly given people reason to believe in him, but I also don’t think it is fair to compare them. Wade needs to find his own version of success and his place in Bluebell.

This show is never very heavy on plot, but as we move towards the end of the season there is definitely some plot momentum picking up. The big secret of the season has been Lavon and Lemon’s affair and now that Zoe knows (and Lemon knows she knows) it feels like only a matter of time before it comes out. Will Lemon finally come clean or will George find out from someone else? George and Lemon’s relationship is also strained in this episode because of his father and it feels like George was looking for a reason to push Lemon away. Their relationship is mostly built on the past and the only way to move forward for either of this characters to be interesting is if they are not together.

Episode Grade: B+

Other Thoughts:

  • Magnolia’s little crush on Wade shows how different she is from Lemon. Lemon will always be interested in the Georges of the world because they are who you are supposed to be. Magnolia is a little rebel who wants people to be shocked with her choices.
  • Magnolia tells Wade he is the “coolest guy on the entire Eastern Shore”
  • Shelley: “You do realize you just made a date with a 14-year-old?”
  • Zoe contemplates changing her last name to Wilkes since her relationship with her father is garbage.
  • Lemon: “I’m sure you can find the liquor, when it comes to alcohol, you are like a truffle pig”
  • Lavon: “George is a man”
  • How did Lavon never realize that Zoe had a thing for George?
  • During the Belle’s song at the MOTY tribute, Lemon’s voice didn’t sound like her at all. Don’t know if it was Jaime King’s actual voice and she couldn’t sing and put on the accent at the same time or if they used someone else’s voice.
  • Zoe called her dad to do the surgery for George’s dad so an awkward reunion is surely ahead!

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