Rachel Bilson Thinks Hart of Dixie's Zoe and George Didn't Get Their 'Shot'

Rachel Bilson Thinks Hart of Dixie Zoe and George Deserved a Romance

Scott Porter as George Tucker and Rachel Bilson as Zoe Hart on “Hart of Dixie”
The CW

They may not have been the fan favorite pairing on Hart of Dixie  — but Rachel Bilson agrees that Zoe and George deserved their fair chance at romance.

“I will say they did not really get their shot and it, they were supposed to!” Bilson, 42, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her partnership with 21Seeds. “Wade came and swooped in, and I do feel like they could have had a little bit more time [with Zoe and George]. But it all worked out.”

Bilson starred on The CW dramedy, which ran from 2011 to 2015, for four seasons. The show followed Bilson’s Zoe as she moved from New York City to the small town of Bluebell, Alabama, to work as a family doctor for a year after she’s offered a job by a stranger. When she arrives, she discovers that the man is actually her biological father who has died and left her his half of the practice in his will.

In addition to fighting to keep her father’s half of the practice intact by securing 50 percent of the clients, adjusting to small town life and figuring out her professional future, Zoe also finds herself in a seasons-long love triangle with the town lawyer, George (Scott Porter) and local bartender Wade (Wilson Bethel).

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Hart of Dixie won over audiences with its love triangles, heartwarming friendships and southern charm. Rachel Bilson led the cast of the CW series from September 2011 to March 2015, portraying lovable New York doctor turned Alabama resident Zoe Hart. Wilson Bethel (Wade Kinsella) and Scott Porter (George Tucker) played her love interests, while Cress […]

Although — spoiler alert — George calls off his wedding to Lemon (Jaime King) for Zoe at the end of season 1, she ultimately chooses to hold off on their romance and date Wade, instead. And although Zoe continuously planned to circle back around to George eventually, the twosome actually never dated throughout the show’s run.

When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter in 2011, HOD showrunner Leila Gerstein — who got her big break writing for fellow CW series Gossip Girl — said that she likes to have her “mind changed” when it comes to writing romantic prospects for her characters.

“I like to think, ‘Oh, Zoe and George should really be together,’ this week and next week, ‘Wait a minute, Wade is really special, maybe she should be with Wade. He could help her really loosen up,’” Gerstein said at the time. “I like to change expectations, I think that’s fun for an audience. I, as a viewer, like to go on that ride. I like when people are feeling like ‘no, no, no’ and arguing with each other. Gossip Girl and The O.C. did a great job [with that].”

Rachel Bilson Thinks Hart of Dixie Zoe and George Deserved a Romance

Rachel Bilson as Zoe Hart and Scott Porter as George Tucker on “Hart of Dixie”
The CW

Bilson, of course, also starred on The O.C. as Summer Roberts, where her character found herself caught in multiple love triangles over the years. The most prominent was between longtime love Seth (Adam Brody, her real-life boyfriend at the time) and Zach (Michael Cassidy), in the third season. While Summer ultimately followed her heart to Seth, she told Us that Zoe would probably have done something different: she would have dated “both.”

In fact, Bilson thinks that if the roles were reversed — and Summer got thrown into quaint Bluebell — she, too, would have a hard time choosing between rebel Wade and good guy George. But, why would she need to?

“Looking at how she wound up with Seth, she could really go either way. Because she [dated] both Zach and Seth,” Bilson said. “I mean, it’s a modern time. I feel like that would be acceptable.”

21 Seeds VO_Product_RB_V1 906

While Zoe and George never really got their shot, it might be too soon for a Hart of Dixie reboot to explore what could have been. The O.C., however, is a show fans have been begging to see back on their screens for years. While Bilson understands the desire to head back to Newport, she also thinks it can be “hard to touch something that was so great.”

“You watch it and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, it was, like, a magical time.’ It was an amazing thing and people are still discovering it or rediscovering it,” she told Us. “So it’s like, how do you touch something like that and go back? But then talking to [the cast and crew], being around everybody, it’s like, ‘But we had such a great time together, how cool would it be to be able to do it again?’ So I go back and forth. Do you touch it? Do you leave it?”

Ultimately, Bilson said that if creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage were involved, she’d be “up for anything” — including a revival. For now, fans can get a taste of Summer and The O.C. through Bilson’s 21Seeds partnership, where she, Schwartz and Savage revisit Summer Roberts in 2024 through iconic scenes from back then.

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“I always say I would do anything with Josh and Steph, like if they asked me. So when Josh, you know, approached me with this, I was like, are you kidding? Absolutely,” she gushed. “And the timing of it is so amazing because it is 21 years [since The. O.C. premiered] and it’s 21 seeds. It could not come at [a] better time.”

As for getting back into the iconic role of Summer Roberts — Bilson had no problem slipping back into the juicy tracksuit and heels.

‘What’s so weird is how easy it was,” she quipped. “Like, just to step back into Summer’s shoes, so to speak, it felt really good. It was really fun and it didn’t feel like any time had passed, which is super bizarre.”

With reporting by Sarah Hearon

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