Sunday, December 11, 2011

CRUSHWORTHY: Wilson Bethel from "Hart of Dixie"

This year has blessed us with some seriously crushworthy guys. So to countdown the 25 days until Christmas, each day I'll put a spotlight on one actor we wish we could catch under the mistletoe. In this case, Santa rewards the naughty and nice.
{DAY 11} 
The Southern Comfort // Wilson Bethel
Let me just start by saying, I only watch "Hart of Dixie" for two reasons: to see whether Dr. Zoe Hart will choose Wade (Bethel) or George, and to kill time. The series is barely watchable. Too many of its plot lines seem like condescending, close-minded perceptions of how both people from the country and the city think and behave. Almost all of the characters are walking stereotypes and I'm not quite sure how a campaign to take it off the air hasn't been started yet by offended Southerners. Nonetheless, there's at least one bright star in this blackhole of talent, and that's Bethel.

When the series first began, he was a shirtless Country boy who was overly confident and inconsiderate. Everything about him said trouble, and the only reason viewers would root for him to win Zoe's heart is because of every woman's dormant desire to be swept away by a Bad Boy. The thing is though, once a girl gets a Bad Boy, they always want to mold him into "a better person." Wade, however, started changing just to get Zoe's attention. He went from a cocky playboy to a tongue-tied sweetheart, turning himself into a man she can love.

When an actor has such a transforming arc, it can sometimes be difficult for viewers to accept the transformation, given how believable they were as their original incarnation. But Bethel managed to make the transition seamless, almost like a rowdy redneck switch he turns off just to play a normal likable guy. Just what the doctor ordered. (Yup, I had to.)

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