Today’s cuppa: Irish breakfast tea
The CW’s Monday-night comedy-drama “Hart of Dixie” may be a sweet and charming show, not without an edge but largely devoid of violence, blatant sexuality and profanity, but when star Wilson Bethel set out to do a promotional rap video for it, he pulled no punches in terms of language.
And that was just fine with Rachel Bilson, who spoofed her character — a Manhattan doctor who winds up practicing medicine in the small town of Bluebell, Ala. — in “Call Me Doctor” (embedded below).
“I don’t mind,” she says, during a break in filming on the outdoor set for the Rammer Jammer bar on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. “I’ll do anything for comedy. It’s my favorite thing, so I don’t have a problem with that. They had this idea to do all these promos, and I thought it was funny.
“It’s taking off of ‘8 Mile,’ where he calls himself out, and he wins the rap-off, so to speak. I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’ll do it.’ It’s funny, and you have to make fun of yourself. I don’t take myself too seriously. It was a lot of fun. I grew up on hip-hop, so it was like going back to being a kid in junior high school and high school and stuff like that.”
One reason Bethel decided to do the video is because of complaints from TV critics that the petite, young Bilson wasn’t believable as a physician and aspiring surgeon. (HCTV: Begging to differ, having personally laid eyes on two surgical residents at L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center who were close to the age, size and general attractiveness of Bilson, one wearing heels about as high.) Therefore, he decided to toss in a reference to a certain late ’80s-’90s sitcom starring Neil Patrick Harris as a teenage doctor.
“The first line I knew had to be in the rap,” says Bethel during another break on the same shooting day, “was the ‘Doogie Howser’ bit. You can buy an 11-year-old surgeon, but you can’t buy Rachel as one. So, knowing that it was going to be a punchline to a verse, I built it out from there.”
Bilson also offers up a real-world example to refute the critics, saying, “My uncle and cousin are family-practice doctors in Tennessee, so I relate. And my cousin, she’s beautiful. She doesn’t look like a doctor. What does a doctor look like? They’re people. Everyone’s different. My cousin’s a doctor, and she’s really pretty. Put that out there. You do what you do, and you rap about it.”
Bethel hopes “Call Me Doctor” is the start of something big.
“The whole project,” he says, “was just super fun and a great way to stay creative, do stuff that I love, which is music, which is writing, and also do something positive for the show, for the cast. We had a great time shooting it. We got to do something fun together, producing what I think is a pretty high-quality product that a lot of people are responding to.
“I’m pretty ambitious that we’ll be doing more, not necessarily music videos, but more cool alternative online content — definitely looking for edgy stuff.”
(Incidentally, “Hart of Dixie” star Scott Porter has another dream entirely for the show, and this one includes Denver Broncos star Tim Tebow. He told me all about it, so click here for that. Tebow, as it turns out, might have some political, rather an acting, ambitions. See what I saw when I watched his Golf Channel appearance on Saturday night — repeats tonight — click here for that.)
(WARNING: VERY strong language):