Review: Sweet Magnolias

Brooke Elliott, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, and Heather Headley in Sweet Magnolias

Sweet Magnolias is indeed a sweet series on Netflix. It’s a portrait of a golden world where everyone gets along, everyone goes to church, the teenagers are only mildly rebellious, and friends last forever.

Sweet Magnolias stars three women: Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott), and Helen (Heather Headley). Maddie has 3 kids and is in the middle of a divorce when the series begins. Dana Sue is a chef with her own cafe. Dana Sue has a daughter. Helen is a lawyer. She’s childless but doesn’t want to stay that way.

Brooke Elliott, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, and Heather Headley in Sweet Magnolias

The relationship and chemistry between the three leads is wonderful. It’s beautifully written with just the right touch of teasing and humor. The closeness feels real and lifesaving for them all. They meet weekly for margarita night, but the various problems that come up in the 10 episodes of season 1 bring them together more often.

They buy a landmark home and turn it into a spa. There are subplots with each of their children, as well as other teens from the Serenity High School. That’s right – they live in a town called Serenity. Each of the women are involved with old romances or new romances or romances they are too preoccupied to recognize. The lead women are all straight, but there are two gay men in the series.

The cast is beautifully inclusive. The African American and Anglo citizens of Serenity live together in friendship and harmony. It’s brightly lit, colorful, and set in a tree-filled small town. Not one single character smoked. Now THAT was refreshing.

There are a couple of important cliffhangers at the end of season 1, which leads me to believe there will be a second season of this family-friendly show.

Sweet Magnolias was created by Sheryl J. Anderson, based on novels by Sherryl Woods. Women directors were Laura Nisbet and Kelli Williams.

poster for Sweet Magnolias

Here’s the trailer.

Do you plan to watch this idyllic series?

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