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Review: Sweet Magnolias is a Guilty Pleasure Drama

May 19, 2020
4 min read
Sweet Magnolias Season 2

One of the great things about Netflix is that it provides an extensive variety of shows. If it scares you with the true stories of serial killers and psychopaths, it also helps you calm down with the legion of feel-good shows at its disposal. It seems to channel the spirit of all television networks all at once. In ‘Sweet Magnolias’, it keeps up with the trend of delivering Hallmark-type stories.

Based on the book series by Sherryl Woods, the show is set in a South Carolina town named Serenity. The residents are all upstanding citizens, dedicated to making things better for their town, but getting entangled in the drama that springs from their rather simpler lives. This is what makes ‘Sweet Magnolias’ an effortless watch, especially because we are not living in simpler times. But if you are hooked on the stories that challenge you, you will not be able to appreciate its homeliness.

Sweet Magnolias Season 1 Recap

Maddie Townsend’s life is upended after Bill, her husband, decides to leave her after having an affair with Noreen, who is now pregnant. The divorce weighs heavily on her and her three kids- Tyler, Kyle, and Katie. She finds support in her best friends, Helen and Dana Sue. Helen is a talented lawyer and a career-driven woman. However, after spending all these years in singlehood, she starts wondering if the time has come for her to have a family, with or without a man. Dana Sue is the owner of Sullivan’s restaurant and aims for perfection, but this also leads to her daughter, Annie, feeling neglected.

Over the years, the three women had wished about owning a business together, and the opportunity knocks at their door when Helen purchases a property and offers her friends to turn it into a spa. While they figure out the chaos in their lives, we also see the struggles of their teenage children. Tyler is facing problems with his form in baseball after the divorce of his parents. Dana Sue’s daughter, Annie is in love with Tyler, and Kyle is in love with her. It all gets more complicated when Maddie gets attracted to Tyler’s coach, Cal Maddox.

Sweet Magnolias Season 1 Review

‘Sweet Magnolias’ is an average show. It is so ordinary that it could have easily crossed over to being too mundane to watch, but luckily, it doesn’t. Not to spoil anything, but the plot is pretty straight-forward and predictable. It doesn’t have any risk associated with it, neither any thrill nor excitement. It is borderline cheesy and is everything that you have already seen before.

If you want something more from the TV shows that you are dedicating your time to, then this Netflix series is probably not for you. It is definitely not for you if you are into darker things, or expect the taste of grim reality in your family dramas. ‘Sweet Magnolias’ is the kind of show that exists in the bubble of a small town, its beautiful people, and their everyday problems. The most scandalous thing to happen in the town is an affair, and the only teenage problem you’ll find here is complicated love triangles. To its credit, the show refrains from establishing a particular character as a villain. Everyone has their struggles, and the conflict of interest doesn’t necessarily make the other party the bad guy.

Because everyone is good in the town of Serenity, it seems so picture-perfect that, at times, it might even feel irritating, earning your scoffs, every now and then. But all of this is what also makes it suitable for comfort-binging. Its rom-com-ish nature, inviting colors, and warm friendships will make you all soft inside, providing a good distraction from the catastrophe that the world is going through right now.

What makes it better is that the show never tries to reach beyond its boundaries. It knows that its purpose is to make you feel good. It is aware of its bubble, and instead of popping out of it, it welcomes you inside its rainbow tainted reality. This is the kind of show that you will either drop within the first 15 minutes or will binge until the season is done with. There is no middle ground here.

Rating: 2.5/5

Read More: Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias Filming Locations

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