If you're tired of action-packed movies and simply want to watch something ‘nice' then Sweet Magnolias is for you. Packed with Southern charm, this 10-episode drama is about three life long friends, from South Carolina, who live in the town of Serenity.
The friends in question are Maddie Townsend, Dana Sue Sullivan and Helen Decatur. Each has her own personal and professional difficulties but all come together to sort their troubles out over a few margaritas.
Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) is in the process of getting divorced from her cheating husband (Chris Klein) who got his new girlfriend pregnant. She is also juggling being unemployed and three children including two teenagers.
Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott) is also separated from her husband, for reasons unknown, and is the owner and head chef of a restaurant called Sullivans. She too has a teenage daughter.
Helen (Heather Headley) is an accomplished lawyer and though single has decided that she wants to have a child before time runs out.
Knicknamed the ‘Sweet Magnolias' since childhood, these three friends decide to embark on a new project. They buy an old house and renovote it, turning it into a spa. Because they simply don't have enough on their plates!
Similar to Firefly Lane, this is very much a drama based on friendship and family. It's cute, filmed beautifully, and is packed with normal day-to-day issues that most people can relate to. That said, it really is overly sweet. There are so many life lessons and southern phrases thrown in that I've nearly started saying ‘Y'all' in my own house.
The stories are simple, the problems easily rectified and it doesn't require much in the way of brainpower to watch. There are love triangles, family breakdowns, teenagers going slightly of the rails, bitter rivalries from high school and problems at work. They even managed to make the new girlfriend, Noreen, sympathetic and likable – a change from the villainous caricatures we usually see.
Overall Sweet Magnolias is a really lovely show to watch. Very Hallmark in style, it's reminds me of The Client List, Virgin River or Good Witch with a little more sass. There's even a cliff hanger at the end so here's hoping for season 2!