This is as endearing as it sounds, and it highlights the positive impact that friendships and nurturing relationships can have on a person's life. Life in the southern town of Serenity is charming and neat, and the characters are flawed, beautiful, and complex. Helen, a strong and compassionate lawyer, is good at helping others, but hasn't quite figured out how to create a family of her own. Dana Sue is a chef who runs a successful restaurant, but her health, emotions, and personal relationships are hanging by a thread -- especially with her perceptive, artistic teenage daughter, Annie, played with great ease by newcomer Anneliese Judge. Maddie Townsend, a newly single mom of three, is grappling with resentment toward her cheating husband Bill (Chris Klein) and exploring a budding relationship with an attractive, kind new man. Together, these friends navigate the murky waters of life, and the drama that ensues makes this series a must-see.
Women uplifting and holding each other up when they need it most never gets old, and Headley, Swisher, and Elliott have good chemistry. Jamie Lynn Spears is really sweet as Bill's pregnant fiancée, Noreen, and the overall casting seems just right. The men in this series are complex and intriguing to watch too. Dion Johnstone as Chef Erik Whitley and Justin Bruening as Coach Maddox are both socially and emotionally mature, and they shine bright in their respective roles. While some of the scenarios are just too good to be true, there's a sweetness and overall positive tone that makes up for the overly manicured scenes. The series tugs at the heart without being too moralistic or prudish. The themes in Sweet Magnolias are relatable, and the scenes are well-written and succinct, though at times a little cheesy. Yet, it works. Sweet Magnolias sheds a beautiful light on Southern culture while keeping it real about the fact that just because a community looks perfect doesn't mean it actually is.