The second season of ‘Sweet Magnolias’ leads with the cliffhangers in the first season; Giving us a deeper look into the beautiful but chaotic tale of three friends in Serenity.
The second season of ‘Sweet Magnolias’ carries forward the story of the three friends- Dana(Brooke Elliott), Helen(Heather Headley) and Maddie(JoAnna Garcia Swisher), in the small close-knit suburb of Serenity. The plot involves answers to questions that were left unhandled in the previous season; while also bringing forward some of its twists.
The season begins right where the first season had ended- who was the other passenger with Kyle(Logan Allen) on the night of the accident? It turns out to be Nellie(Simone Lockhart), his classmate, both alright with minor injuries. The whole bunch arrives at the hospital, with Ronnie(Brandon Quinn), Dana’s estranged husband helping to clear off the traffic. Here, we meet Mary Vaughn(Allison Gabriel), Nelly’s mum, who will prove to be antagonistic, later in the season. What follows is Tyler(Carson Rowland), Kyle’s elder brother, fighting with Jackson, Nelly’s brother; which results in Tyler injuring his elbow. This leads to him getting eliminated from the State baseball.
As revenge for the golden trio going after her husband’s job, Mary Vaughn exposes Cal of his questionable past. We get to know about the ‘anger management classes that he took, as an aftermath of some injury. Later, he admits getting arrested once for assault and battery- leading to him getting fired from the school. The worst isn’t over for him, as he gets into a fight with Stu at Sullivan’s, and gets dragged away by the cops.
Kyle returns home, getting cold at his mother, Maddie. She later finds out about him reaching out to Noreen(Jamie Lynn Spears), the nurse her ex had cheated with, impregnating her. Eventually, she decides to forgive Noreen, while giving an earful to her infidel ex- Bill(Chris Klein). She seems to be getting closer with Cal(Justin Breuning), Tyler’s baseball coach.
Miss Francis, the sweet lady who had named ‘Corner Spa’, passes away, leaving behind instructions. The residents of Serenity take it on themselves to live their lives as wisely as Miss Francis would have. She leaves a huge amount to Dana, for reasons unknown.
Dana develops as an independent woman, running a good business and single-handedly taking care of a teenage daughter. She has learnt to think before trusting anyone, putting up thick walls around her. But then, Ronnie comes back to be with her and their daughter- Annie(Anneliese Judge). And he leaves no stone unturned, indicating that they might be together for longer than expected. She also helps Issac on his quest to find his birth parents- which gets revealed soon. They are Peggy Martin and Bill, Maddie’s ex. Issac goes no contact with Bill and decides to spend time with Noreen, during her last pregnancy months.
Helen is recovering from her miscarriage, which has left her drained, with her only solitude being Erik(Dion Johnstone). The viewers were expecting them to get in a healthy relationship- only for Ryan, Helen’s ex, to appear. He seems to be mourning for Miss Francis, his aunt. The season ends with a cliffhanger, with Ryan getting on his knee to propose to her, unaware of her circumstances.
We also get to know about the existence of some mysterious woman- as the core trio go- “She’s back!”.
The main girls- JoAnna, Brooke and Heather added life to their roles; they were flawless at the delivery. The series induces warm vibes- with the acting being so real. It helps that they get well together, in real life. A lot is expected from them, for the next season.
The younger actors- Anneliese, Carson, Logan, Simone and Sam carried the show. With love triangles and twists- they still manage to showcase the sweet innocence of youth. They play their characters a lot more maturely than expected.
The season gave dimension and development to each of the characters while opening up questions and cliffhangers for the next one.
More than just being an average suburban melodrama of sorts, it has a plot that thickens with every episode. There are life lessons and the obvious ‘giggles’, but what is noticeable is the reduced cheesiness which was prevalent in the first season.
The fact that the season ended with another cliffhanger pitches the viewers’ interest for the next one.
The season depicts scenes that are too wild for reality. The writers could have done a better job in making the plot feel a bit more ‘realistic’.
There are some unnecessary plot points- like Tyler getting interested in one of Annie’s friends, and some extravagant amount of ‘cheating’. Some of the episodes feel too stretched out but then, there could be the possibility of ‘Sweet Magnolias’ becoming a long term series.
This season wastes no time at carrying the plot of ‘Sweet Magnolias’ forward. The writing and the delivery give you cosy, family vibes; making you cry and laugh throughout the season. This season gives out various moral messages and is perfectly balanced with some comedic relief. The Magnolias seem more united than ever, sharing their woes and glee with a glass of drink!
Also read: Two (2021) summary and ending explained