ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Spoilerless Review of Sweet Magnolias

Updated on June 1, 2020
Miranda Danielle profile image

College student with a major an English, hoping to be a Editor as a career! Just began using this platform, so I apologize in advance!


Some Thoughts About Sweet Magnolias Season 1 (2020)

Sweet Magnolias is a newly added episodic drama series on Netflix, based on a popular series of novels by Sherryl Woods. The story is about the intertwining but separate lives of childhood South Carolinian friends, Maddie Townend, a recently divorced mother of three, Dana Sue Sullivan, a busy-bee chef balancing the demands of being a restaurant owner and a mother, and Helen Decatur, a witty and benevolent attorney, all of whom are trying to navigate “through the complexities of romance, career, and family” while simultaneously trying to create a spa from an old mansion Helen Decatur acquired (Petski).

This Christian-friendly series is filled with life, laughter, and love, with the strongest theme being friendship and family as the story’s overarching tone through every episode. As predicted with the town setting and the aforementioned themes, this refreshing drama steers clear from controversial or dubious subject matter often seen in dramas targeted at younger audiences (though not to condemn either side for such decisions). It is why I originally thought it to be “Christian-friendly,” because, yes, of its religious tones, but it also has a natural simplicity to it that reminds me of Heartland. You will not see them delve deep into societal issues of gender, sexual orientation, or race for that matter (despite it being mentioned once concerning Helen Decatur’s romance arc). And there is absolutely nothing with that. So long as the story is engaging and the characters are interesting enough on their own to play off these universal themes, it does not need to ride the millennial/generation Z trends to keep viewers committed to the series. And I would argue that it does accomplish just that to some degree.

The story of creating a feminine spa from scratch gives an underlying ambition for the central three women that we the audience want to see them achieve, as well as adding our understanding of their personalities and their overall character growth. Between them, there is a real sense of kindness and friendship that Helen exhibits perfectly as acting godmother to the children of Maddie and Dana Sue and just to the people of Serenity, their town, in general. They’re likable and relatable, it’d be very difficult to root against them as it would be rooting against anyone in this series (except Bill Townsend, of course). The show does well to establish that there is no “villain” but a community filled with people who’ve grown up together as their parents had before them. Just as Noreen, the pregnant fiancee of Maddie’s ex-husband who he cheated on, struggles to find a place in this talkative town. Everyone feels like a fully-fleshed out character, with gains and faults they triumph or suffer in, making their interactions with one another that much more impactful and emotional, especially those evolving the children and their mothers. Though I do have my grips with the kids’ individual stories (generic and lacking in originality), the resolve of their conflicts with each other and with the adults around them are satisfying and wholesome (as most of the show is).

With more investment on the romance aspect of the series, more development of chemistry between the leads and something less easy for the women to be given (Helen’s in particular promising to bring such for Season 2), as well as more complexity to the teenage archetypes the children play, Sweet Magnolias tooth-rooting sweet themes and simplistic story lines are likely to bring the brightness to anyone's life by drawing on subjects often taken for granted, no matter the age (friends, family, career, love, etc.), while simultaneously balancing the good and the bad of life the best friends endure.

Petski, Denise. “Netflix Orders Romance Drama Series 'Virgin River' & 'Sweet Magnolias' Based On Novels.” Deadline, Deadline, 27 Sept. 2018,


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)