REVIEW: ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 2 Misses the Mark

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Sweet Magnolias Season 2 - But Why Tho

Sweet Magnolias Season 2, one of Netflix’s newest original shows is based on a book series of the same name by Sherryl Woods. The season opens with the aftermath of the car accident that served as the season 1 cliffhanger. Tyler (Carson Rowland) suffered the most while Kyle (Logan Allen), Nellie (Simone Lockhart), Annie (Anneliese Judge), and Jackson (Sam Ashby) suffered minor injuries. While at the hospital, Jackson and Kyle get into a fight, which results in Kyle injuring his arm and having to miss the rest of the baseball season. Annie distances herself from Tyle and Kyle while forming a close bond with Jackson. Meanwhile, Tyler is forced to go through physical therapy and remains distant from his family.

Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) tends to Tyle and Kyle’s injuries while dealing with a parking zone issue that affects the town. Her relationship with Coach Cal (Justin Bruening ) grows as the two reconcile after their fight in the first season. Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott) deals with her ex-husband Ronnie (Brandon Quinn) staying in Magnolia to rebuild their relationship. Helen (Heather Headley) has surprising news for her friends that will impact the group dynamic. Season 2 also focuses on the lives of the residents in Magnolia.

Maddie, Dana Sue, and Helen continue to be the heart and soul of the series throughout Sweet Magnolia Season 2. The previous season did an incredible job in establishing the bond they share and what they’re all willing to do for one another. There are definite moments that continue to display their bond, but one moment that should have gotten more focus is the tension between Maddie and Dana Sue. Without stating it, it’s clear that Dana Sue blames Maddie’s sons for the accident that Annie was involved in. Most of the comments she made could have been much more assertive, but that mere tension was interesting to watch. It brings up the point that even though their friendship has grown so much since they were young, such a dangerous situation could put a strain on such a deep bond.

The focus that was given on Tyler in Sweet Magnolia Season 2 was entertaining to watch. His arc during Season 1 was fully fleshed out to support his journey throughout Season 2. The anger and guilt that he carries with him is evident for the first half of the season. While his anger at times can seem petty, especially since it’s rooted in Annie not being interested in him, it’s justified given his age. On top of this, he feels abandoned by everyone around him. The anger he feels is much more evident this season, which makes his character much more interesting. The guilt accompanied by anger brings up tense interactions with his loved ones as the two feelings often dictate how the conversation will go. Overall, it’s fantastic that his character was given more to go through since Tyler didn’t make much impact on the show’s debut season

While the focus on Tyler was great to see, his arc in Sweet Magnolias Season 2 is hindered by how quickly his anger and guilt mended. Most of this comes from the fact that since its debut season, Sweet Magnolias has constantly found ways to wrap up every dilemma that characters face and not care if it’s done very quickly. This doesn’t mean that the anger and guilt he feels should have been his arc throughout the entire season but there should have been more scenes that showed how this would impact those around him. In particular, the interactions between his mom and Kyle could have been much more intense than they were. The show should have taken the risk of giving Tyler the liberty to show his anger rather than find a quick way to get rid of it.

This wasn’t such an issue during the show’s debut season, but Sweet Magnolias Season 2 delves into the lives of too many characters. I understand the need to include side characters to further expand the world that the show takes place in. It’s also clear that the lives of the main characters would be affected by the people they interact with. However, there were various points where the direction of the show was taken somewhere else. One of the main instances was Isacc’s (Chris Medlin) journey in regards to finding out who his mom is. While it’s full of emotional moments that the show thrives on, it quickly takes attention from anything that the core characters are dealing with. He’s definitely an incredible character but the series’ main focus has been on the three lead characters, their friendship, and their respective families. Focusing on too many characters for the sake of the plot took away the focus that should have been on them.

Ultimately, Sweet Magnolias Season 2 misses the mark in delivering a season that lives up to the hype of the show’s debut. While there are still moments full of emotion, the show heavily suffers from wrapping up dilemmas too early and having too many characters. If the series does get renewed for a new season, I can only hope there are moments that aren’t quickly solved just for the sake of the plot.

Sweet Magnolias Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.


Sweet Magnolias Season 2
  • 6.5/10
    Rating - 6.5/10
6.5/10

TL;DR

Sweet Magnolias Season 2 misses the mark in delivering a season that lives up to the hype of the show’s debut. While there are still moments full of emotion, the show heavily suffers from wrapping up dilemmas too early and having too many characters. If the series does get renewed for a new season, I can only hope there are moments that aren’t quickly solved just for the sake of the plot.