When the first season of “Sweet Magnolias” aired on Netflix in May 2020, most Americans found themselves under stay-at-home orders and executive mandates shutting down businesses states deemed “nonessential.” In places like New York and California, many of these orders stretched on throughout the year, shuttering small businesses, schools, and houses of worship.
The southern, small-town feel of “Sweet Magnolias” is already sweetly nostalgic, like reminiscing of summer afternoons spent sipping sweet tea on a porch swing. But on the other side of those devastating COVID lockdowns, the show’s reminiscence of simpler times is even more potent.
“Sweet Magnolias” follows childhood friends Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue as they navigate divorce and heartbreak, job opportunities, and their children’s escapades in the small South Carolina town of Serenity. Don’t expect the intricate plot of a Russian novel, but the characters are lovable and the front-porch aesthetic is easy on the eyes.
Unintentionally, though, the series reflects the importance of local