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I Hated the Second Season of Sweet Magnolias…Here’s Why

WARNING: SEASON 2 SPOILERS…LOTS OF THEM

If you’re anything like me, you binge watched Sweet Magnolias season one during quarantine. Even though the acting was iffy, I was automatically hooked and anxiously awaited a second season. After nearly two years of waiting, they finally delivered and I was so…disappointed. Hate is a strong word, but I really really didn’t like it. The story lines seemed unnecessary and uninteresting and it became very chaotic for no reason. And somehow the acting was worse? While many things made me angry, I’ll go through the things that were my deal breakers. 

First off, I think Bill took the “sowing seeds” verse in the Bible a little too literally. Mans has literally impregnated half the town at this point. It wasn’t enough that he already cheated on Maddie and has a child with a very young woman, but now he has ANOTHER child from another woman in town. It honestly seemed kind of lazy for the writers to make Bill Issac’s father. It would have been more interesting if Dana Sue or even if Ryan was the biological parent. Maybe even Erik could have been his father, but Bill? It also seemed like there was such a build-up to the revelation, just for it to be Bill. One of the main focuses of the season was on who was Issac’s father, and it brought everyone closer together just for them to use a fall-back guy. It seemed like their way of just ending the storyline and taking the easy way out. If you lead up to it the entire season, don’t ruin the ending. 

Next, Ronnie and Dana Sue. Now, I understand they have a daughter together and were married for a long time, but…he cheated on her. He started drinking heavily and cheated on her. And he has the audacity to come back and tell Dana Sue that she isn’t trying hard enough to make it work. She owes him nothing, and out of love for her daughter and for Ronnie she agrees to go to marriage counseling. But Ronnie continues to rush her, and (in my opinion) he moves back in way too fast. He betrayed Dana Sue in more ways than one, and that trust has to be earned back. I saw tweets of how it was “so cute” that Ronnie remembered his vows by heart…the same vows he broke?? It’s not cute. He can remember them by heart until he sleeps with another woman? People give Ronnie so much credit, when he doesn’t deserve any. If Dana Sue decides to stay with him when she could have a cute, sweet farmer, that’s her decision. But nobody, not Ronnie, or Annie, or anybody watching the show gets to give her crap for how she handles the situation, or how long it takes her to regain the trust. 

Another irk-some moment was the last scene of the season, when Ryan asked Helen to marry him. First off, no. Second off, he left her in the first place. Third, what about Erik?? If Helen says yes to Ryan I will throw something at the screen. She has such a good relationship with Erik, and if she ruins that for some subpar guy, I will be upset. Erik is kind and takes care of her, and wants to have kids. He brought her food everyday after she had her miscarriage, and chose to take things slow and fall in love before involving the physical stuff with Helen. He is true, and honest, and a great fit for Helen. Ryan, on the other hand, is not. He was immature and isn’t father or husband material, both of which Helen is looking for. Why does anyone think he is going to change? They dated for a long, long time and he never changed. He never wanted children and he was never really ready to settle down. He is vulnerable at that moment because he just lost a loved one, and he wants to be close to the other people he loves. But when the dust settles, he will realize it’s not what he wants and Helen will be left heartbroken all over again. I want the Ryan storyline to be done, and I hope Helen chooses that too. 

Next relationship on the totem pole: Cal and Maddie. Now, hear me out. I have always loved this relationship. She deserved a guy like Cal after her terrible divorce. Though, in a mature adult relationship, they need to be honest with each other, and Cal was not completely honest with Maddie. He has anger issues, and although he is working through them, he still struggles with it. Maddie has children, including a young girl, and if I was a mother I would want to know that information before I brought him around my children. Obviously he is better, and is ashamed of how he used to act, but it is something he needs to tell Maddie when they first started to get serious. Now she is finding out well into their relationship, and I would not blame her if she started to question things. Not to mention when she found the letter from his ex-girlfriend in his drawer. It seems like Cal is keeping secrets from Maddie, and she doesn’t need any more of that. Personally, Cal is going to need a redemption arc in season three for me to be completely on board with him again. 

Finally, I wish they would have given Cece more screen time. Yes, this may be an unnecessary wish, but the show is centered around powerful women, and she is one. She had more screen time in the first season than the second, even though she grew so much as a person. I would have loved to see her join Helen’s firm and get more involved with the women and the rest of the town. Though, they only showed a couple scenes of her at the firm and a couple with Ty, but then that’s it. I wanted to see her character growth and development, but really only got to see bits and pieces. It would’ve been a more interesting storyline than Bill being Isaac’s father, in my opinion. 

Did I binge season two in one day? Yes, yes I did. But did I enjoy it? Eh. It was still entertaining, and I think they did a good job with some storylines like Jackson and Annie and Kyle making new friends, but all in all it just felt like all the issues and storylines were unimportant and unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, you should still watch the second season, but I would not get your hopes up.

Hi! My name is Kate and I'm currently a junior at the University of Kansas majoring in Chemical Engineering. My favorite activities are doing anything outdoors, binging a good movie series, and having wine nights with my girlfriends. I'm very passionate about body positivity and confidence in women and hope to empower girls through my writing.
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