‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 1 Recap: Everything to Remember Before Watching Season 2

Pour out a margarita and settle in for a return visit to Serenity. Sweet Magnolias Season 2 premieres Feb. 4 on Netflix, and based on the trailer, it’s going to be another season full of drama and touching moments. But before fans dive into the 10 brand-new episodes, they might need a refresher on where we left Maddie, Dana Sue, Helen, and everyone else at the end of Sweet Magnolias Season 1. 

Maddie started over in ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 1 

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Maddie Townsend (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) is at the heart of Sweet Magnolias. At the beginning of the season, she was reeling after breaking up with her husband Bill (Chris Klein), a doctor who’d gotten his nurse Noreen (Jamie Lynn Spears) pregnant. As Maddie struggled with her anger over Bill’s betrayal and how to navigate co-parenting their three kids, she also opened herself up to a new romance with her son’s baseball coach, a former pro player named Cal Maddox (Justin Bruening). 

Maddie also embarked on a new business venture with her two oldest friends, Helen Decatur (Heather Headley) and Dana Sue Sullivan (Brooke Elliott). The trio decided to turn a gorgeous mansion into the Corner Spa. It had a slightly rocky start, but soon became a central gathering spot in town.  

Dana Sue had a lot on her plate 

For Dana Sue, becoming part-owner of the Corner Spa was another item on her already fully loaded plate. Not only is she the chef and owner of Sullivan’s, the most popular restaurant in Serenity, but she’s also an almost-single parent to her rebellious teen daughter Annie (Anneliese Judge). Dana Sue is separated from her husband and Annie’s father (Brandon Quinn), though she may not be fully over her ex. A new romance with Jeremy, a handsome farmer who supplies her restaurant, seemed like it might push Ronnie from her mind for good. But things got complicated when Ronnie reappeared at the end of the season and announced he wanted to try to make things work with his wife.  

Dana Sue also had to deal with a sticky situation at work involving her young employee Isaac (Chris Medlin). He’d recently arrived in Serenity and was searching for his birth parents. After seeing Dana Sue with her old flame Micah (Marland Burke), he begins to suspect they are his parents. In the season finale, he asked Dana Sue if she’s his mother, but the episode ended before revealing her answer. 

Helen let go of an old love 

Helen, Maddie, and Dana Sue sitting in a church pew in 'Sweet Magnolias' Season 1
[Heather Headley as Helen Decatur, JoAnna Garcia Swisher as Maddie Townsend, and Brooke Elliott as Dana Sue in ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 1 | ELIZA MORSE/NETFLIX © 2020

Helen is the most cool and collected of the Sweet Magnolias. But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have troubles of her own. The successful lawyer’s life was turned upside down with her ex Ryan (Michael Shenefelt) returned to Serenity. The two rekindled their romance, but the relationship hit a speed bump when Helen told him she wanted kids. Ryan was adamantly against becoming a father, and the two broke it off for good at the end of the season. Fortunately, Helen was able to take comfort in a new friendship with Erik (Dion Johnstone), a chef at Sullivan’s. Their relationship was still platonic at the end of season 1. However, there are signs things between the two could turn romantic.    

Bill tried to patch things up with Maddie 

Bill’s affair with Noreen and his divorce from Maddie fractured his relationship with their kids, especially the older boys, high school baseball star Ty (Carson Rowland) and the sensitive and creative Kyle (Logan Allen). Bill’s ham-handed attempts to win back his children’s affection sometimes backfired, as when he bought Ty a car without getting Maddie’s approval. The extravagant gift also led to some tension between Ty and his younger brother, who sometimes felt overlooked in his own family.

Meanwhile, Bill and Noreen were having trouble of their own. Eventually, she decided to leave Serenity and return to her hometown. That was a blow to Kyle, who’d developed a bond with Noreen. With Noreen gone, Bill realized he wanted his ex-wife back. He told her wanted to get back together in the season finale. However, a family crisis interrupted them before she was able to respond.

The kids had plenty of drama of their own 

Helen and Dana Sue comfort a worried Maddie at the scene of Kyle's car accident in 'Sweet Magnolias' Season 1
‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 1 | ELIZA MORSE/NETFLIX © 2020

The adults aren’t the only residents of Serenity dealing with some serious drama. Ty is the standout player on his high school’s team (he’s even being scouted by the Atlanta Braves). That caused conflict with his teammate Jackson (Sam Ashby). There was also a bit of a love triangle between Ty, Kyle, and Annie. Kyle had a crush on Annie and Annie had a crush on Ty. At one point, Annie gave Ty a drunken kiss, which made Kyle jealous. But Ty was dating a girl named CeCe (Harlan Drum), even though there were hints he also had feelings for Annie. 

The tension between the teens boiled over on prom night. After Annie ditched Kyle to go to the dance with her friend Simon (Michael May), he decided to hang out with Jackson’s younger sister Nellie (Simone Lockhart) at her house. When everyone show’s up at Jackson’s place for a prom afterparty, a fight broke out between Ty and Jackson. Kyle tried to intervene, but Ty brushed him off, causing Kyle to flee the party. He drove off in his brother’s car and got in an accident. All the adults rushed to the scene to see if he was OK. Unfortunately, Kyle’s fate was left up in the air at the end of Sweet Magnolias Season 1. Plus, it turned out that someone else from the party got in the car with Kyle. But their identity – and whether they survived the accident – is a mystery. 

Sweet Magnolias Season 2 premieres Feb. 4 on Netflix. 

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