‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 2: Brooke Elliott Says She Thinks ‘A Lot’ of People Can Relate to Dana Sue’s Dilemma

Dana Sue faces a major choice in season 2 of Netflix‘s Sweet Magnolias. Should she pursue a new romance with hot farmer Jeremy (Chase Anderson)? Or should she get back together with her ne’er-do-well husband Ronnie (Brandon Quinn), who insists he’s changed his ways? In other words, should she put herself or her family first? That decision is one that actor Brooke Elliott, who plays Dana Sue, thinks many people can relate to. 

Brooke Elliott weighs in on her character’s dilemma in ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 2 

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Elliott sat down with her co-stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher (who plays Maddie) and Heather Headley (who plays Helen), showrunner Sheryl Anderson, and Uzo Aduba of Netflix Book Club to talk about the latest season of Sweet Magnolias (via YouTube)

During their chat, Elliott weighed in on Dana’s Sue’s situation in season 2, which sees the chef first torn between Ronnie and Jeremy (she eventually chooses Ronnie) and then struggling to move forward in her relationship with her husband. At the same time, she was trying to make the best choice for her child, Annie (Anneliese Judge), who had taken her parents’ separation hard. 

“I do believe she’s trying in this situation to actually do what is healthy for her in this marriage,” Elliott said. “She was dealing with a husband who was unfaithful. Then you throw the daughter in, and so, is it better to have a healthier home without the fighting or the husband? Or is it better to put the family back together? … Which way is the healthier way for my child?” 

That’s a dilemma that “a lot of people” can relate to, Elliott said, especially women with children who have to balance their own needs with those of their family. For mothers, “children are the number one on the list, and so where do they fit?” Elliott said. 

Maddie and Dana Sue react to a spouse’s infidelity in different ways 

Dana Sue with her hands on a counter, talking to her daughter Annie in 'Sweet Magnolias' Season 2
Brooke Elliott as Dana Sue Sullivan and Anneliese Judge as Annie Sullivan in ‘Sweet Magnolias’ Season 2 | Richard Ducree/Netflix © 2021

Both Dana Sue and her friend Maddie have had to deal with a spouse who has been unfaithful. Maddie’s husband Bill (Chris Klein) got another woman pregnant. But unlike Dana Sue, she steadfastly refused Bill’s attempts to win her back. That difference was an intentional decision on the part of the Sweet Magnolias writers. 

“You have two women dealing with spouses who’ve caused a lot of damage,” Anderson said. “And we wanted to show two different ways that women react.”

“Dana Sue is very much the one who is just going to power through it,” she added. “So many of us, I will admit, stay busy so that we don’t have a chance to look down into the emotional abyss.” 

In the show, when Dana Sue is finally forced to pause and take a look at herself during couples therapy with Ronnie, she doesn’t necessarily like what she sees. She realizes that she’s been focusing solely on his mistakes and ignored the ways that she also let him down in their marriage. 

‘Sweet Magnolias’ author Sherryl Woods says she wanted Dana Sue to ‘be relatable’ 

Dana Sue is “much more volatile than Maddie,” Sweet Magnolias author Sherryl Woods said. She’s also facing some issues that Maddie doesn’t have, particularly when it comes to her health. In season 1, it’s revealed that she’s on the verge of developing diabetes, the same disease that killed her mother. The stress in her life makes it extra-hard for her to stay healthy, even though she knows she needs to put herself first. 

“I was trying to create a character that could be relatable to women who are dealing with health issues and divorce and all those kinds of things,” Woods said. 

Sweet Magnolias Seasons 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Netflix. 

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