In all likelihood, everyone and their mother has watched the second season of Sweet Magnolias. I haven’t yet because I’m boring like that. I loved season one though, and am certainly excited to see the follow up year. However given I’m probably the last (interested) person on planet earth who hasn’t seen it, it seems as good a time as any to share some “if you like Sweet Magnolias watch this” options.
This Netflix show follows, primarily, the lives of three woman; Maddy (JoAnna Garcia), Helen (Heather Headley) and Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott), three women who have been best friends for years. Together they are always there, through thick and thin, for one another. They’ve gone through ups and downs like divorce, lost first loves, and starting businesses. The second series dropped on Netflix in January and since you’ve all seen it, let’s chat a bit about a few shows you might also like post Sweet Magnolias.
But first, I’m also going to share a few books to read if you like Sweet Magnolias, which is, of course, also based on a series of novels.
TRY THESE IF YOU ENJOY THE SWEET MAGNOLIA SHOW
*It seems like there are a ton of books about best friend characters, but honestly, I don’t think I’ve read the famous ones! Which ones do you love best?
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1: HOPE BEACH SERIES, COLLEEN COBLE
Full disclosure, I don’t remember these in great specifics, but I’m including them. I think these do have way more “mystery” than the Netflix show, but we’ll include them because they do (if I’m remembering right) have strong bonds between characters and I love this. Amazon | Goodreads
2: THE SUPPER CLUB SERIES, CARLA LAUREANO
These books are really good. There are three, each one following one of the best friends the series is about. It’s fun and sometimes serious, but also romantic, and if you’re a foodie, you will appreciate these! Amazon | GoodreadsFILL THE VOID: IF YOU LIKE ‘SWEET MAGNOLIAS,’ WATCH THIS #SWEETMAGNOLIAS #BOOKS #BOOKSTOREAD #GOODBOOKS #GILMOREGIRLS #NETFLIX Click To Tweet
3: JANE OF AUSTIN, HILLARY MANTON LODGE
Loosely inspired by Sense & Sensibility, Hillary re-writes the story in modern times with lots of fun little changes and still manages to capture the essence of the story. Plus, fun fact, this one has been optioned for a TV series! We’d be HERE for that. Amazon | Goodreads
4: (ALMOST) ANYTHING BY MELISSA TAGG
I think almost anything by Melissa Tagg would fit although generally speaking her books probably veer more towards the rom-com angle than serious. At least her earlier books (not complaining mind you), however she also has THE best meet-cute scenes! Amazon | Goodreads
5: MISTY RIVER SERIES, BECKY WADE
These books follow a group of now-grown adults who formed an unusual bond after being trapped together in a mine during a mission’s trip when they were young teens. The series picks up in their adult years, and shares their struggles and triumphs, too. Also, Becky does a really nice job balancing the rom-com with more serious life issue topics. It’s good! Amazon | Goodreads
IF YOU LIKE SWEET MAGNOLIAS WATCH THIS
1: 800 WORDS
Set in Australia (or New Zealand, maybe?), this one follows a single father who moves his two kids out of the city. The community that (eventually) comes to embrace him is fun and quirky, and all kinds of cute. Find digitally on Amazon Video
2: ARMY WIVES
A former Lifetime TV show, this one may be (if possible) more drama fueled than Sweet Magnolias. It’s still about strong friendships though and what I saw (I don’t think I ever totally finished it), I did (mostly) enjoy. Find digitally on Amazon Video
3: CEDAR COVE
One of the early days Hallmark Channel TV shows, this one had a short run and featured Andie McDowell as a woman struggling in her own romantic decisions, but also trying to help her adult daughter navigate life. There’s also friendships and a wide array of familiar Hallmark faces. Find digitally on Amazon Video
Another Hallmark original, Chesapeake Shores follows the lives of the O’Brien family in their ups, downs, and sorrows. It’s also SUPER heavy on the romantic entanglements so if that’s your jam, you’d enjoy this. Find digitally on Amazon Video
Ok, honestly, I’m even questioning my addition of this BBC British period drama. But it does have kind of a Sweet Magnolias vibe… only in 1800s England. It’s a fun and sweet piece of storytelling about nosy friends, romance and sweet friendships. Find digitally on Amazon VideoFILL THE VOID: IF YOU LIKE ‘SWEET MAGNOLIAS,’ WATCH THIS #CHESSIES #GILMOREGIRLS #NETFLIX #GOODTV #SWEETMAGNOLIAS Click To Tweet
Set in the South, Hart of Dixie is perhaps the most “similar” on the list. Additionally, one of our later titles, Virgin River, also very much feels as though it’s this same story with some changes of course. But this one is all about good laughs and silly fun, and I’m (mostly) here for it. Find digitally on Amazon Video
Like Cranford, this may be stretching it. But again, we try and find a little variety and something for everyone. This is set in 1800s England, telling stories from two, small neighboring kind of “hamlets,” if you will. It’s a delightful story about friendship and even small pieces of romance here and there. Find digitally on Amazon Video
This is a new Fox show, and honestly, it doesn’t have NEAR the same warmth as Sweet Magnolias (dirtier with its dialogue too). However, it is a ½ comedy about three best friends navigating the grief of losing their bestest friend – the one who kind of kept everything together. It has moments but many of the scenes feel a little “off.” Still, it’s fun to see Eliza Coupe (from Happy Endings) on TV again. Find digitally on Amazon Video or at publication with a Hulu subscription (episodes add post Fox premiere)
9: THE UNICORN
This one is quite different than Sweet Magnolias, not just by its half-hour premise. However, the bonds of friendship are strong and the plot of a single dad raising two daughters is all kinds of sweet. Find digitally on Amazon Video
10: VIRGIN RIVER
Also from Netflix, Virgin River is very similar in feel. The plot differs (about a midwife who leaves behind the city in the aftermath of her husband’s death), but the vibe is the same. It’s all about the smaller town events and the many characters who shift through the story carousal. Find exclusively on Netflix
BONUS! GILMORE GIRLS
If you want to go old school, there’s nothing like Gilmore Girls for friendships and good feelings. Find digitally on Amazon Video or at publication, with Netflix
Your turn, friends! What would you pair with Sweet Magnolias? Do any of these fit? What books would you pair with the Southern show? Did you like or dislike anything I mention here? How do you feel about Netflix’s Sweet Magnolias? Comment all the comments down below!
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