Why Sweet Magnolias' JoAnna Garcia Swisher Was 'Really Conflicted' Before The Show Hit Netflix

joanna garcia swisher sweet magnolias netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

Sweet Magnolias premiered on Netflix back in May 2020 as an adaptation of the popular book series of the same name, penned by author Sherryl Woods. It was enough of a hit that it only took a couple of weeks for talks to start generating about what could happen in a second season. That said, star JoAnna Garcia Swisher has revealed that she was actually conflicted about Sweet Magnolias hitting Netflix when it did.

JoAnne Garcia Swisher chatted with The MOMS about Sweet Magnolias, and she shared why she was conflicted about the show's release:

You know, at the beginning of the pandemic I was really conflicted about [it]. I knew how much people were struggling and how uncertain the times were, and it just didn't feel like a great time to be like, 'Watch my show!'

The first season of Sweet Magnolias released on Tuesday, May 19, which happened to be at a very serious time in the real world thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only were people all over the world dealing with the pandemic, but the television and film industries were more or less shut down. JoAnna Garcia Swisher's show is a romantic series about friendship and families; the prospect of hyping it at a time when many people were isolated from their friends, family, and loved ones evidently didn't feel great to the actress.

That said, with so many people isolating and new options on broadcast television running out, streaming services were the place to be for new content at home. Even though Sweet Magnolias definitely didn't reflect the state of the world when it released in May, it did provide some escapism! JoAnna Garcia Swisher (who already revealed the storyline she wants to explore in Season 2) shared why it turns out that Sweet Magnolias was a good fit to release during the pandemic, despite her initial conflict:

At the end of the day, thematically, the show, it's just got so much heart and it's really [an] uplifting show. It's really a lot of the things that got me through the loss of my father, and the uncertainty of how to raise kids through the pandemic... and now, obviously, this incredibly crucial moment in our world where we are finally listening and learning. I know people have used that a lot, but it's so true, because it's exactly what we need to be doing.

Between the pandemic that changed daily life for people all over the world and the Black Lives Matter movement, the themes of Sweet Magnolias are "uplifting," according to JoAnna Garcia Swisher. Set in South Carolina, the show follows three best friends as they face struggles in romance, family, and careers.

Despite the thematic appeal of the show in uncertain times, JoAnna Garcia Swisher shared how she settled on the right way to talk about the show. As it turns out, promoting the show by revealing how it impacts her personally did the trick, as she said:

It just is such a crazy time to have a show out. So I’ve really kind of leaned into just talking about what it means to me and I think that the show is kind of a bright spot in a moment that we need a few bright spots.

Netflix has been the home of a variety of hit shows in the age of social distancing, ranging for the wild docu-series Tiger King to Steve Carrell's Space Force (which has a decent chance of scoring a second season) to the romance of Sweet Magnolias. JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who plays the recently divorced Maddie Townsend on Sweet Magnolias, shares the spotlight with Heather Headley as accomplished attorney Helen Decatur, and Brooke Elliott as chef and restaurant owner Dana Sue Sullivan.

You can check out Sweet Magnolias now, with all ten episodes of the first season available streaming on Netflix now. A second season has not been confirmed at this point, although Sherryl Woods' book series still has plenty of source material that can be covered. It's also worth noting that even if Sweet Magnolias does score a Season 2 order sooner rather than later, filming presumably wouldn't be able to pick up any time too soon, as productions in film and television are still largely stopped.

For now, you can watch Sweet Magnolias Season 1, as well as plenty of other options on Netflix. The streamer is also home to some series that are worth watching if you loved Sweet Magnolias! For some of what has yet to premiere, be sure to check out our 2020 Netflix premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).