The 'Sweet Magnolias' Cast Brings All the Corny Southern Charm to Netflix

Justin Kirkland
Photo credit: ELIZA MORSE/NETFLIX
Photo credit: ELIZA MORSE/NETFLIX

From Esquire

To be clear, Netflix's new dramedy Sweet Magnolias is essentially the televised equivalent of the cinnamon bread you get from Dollywood—saccharine, painfully Southern, and absolutely not the best option for you to consume. But it also is incredibly satisfying as you gobble up every episode. Even if the writing is a bit questionable at times ("While you're busy hanging price tags, Bill Townsend, keep in mind you're not worth the skin God wrapped your bones in."), give me a wraparound porch and the constant drone of katydids, and I'll watch at least eight, maybe fourteen episodes.

It also happens to be one of those series that has an entire cast of vaguely recognizable faces. Sweet Magnolias's main cast has been popping up all over pop culture for the last 15 years or so, and they're about as likable as a scoop of rum raisin on God's sweet Sunday afternoon (wow, that writing is contagious). But if you're having trouble placing where these women come from, fear not. Fix yourself a big glass of lemonade and let's discuss this cast of characters that populate this strangely colorblind, yet doubly charming, version of the South.

JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Maddie Townsend)

Swisher is a TV pro at this point. '90s kids may remember her from the Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark? but her better known work is from the series Freaks and Geeks, as well as her six season run on the sitcom, Reba. In recent years, she's appeared on Once Upon a Time and The Astronaut Wives Club.

Brooke Elliott (Dana Sue Sullivan)

Elliott is a Broadway star with roles in Beauty and the Beast and Wicked. Additionally, she starred in the Lifetime series Drop Dead Diva and Dolly Parton's Heartstrings, also on Netflix.

Heather Headley (Helen Decatur)

Headley is a Tony Award-winning performer who has starred on Broadway in Aida. She also originated the Whitney Houston role in stage adaptation of The Bodyguard. She also has had a recurring role on Chicago Med.

Chris Klein (Bill Townsend)

Believe it or not, Klein is best known for his role as Chris 'Oz' Ostreicher in the American Pie series. He's also played a villain in a CW show, but most importantly... American Pie.

Jamie Lynn Spears (Noreen Fitzgibbons)

Hoo boy, this is the real MVP of casting. Jamie Lynn Spears, always of Britney Spears-sister fame and previously of Zoey 101 fame, plays a newly pregnant girlfriend of Chris Klein.

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