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)
A post shared by JoAnna Garcia Swisher (@jogarciaswisher) on May 14, 2020 at 5:05pm PDT
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)
Ooh Dana Sue’s devilishly handsome estranged husband in @SweetMagnolias, what ever will we do with you? It’s a bit complicated 🤔 I loved working with the funny, kind, and beautifully talented @TheBrandonQuinn. Check it out! Premiering May 19!!!! pic.twitter.com/CULlh6Kh0r
— Brooke Elliott (@real_brooke) May 16, 2020
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)
Day 66 One more day! Whether you watch your favorite shows in your bed, or in your couch, or on your front porch with your glass of sweet tea...😉... I hope you’ll stop by and #watch us. #Netflix. #Tomorrow. #Sweet Magnolias. @sweetmagnoliasnetflix
A post shared by Heather Headley (@heatherheadley) on May 18, 2020 at 12:56pm PDT
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)
A special one for so many reasons. May it move you to watch as much as it moved me to be a part of. So Fully Stoked to share with you all Sweet Magnolias - Netflix May 19, 2020 Stay Home. Stay Safe. Watch - Sweet Mags. Link in Bio. @sweetmagnoliasnetflix @jogarciaswisher @jamielynnspears @norbuck @sheryljanderson @sweetmagnoliasroom #sweetmagnolias
A post shared by Chris Klein (@iamchrisklein) on Apr 28, 2020 at 4:44pm PDT
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)
Maddie and Noreen may have their differences, but JL and Jo have nothing but love for eachother👯♀️I am so happy that #SWEETMAGNOLIAS is already in the TOP 5 on #NETFLIX ‼️THANK YALL for taking time out of your life to spend with all of us in #SERENITY♥️
A post shared by Jamie Lynn Spears (@jamielynnspears) on May 20, 2020 at 8:22pm PDT
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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