Break out the margaritas or Chef Erik's brownies because Sweet Magnolias, the surprise Netflix hit of the summer, is coming back for a second season. The streaming service confirmed the good news to Glamour, adding that stars JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, and Heather Headley (who play best friends Maddie Townsend, Dana Sue Sullivan, and Helen Decatur) will be back for more romance and drama in the picturesque town of Serenity, South Carolina.
“It's a dream come true," showrunner and executive producer Sheryl Anderson tells Glamour from her home in Los Angeles. “I'm thrilled and excited to come back with a cast and a crew that I love so much. It’s such a valentine to everybody who worked so hard to make Serenity such a beautiful place. JoAnna, Brooke, and Heather and I were jumping up and down while texting each other, and we look forward to doing that over Zoom too."
Anderson also reveals that the new season will once again consist of 10 episodes ("10 is my new favorite number!"). Because of the pandemic, though, there's no official start date for when production can resume. “We're discussing that because obviously safety is everybody's first concern, but we will certainly dive back in as soon as it works for everybody.”
Regardless, Anderson and the writers have been hard at work planning new twists and turns for season two. Here, she and the cast fill us in on what's to come.
When will the season premiere?
Because of the pandemic, there's no official start date or premiere. “That's a reflection of not having our production date nailed down yet,” Anderson explains. “I don't know how to do this show without kissing, so we want to make sure everybody is safe and feels comfortable returning to the passion of Serenity.”
Where will it film?
Anderson says the plan is to be back on location in Georgia to film, once that's possible. After all, there's only one Corner Spa.
Who will be in the cast?
Netflix has confirmed that all three leads will return, but what about Noreen (Jamie Lynn Spears), Bill (Chris Klein), and the others? If it's up to Garcia Swisher, there will be more scenes between Noreen and Maddie—even though Noreen left town while pregnant with Bill's child. “I’d like to see Maddie and Noreen come together," she says. "One of my favorite moments toward the end of the first season was Maddie's realization that Noreen made a big impact on one of her children [Kyle]. Maddie's kids are about to have another sibling, so I’d be interested to see how that pans out."
Anderson won't offer official confirmation on Noreen's return just yet but says, “It is absolutely my plan and hope that everybody you loved in season one will be back in season two. And there will be new faces and new relationships." As for the men in Dana Sue's life—particularly Farmer Jeremy and her estranged husband Ronnie—Anderson says not to worry: "I'm not abandoning any stories. My hope is to take them in delightful directions.” Brooke Elliott, who plays Dana Sue, is all for it. “Dana Sue needs a lot of loving, and I hope she gets just that!” she says.
But who’s in the car?
Viewers saw Kyle Townsend, Maddie and Bill's middle child, being carried out on a stretcher in the finale. But who was the passenger? “People will get enough information in the first episode of season two to keep them going,” Anderson says.
Garcia Swisher, Elliott, and Headley have all said they don't even know the identity of the passenger. “They'll find out at the first table read,” Anderson says, joking that such information is classified intel. “Everyone says they want to know, then they don't want to know, then they do want to know. It's easier not to tell them. They'll all find out together.”
Garcia Swisher just has one request: “Please tell me you didn’t put two of my three children in there! Hasn’t Maddie been through enough?"
Is there hope for Coach Cal and Maddie?
The hottest couple since, well, I don't know, broke up in the finale, but they have to get back together, right? “Sure,” Anderson says with a laugh and a hint of sarcasm. In all seriousness, though, she says the writers have great plans for them as a couple. But now that Maddie's ex-husband Bill wants to get back together, Garcia Swisher says her character is going to need time for a lot of self-reflection. “She has a lot of learning to do. She hasn’t even begun to understand how she let her marriage get to where it was," the actor says. “She was like, ‘I’m ready to trust,' and then in the next moment it's like, ‘Nope.’ She’s still in this fresh infancy of her grief, and I really look forward to exploring that in season two.”
What will happen with Chef Erik, Helen, and Ryan?
While Ryan seems to be out of the picture—for now—will Chef Erik make a move on Helen? Or will he continue to be just a friend? “I think the evolution of their friendship will fascinate and, I hope, delight people,” Anderson says. But Garcia Swisher isn't hiding her thoughts on what she wants to see happen: “I want Erik and Helen to get it on!”
Will something—or someone—cause a rift between the three Magnolias?
“I wouldn’t be surprised if something shakes the friendship a little bit, because something always does,” Headley tells Glamour. “A man? Money? I want to know what shakes their foundation a little bit, because how they come back together will be a beautiful thing.” As for what Headley wants to see for Helen's romantic life, she's not entirely sold on Chef Erik just yet. “For me, personally, Helen has to go through her learning process of what love is. Is love what’s comfortable? Or is love opening up to someone new? Erik has issues with his own PTSD, and he has some secrets that nobody has gone into just yet. And when are they going to make themselves known? I don’t know if a pot pie will forgive a lot of that, but we’ll see. She is in her 40s and doesn’t want to jump into nonsense. She’s strong, beautiful, and successful. Where's her equivalent?”
And just for good measure, Headley has one more thing on her wish list for season two: “I want to have a fight with Mary Vaughn. A throw down in the streets.”
Who are Isaac’s parents?
If you ask Isaac, he seems to think Dana Sue is his mom. Not so fast, Anderson says. “Isaac has some digging to do to figure that out, so we’ll have to see how long it takes to put the pieces together.” Anderson is impressed by the many fan theories out there, but says all is not what it seems. ”Some of the theories I think, Oh, okay, I see that, and some of the theories, I’m like, What?! That never occurred to me...oh, well wouldn’t that have been interesting. And some of the theories I’m like, Oh, I see what you wanted there, and in advance, I’m sorry. It’s been delightful to read."
Will we learn more about Dana Sue’s past?
While Brooke Elliott wants to see Dana Sue explore relationships with the many men of Serenity, she's most concerned about the relationship she has with her angsty teen daughter, Annie. “That relationship is a bit stressed right now," she says. "There’s a lot of learning that Dana Sue has to do around her daughter. Dana Sue was someone who was super wild as a teen and then became super strict as a parent. There's so much to explore there, and so much to learn."
Says Anderson, “I take [all three women's suggestions seriously] because I really respect the work they've done, and they have a fabulous insight into their characters. I think there's a good chance some of the things they were excited about exploring, they'll be able to explore.”
What about the margarita nights?
Anderson loved that viewers fell in love with the ladies' margarita nights and says there will be more of them in season two. “I'm thrilled how viewers embraced that, not just as a fun thing to do, but because of the deeper meaning of coming together with friends and supporting each other. It's such a part of the emotional through line of their friendship."
And their style?
When we spoke with costume designer Cameron Dale a few weeks ago, she said her first item of business for a second season would be to talk to Anderson about where these characters' lives are going. "I think it will be similar to what we did in the first season,” she says, “but it’s fun to see where their lives are going and experiment and style them in a way that will complement that.” In other words, bring on the fashion.
What else can we expect?
To the fans that have supported the show—based on best-selling author Sherryl Woods's Sweet Magnolias novels—Anderson says she and fellow executive producer Dan Paulson can't wait to deliver more of the same feel-good entertainment in season two. “I’m so humbled and flattered by the way people have opened their hearts to these characters and this community and what they stand for,” Anderson tells Glamour. She says she's particularly moved by the response to the show's inclusive atmosphere in front of and behind the camera and will continue to deepen that in season two. “I hope when people get a chance to see it, they will come away loving these extraordinary people even more. And whenever the new season does premiere, we'll do everything we can to have made it worth the wait.”
This post will be updated when additional details become available. Sweet Magnolias season one is currently available on Netflix.
Jessica Radloff is the Glamour West Coast editor. You can follow her on Instagram at @jessicaradloff14.
Originally Appeared on Glamour