Sweet Magnolias hit Netflix in May 2020 and promptly stole the hearts of millions. The show follows three women, a.k.a. the "Sweet Magnolias," as they juggle their relationships, families, and careers in the small, Southern town of Serenity. JoAnna Garcia Swisher stars alongside Brooke Elliot and Heather Headley in the romantic TV drama, whose first season ended with a major cliffhanger — a car crash that left viewers anxious to learn who was behind the wheel. Season 1 was filled with countless twists and turns, but it doesn't stop there. Garcia Swisher says Sweet Magnolias season 2 will have even more drama than the first.
"Sheryl [Anderson], our showrunner, said everybody's so worried about who's in the car, but [with] the drama that's coming for season 2, and the twists and turns of season 2, that will be the least of everybody's concerns," Garcia Swisher tells Woman's Day. "I think it's going to be jam-packed with juicy goodness."
The actress plays Maddie Townsend, a recently-single woman trying to re-enter the work force and establish a "new normal" after divorcing long-time husband, Bill. Maddie's childhood best friends, Helen and Dana Sue, are her rocks throughout the entire show, and that's what Garcia Swisher loved the most about the role when she first heard about it. "I was really excited about the idea of doing a show that celebrated female friendships and family that is your chosen family, not necessarily your given family, and how important that is," she explains. Now, more than ever, Garcia Swisher adds, it's paramount for us to be there for each other and have a sense of community.
Another thing Garcia Swisher admires about the show is that despite how small the fictional town of Serenity is, everyone has a place there. "I just love that inclusivity and the idea of celebrating something that was really meaningful, and what it means to kind of endure, and be there for each other, and journey through life together in that way," she says. "The great theme [of the show] is love and acceptance, and that to me is really needed on television."
Spending hours filming Sweet Magnolias outside does cause Garcia Swisher's severe environmental allergies to act up, she admits, which is why she and her husband, Nick Swisher, decided to partner up with ALK, a global pharmaceutical company that focuses on allergies, for its new campaign #AllergyHomeFree. The campaign helps empower those who suffer from extreme allergies to take control of and manage their symptoms. It gives them access to educational resources, like the Allergy Home Free website and the Klarify app that allows users to track their allergy symptoms, find an allergist near them, and discuss treatment options.
"When we were approached with the chance of being able to inform and help people out, we jumped at the chance," Garcia Swisher says, adding that she's had to learn how to manage who own severe allergies over the years. "So, when we saw the statistics of how many people suffer from environmental allergies and how few are actually diagnosed, I thought, 'Wow, so many people are actually going through their days and having to power through things, and there really are opportunities to make your life better.'"
Once filming for Sweet Magnolias season 2 begins, Garcia Swisher will be able to keep her allergies in check and provide fans of the show with all the drama their little hearts desire. So, buckle your seatbelts: It's going to be an emotional (allergy-free) rollercoaster.
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