If there’s anything that’s been good to come out of quarantine, it’s that I was introduced to one of my new favorite shows: Sweet Magnolias
The Netflix show was the perfect answer to my quarantine blues, introducing me to three amazing, strong, independent, outspoken women that had their own unique stories to tell. Through it all — the good, the bad and the downright disheartening — they had each other to lean on through it all.
But Sweet Magnolias was more than just our three leading Sweet Magnolias. There were a wonderfully diverse cast of characters, including the kids in Ty, Annie and Kyle, as well as the charming Erik Whitley that breathed life into this wonderful show.
And because I love this show so much, I decided to do a rewatch — especially now that Netflix has finally renewed Sweet Magnolias for a second season — complete with a review.
So let’s revisit the fifth episode of Sweet Magnolias, “Dance First, Think Later,” where the Sweet Magnolias open The Corner Spa, sparks fly between Ty and Annie and Maddie and Cal seal things with a kiss.
Ty and Annie
The fifth episode of Sweet Magnolias was a game-changer for me. It was the first time that I felt invested in the show — like majorly — and you could say that one ship in particular helped get me there.
One of the things that I love about Sweet Magnolias is that the kids are just as important as the adults, unlike other shows. And this was a big episode for Ty and Annie, childhood best friends who will never look at things the same after this.
Annie has clearly been into Ty for awhile, as evidenced by the pilot, and we all know that alcohol can be a truth serum. Annie wanted to spend time with Ty, so she agreed to go to a party where he was at. She proceeded to get drunk off whipped cream-flavored vodka — yay peer pressure! — and got wasted.
Ty noticed this and took care of Annie. He saw she was inebriated, helped get her out of there, held her hair back when she vomited and helped get her home.
We’ve known since the pilot how Annie feels about Ty — you could see it in the way her eyes would follow him everywhere he went — but we were less sure about where Ty stood. Especially as it looked like he was 100 percent oblivious.
So when Annie planted a drunken kiss on his lips, what happened after told me everything we needed to know about how Ty feels. First, he didn’t pull away. Next, he looked so completely shocked by what had just happened. After Annie’s drunken voice message, you could see how torn up Ty was about the kiss, as if he felt guilty. I’m sorry, but you don’t respond like that if you don’t have feelings for someone.
It was almost as if Ty’s eyes were opened for the first time in examining his relationship with Annie. They’ve been friends forever, and that’s what Ty has known. Somewhere along the way, Annie realized that her feelings for Ty had developed into something else. So when Annie kissed Ty, she made him think about what had just happened, about their relationship and about his feelings. The way he tried to downplay the kiss in his text to her showed me that he didn’t want to ruin their friendship — but also that he realized he has feelings that he needs to sort out.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you start a friends-to-lovers slow-burn of epic proportions.
The Corner Spa opens its doors
The heart of this show has, and will always be, the friendship between Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue. And from the start, these three Sweet Magnolias have been working on creating their own business – “The Corner Spa” – and the fruits of their labor were finally realized in this fifth episode.
As is with life, there were certainly challenges that threatened The Corner Spa’s opening. Jealous enemies, uprooted trees, bad luck and the elements nearly threw a wrench into things. But a little adversity never killed nobody. And our ladies rose above the challenges to get to The Corner Spa’s opening night, which went off without a hitch.
You couldn’t help but be overcome with emotion as you saw all of the ladies’ hard work finally pay off in such a rewarding way. And at this point of the series – nearly halfway through the first season – that’s when things started to change for me. I found myself more invested, caring more and being more attentive than the first four. Which is exactly what should’ve happened.
Maddie and Cal finally take the next step
After five episodes of flirting and prying eyes, Maddie and Cal finally took the next step in their relationship. This whole “will they/won’t they” of it all could only be dragged out so long. And they always felt less like a slowburn and more like two people falling fast for each other. After four episodes of apprehension, they sealed things with a kiss.
And good on Maddie, because not only is Cal hot as hell, he’s a real gentlemen in a world of pigs.
Cal has been patient with Maddie, as he’s made it clear to her from the start, as she’s been dealing with some pretty nasty divorce things. It really was all about the timing being right for Maddie before she started to explore dating again. But you can’t always control when love is going to find you, sorry Maddie.
Maddie and Cal had a spark from the start, and it was something that continued to sizzle to the point where things just felt right to take the next step. Maddie has been so focused about everyone around her talking, but she hasn’t been thinking about what’s right for her. So she finally did something for herself and decided to explore this relationship with Cal.
Well, I think we can all agree that this isn’t going to go over well with some, like Maddie’s son Ty and her ex-husband Bill. But screw Bill, go get you some, Maddie!
Helen, you’re with the wrong man!
This fifth episode was certainly a big shipper episode — be it for a couple like Maddie and Cal taking the next step or slow-burns like Ty and Annie, as well as Helen and Erik, having moments that made it clear that they’re going to be endgame.
I’ve been on board the Helen and Erik ship from the pilot, as it was evident from their not-so-subtle flirting that they were totally into each other. With every passing interaction, it became more apparent that Sweet Magnolias was taking the slow-burn route with this couple, which made it both exciting and torturous. But it’s all about timing, which Erik noted in a conversation with Kyle about love.
“It’ll happen when it’s meant to,” Erik tells Kyle about waiting for love to find you. And you have to believe that Erik is keeping that in mind in regards to Helen, biding his time. But it’s clear that Erik is not a fan of Ryan because he’s so clearly into Helen.
Look no further than the not-so-perfect moment when Erik walked in to see Helen and Ryan all coupley together. The look on his face, you could see the exact moment when his heart broke because that’s what he wants…with Helen. And I’ll be damned if this wasn’t the moment that I was all-in on Helen and Erik.
Stay tuned for the next installment of my Sweet Magnolias rewatch next Saturday.
Sweet Magnolias is streaming on Netflix and season 2 is coming soon.