Media Monday: Sweet Magnolias

A new-to-me Netflix series, Sweet Magnolias, was my weekend escape. I’m halfway through Season 1, and I understand it ends on a cliffhanger, so I’m trusting there will be a Season 2.

SMSweet Magnolias is set in Serenity, South Carolina and is about three women, friends since high school. Maddie, newly divorced, mom of three. Helen, single, attorney, accomplished. Dana Sue, longer divorced, mom of one, restaurateur. They go into business together, renovating a historic home and turning it into a spa. The series follows their lives, their romances, their families.

I haven’t read the books the series is based on, by Sherryl Woods. I’ve heard good things about them, but honestly, my To-Be-Read (TBR) mountain is teetering so high, I don’t dare add any more to it. At least until I get the current stack to a more manageable height. If you love small town Southern romances with strong female characters and deep friendships, I feel safe in saying you’d love the books.

The series is good, even if I can’t personally compare it to the books.


I like the characters. I loved Brooke Elliott, who plays Dana Sue, as Jane Bingum in Drop Dead Diva back in 2009-2014. She was ditzy blonde model who was killed in an accident and sent back to life on Earth in a smart, brunette attorney’s curvy body. Ms Elliott was brilliant in that.

I’m enjoying this as a new find.

Anyone have something new to recommend?

My Netflix and Amazon Prime lists are not quite as bulging as my TBR stack.

Media Monday: Longmire

Longmire is based on a book series that I’ve heard of but never read.

A couple of summers ago, Stud Muffin came home from work and said someone had recommended the Longmire television series to him. So we found it, DVR’d it, and settled in.

I was pleasantly surprised to find I genuinely enjoyed it.

LMWalt Longmire is the Sheriff of Absaroka County, in Wyoming. It’s a rural area, populated by ranchers, farmers, Native Americans. Crime runs from petty theft to murder.

The series opens a few months after Walt has been widowed and the search for his wife’s killer and justice are the over-arcing story lines for the first few seasons.

After three seasons on A&E, the series was canceled but then picked up by Netflix. I’m almost done watching Season Four, and Season Five will release in September.

It’s interesting to me that although Stud Muffin was the reason I started watching this show, he’s lost interest and I now watch it alone.

He doesn’t like the unrealistic events he feels the show portrays.

I think the story telling and writing are some of the best on television.

He doesn’t think the police procedural episodes are accurate.

I like the scenery and a glimpse into a truly rural way of life. We live in the “country” but in truth, we’re twenty minutes from Starbucks and shopping. Not so true in Absaroka County.

The stories often show the tight-rope walk policing a small community can be. And it’s a stark look at the realities of life on a reservation. The strict boundaries between the reservation and the rest of the county, the division between the tribal police and county sheriff. Who can investigate what and where. The boon a casino can be to the locals but the problems it brings with it. Not the least of which are greed and a thirst for power.

Walt makes mistakes in his assumptions, but that doesn’t stop him from working through to the best solution.

I also think the show is perfectly cast. Robert Taylor is an extraordinary Walt Longmire, weathered, worn, but comfortable with who and what he is. Lou Diamond Phillips as Walt’s friend Henry Standing Bear is the perfect mix of stoic and purposefulness. Katee Sackhoff as Walt’s deputy Victoria Moretti has grit and she’s tough, but she’s occasionally vulnerable.

I could go on and on, but do yourself a favor and try Longmire, if you haven’t already. And let me know if you’re with me or on Stud Muffin’s side.