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'Sweet Magnolias': Television Review

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In “Lay It All Down,” the fourth episode of SWEET MAGNOLIAS, three lifelong friends, Maddie, Heather and Dana Sue, in a small South Carolina town learn there’s something they need to let go of to move forward toward better health. “Lay It All Down” has a strong Christian worldview with characters quoting Scripture and taking care of one another when times get tough. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children for some mature themes.

“Lay It All Down” begins with chatter in town about events from episode three of the series. Coach Cal Maddox was over at Maddie Townsend’s home helping her fix her leaking sink. Upon leaving, he took off his shirt in the driveway to change into something dry, and now people are speculating. This wouldn’t be such a big deal but Maddie’s in the final process for a divorce from her husband who cheated on her, and her son Tyler is on Coach Maddox’s baseball team.

Meanwhile, Maddie’s friend, Dana Sue, continues to feel the heat in her kitchen (pun intended). One day while barking orders at her staff, she falls down and winds up in the hospital. Dana Sue’s mother died of Type II diabetes, and it seems she’s on the same path. Thankfully, her daughter, Annie, rushes to her side, and so do her friends Maddie and Heather.

Heather, who’s an accomplished lawyer, gets a surprise when her old flame, Ryan, returns to town to stop her renovations on a spa she’s opening with Maddie and Dana Sue. Luckily, Heather and her friends are close with the owner, but the owner also happens to be Ryan’s aunt.

Coach Maddox gathers the courage to tell Maddie he has feelings for her and give her some space to think about a relationship without any pressure. After leaving the hospital, Dana Sue confides in her pastor about her sour attitude. Her pastor responds with affirmations from Scripture that set Dana Sue off in a healthier trajectory.

“Lay It All Down” is a heartfelt, inspiring program with a great cast. Each character has an interesting storyline to keep viewers engaged and wanting more answers. “Lay It All Down” also has a compelling message that there are seasons of peaks and valleys, but how we handle ourselves in those peaks and valleys is what really defines us.

“Lay It All Down” has a very strong Christian, moral worldview. It stresses friendship and caring for others. Also, it contains depicted prayer and references to Scripture, including a scene where a character consults her Christian pastor for guidance. Due to some mature themes, MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children for this episode of SWEET MAGNOLIAS, which is streaming on Netflix.

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become