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Sugar Season 1 series review: Colin Farrell is the icing that prevents this cake from tasting totally bad

Sugar Season 1 series review: Colin Farrell is the title character Sugar, aka John Sugar, a private investigator who is very good at his job - find missing people. His latest case, though, is a tricky

Sugar Season 1 series review: Colin Farrell is the icing that prevents this cake from tasting totally bad
Colin Farrell as John Sugar in Sugar

Last Updated: 03.48 PM, May 17, 2024


Sugar Season 1 story: Private Investigator John Sugar (Colin Farrell) has two great loves – his job and the movies; he’s a sucker for old-time classics. So, when he is hired by a big shot producer, Jonathan Siegel (James Cromwell) to find his granddaughter Olivia (Sydney Chandler), he jumps at it. Sugar’s drive as a PI comes from never having been able to get to the bottom of his sister’s mysterious disappearance.

With Olivia’s case, though, Sugar soon finds that it is not just about a rich girl on a bender; she is in genuine danger and he wants to find her before it’s too late. But when friends turn foes, will Sugar be able to deliver on that promise?


Sugar Season 1 review: Ever spent a few weeks watching a show only to end up having that weird feeling that you deserved better. That’s the exact feeling I had earlier today after watching the season finale of Apple TV+’s Sugar. Well, to be entirely honest, that feeling had crept in when the showrunners dropped a supposedly major twist in Episode 6 that didn’t evoke much surprise or excitement. It was just meh!

It was clear early on that the case that Sugar was investigating had more to it than meets the eye. But for her grandfather and her former step-mother, no one else in the family was really worried about her disappearance. Even Sugar’s boss/associate Ruby (Kirby) was not keen on him taking up the job. There were people actively trying to ensure he doesn’t find her, including some in Sugar’s close circle. But why? That’s the actual mystery in the tale and not the disappearance of Olivia Siegel.

During his investigation, Sugar finds that Olivia’s half-brother David’s quite the predator and a close associate of human traffickers, but those turn out to be inconsequential elements in the narrative, for which, a lot of time is spent. The 8-episode duration of the show is an absolute overkill, especially when the final reveal of the wolf in sheep’s clothing is far from a formidable opponent. All it does is to give the showrunners the prospect of a second season.

Kirby and Colin Farrel in Sugar
Kirby and Colin Farrel in Sugar

The biggest problem with Sugar is that it is never compelling enough; the realization that Colin Farrell is the only reason to stick along for the long ride hits early on, even though the show’s star cast includes Cromwell, Amy Ryan, Anna Gunn, Dennis Boutsikaris and Nate Corddry among others.

Sugar Season 1 verdict: Despite Colin Farrell’s best efforts, Sugar feels lazy and uninspiring, with the twist in the tale almost like the work of a child. The only reason that the show doesn’t completely disintegrate is its protagonist and maybe Amy Ryan’s Melanie too. But is that good enough to warrant a return for this PI?

*All 8 episodes of Sugar are now available on Apple TV+


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