Sugar (2024 TV series)

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Sugar
Genre
Created byMark Protosevich
Directed byFernando Meirelles
Adam Arkin
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
  • Colin Farrell
  • Mark Protosevich
  • Simon Kinberg
  • Audrey Chon
  • Scott Greenberg
  • Chip Vucelich
  • Fernando Meirelles
Running time32–49 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
ReleaseApril 5, 2024 (2024-04-05) –
present (present)

Sugar is an American mystery drama television series created by Mark Protosevich with Fernando Meirelles directing 5 episodes and Adam Arkin directing 3 episodes. The series stars Colin Farrell, who also serves as executive producer. It premiered on Apple TV+ on April 5, 2024.[1]

Premise[edit]

It is described as "a genre-bending contemporary take on the private detective story set in Los Angeles".[2]

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Guest[edit]

Episodes[edit]

No.Title [4]Directed byWritten by [5]Original release date [6]
1"Olivia"Fernando MeirellesMark ProtosevichApril 5, 2024 (2024-04-05)
John Sugar is a private investigator who is recruited to investigate the disappearance of Jonathan Siegel's granddaughter, Olivia. Sugar investigates Siegel's family and is suspicious as to why Olivia's father and half-brother are so suspicious about Sugar himself. The episode opens in Tokyo where Sugar is on a mission to recover a kidnapped boy, Yuma, from a man named Hideo, suspected of the kidnapping. After successfully rescuing Yuma, Sugar learns the boy's father is a Yakuza leader who had hired him. Sugar then receives a new case and heads back to Los Angeles. There Sugar is contacted by Jonathan Siegel, a legendary film producer whose granddaughter, Olivia, has gone missing. Despite her history of drug-related disappearances, her lack of contact this time concerns her grandfather deeply. Sugar begins his investigation at Olivia's apartment, where he encounters her stepbrother David and his bodyguard, who are suspicious of Sugar's motives. Sugar's investigation leads him to discover a dead body in Olivia's car and a suitcase of Polaroid photos that may hold clues to her whereabouts. These photos, showing Olivia's biological mother, Rachel, in compromising poses, suggest that Olivia was digging into her mother's past. The episode ends with Sugar experiencing severe neurological pain, complicating his efforts to solve the case.
2"These People, These Places"Fernando MeirellesMark ProtosevichApril 5, 2024 (2024-04-05)
Detective John Sugar meets with Bernie Siegel, Olivia's father, who appears indifferent about her disappearance, assuming she's on another drug-fueled escapade. Bernie denies any involvement in the compromising photographs of his late wife, Rachel Kaye, found in Olivia's possession, and becomes defensive when questioned. Meanwhile, Sugar's hotel room is broken into by David Siegel and his bodyguard, Kenny. Sugar cleverly thwarts their attempt to spy on him by misleading them with false information. Sugar also meets again with Melanie Mackie, Olivia's stepmother, who remains evasive about Olivia's frequent recent visits and their discussions. Like Bernie, she dismisses the urgency of Olivia's disappearance, suggesting it's just another one of her disappearances. Sugar identifies the dead man found in Olivia's car as Clifford Carter, a criminal linked to the recent murder of Carmen Vazquez, whom Olivia had been visiting. It's implied that Olivia may have killed Clifford in retaliation or defense related to Carmen's murder, and subsequently disappeared. The episode concludes with goons breaking into the home of Carmen's sister, Teresa, searching for Clifford, indicating a larger conspiracy.
3"Shibuya Crossing"Adam ArkinMark Protosevich and David RosenApril 12, 2024 (2024-04-12)
Melanie Mackie, a key figure and volunteer at a shelter for women, finds herself in a dangerous situation orchestrated by a gang led by Byron Stallings, seeking information about Clifford's whereabouts. John Sugar, having been tipped off about Melanie's suspicious movements, manages to rescue her and Teresa from Stallings' aggressive interrogation. In the process, Sugar disguises himself as a law enforcement officer to deceive the gangsters and ensure Melanie and Teresa's escape. Melanie then reveals to Sugar that Olivia killed Clifford in self-defense after discovering him with Carmen Vazquez's body. Olivia, fearful of scandal tarnishing her family's name, persuaded Melanie not to report the incident. Despite her knowledge and involvement, Melanie asserts that she doesn't know Olivia's current whereabouts but is deeply concerned for her safety. The episode also introduces a mysterious secret meeting involving international spies, suggesting a broader conspiracy at play. Ruby, Sugar's handler, expresses frustration with his emotional involvement in cases and warns of potential repercussions for his continued investigation into Olivia's case. Meanwhile, David and Kenny escalate their efforts to undermine Sugar by investigating his personal background, planning a trip to Arizona to pressure Sugar through his supposed family connections, based on misled information.
4"Starry-Eyed"Adam ArkinMark Protosevich and Donald JohApril 19, 2024 (2024-04-19)
Private investigator John Sugar continues his search for missing Olivia Siegel. He learns from Melanie Mackintosh about Olivia's friendship with Taylor, who reveals David Siegel's blackmailing. Sugar informs Jonathan Siegel at a screening party, where David's offenses are exposed, leading to Jonathan falling ill. Sugar suspects a connection between Rachel Kaye and Jonathan Siegel. Meanwhile, David Siegel and his bodyguard visit Sugar's fake mother in Arizona, while David receives a threatening call from Byron Stallings. Stallings leaves for the mexican border, but has a locked door at his home (behind which he says is his special project), and his girlfriend is seen with Olivia's necklace, suggesting his involvement in her disappearance.
5"Boy in the Corner"Fernando MeirellesMark ProtosevichApril 26, 2024 (2024-04-26)
Sugar visits David, who is being consoled by his mother. He tells him that Olivia connected with one of the women he has abused, and she was threatening to reveal everything. David revealed this to Stallings, thinking he would scare her into being silent. He gives Stallings' address to Sugar. Meanwhile, Ruby meets with another member of their organization called Miller, who tells her to stop Sugar from looking more into the case, using any means necessary. Melanie arrives home late and finds one of Stallings's henchmen in her flat who tries to threaten her into revealing who Sugar is. She locks herself in the bathroom, and Sugar arrives to save her just in time - he beats up the thug but lets him go. Sugar invites Melanie to stay at his hotel room. Stallings arrives at Tijuana and meets human traffickers, forcibly separating some of the younger Mexican women from their families. At his home, David shoots himself in the head.
6"Go Home"Fernando MeirellesDonald Joh and Sam CatlinMay 3, 2024 (2024-05-03)
David is rushed to a hospital and is declared alive, but brain dead. Charlie, having staked out Stallings' home for Sugar, warns him that Stallings has arrived back. Sugar calms down Stallings' vicious doberman dogs by just talking to them, and then approaches what seems to be a bound Olivia, but is revealed to be Stallings' girlfriend, and is ambushed by her, Stallings and another thug. They reveal they have been tipped off about his arrival and beat him up, planning to murder him. Sugar pleads with them to stop the violence, saying he does not want to kill them, but when the thug does try to shoot him in the head, he somehow deflects the bullet with his wrist, and then kills him and the woman, who manages to stab Sugar deep in the stomach. He interrogates a wounded Stallings who refuses to tell anything, and executes him. Unable to contact Charlie, Sugar lets the arriving thug go but takes his phone, after checking Stallings' phone and realizing it was Ruby who warned him. He checks behind the locked door in the basement, but finds only caged dogs. Meanwhile, Bernie visits a recovering Jonathan, who comforts him about David. Sugar asks Melanie to contact a friend of his, Henry, who is a doctor, he arrives and stitches him up, and gives him a transfusion of a mysterious black shimmering liquid. A partially recovered Sugar confronts Ruby at her home who refuses to reveal her reasons for warning Stallings and says he needs to stop investigating. When she leaves to give him aspirin and Sugar finds aspirin in the drawer she just checked, he leaves abruptly. At his hotel room, he injects himself in the neck with the drug again, and transforms into a blue-skinned humanoid form in front of the mirror.
7"The Friends You Keep"Adam ArkinDonald Joh and Sam CatlinMay 10, 2024 (2024-05-10)
Ruby and Miller use a strange typewriter from planet Zardo to send a message, after receiving a reply, Miller leaves to bring back Sugar. Sugar awakens with Melanie watching over him, when Miller arrives. He lifts Sugar up with one hand but Melanie hits him from behind, and they run away. Melanie demands answers but Sugar can only reveal that they all belong to a group who have a cover "day job", leading to her thinking he is a spy. Attending David's Jewish funeral, Jonathan comforts Bernie. Olivia's not even showing up now means has convinced Bernie that she is truly missing. Sugar tries to warn Henry at his university job, but finds him gone. Seeing on the phone of Stallings' thug that they are looking for the guy, he and Melanie track him to his home, only to find him murdered. Sugar tails Miller to Ruby's home, only to find upon entry that all of his "people" are there. Ruby reveals the mission is over, and they have been called home to planet Zardo. Henry tells Sugar that some influential, powerful humans found out about their presence, and have been blackmailing to reveal the presence of aliens unless they help them. That is why Miller tried to make him back off the Siegel case. Henry expresses his opinion that the more they stay among humans, the more they become like them, which Sugar agrees with after admitting he killed Stallings not because he had to, but because he felt like it. After Henry gives him an address, Sugar breaks into the house of a senator, finding a hidden basement, but is taken captive by a security guard. He tries to report that a girl is held captive there, only to realize the guard is really the senator's son, who tortures and kills women and records their murder. The cuffed Sugar still manages to subdue the son, who to avoid being prosecuted, shoots himself in the head. Sugar opens a locked cabinet, saying Olivia's name.
8"Farewell"Fernando MeirellesDonald Joh and Sam CatlinMay 17, 2024 (2024-05-17)
Sugar finds Olivia in the cabinet, hurt but alive. He returns her to Melanie and her father and grandfather, and notifies the police. Afterwards, Miller is stopped by a cop while driving and is shot and killed. Sugar meets Ruby and Henry, asking the latter for a CD player, and starts listening to the senator's son's recordings about his torture and murder sessions. Sugar visits Jonathan, and apologizes to David's mother. Jonathan wants to hire him as chief of security, but he politely declines, and gives him the photos. Jonathan admits that he had a short relationship with Rachel, Bernie's first wife, confirming that Olivia is his daughter, not Bernie's. After leaving his dog with Melanie, he says goodbye to her, and breaking rules, briefly reveals his alien eyes to her. He also reveals he became a PI after his sister has been taken, and never found. As he continues to listen to the recording, he suddenly realizes that the killer was not alone. Talking to Olivia, she says she never saw the second person's face, nor heard him talk, but he has been writing notes all the time. This makes Sugar realize the accomplice was Henry. He drives back to Ruby's place, where Henry calls him on the phone, confirming this. He states he did it to learn from humans, and decides he will stay on Earth. Before breaking the call, he tells Sugar he left rose petals for him - the petals lead to a cupboard which contains the clothes of Djen, Sugar's sister. Sugar meets Ruby at the departure point, who confirms they knew about the experiments with the killer, which was Henry's idea, but not about Djen. Despite the likelihood that his sister is already dead, Sugar decides to stay behind as Henry is their people's responsibility, and departs to find him.

Production[edit]

It was announced in December 2021 that Apple TV+ had won a bidding war for the rights to the series, which had Colin Farrell attached to star.[2] Farrell would officially join the series in June 2022, when it was given the greenlight from Apple TV+.[7] In August 2022, Kirby, Amy Ryan, Dennis Boutsikaris, Alex Hernandez and Lindsay Pulsipher joined the main cast, with Anna Gunn and James Cromwell cast to recur.[8][9][10] In September, Nate Corddry, Sydney Chandler, Miguel Sandoval, Elizabeth Anweis and Jason Butler Harner were added to the cast.[11]

Production for the series began in August 2022, which was expected to extend into the fall, delaying another project for series star Farrell.[12]

Reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of 66 critics gave the series a positive review, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "A modern noir steeped in the classic tradition, Sugar could use stronger clues to go along with its ample style, but Colin Farrell's cool performance keeps things compelling."[4] On Metacritic, the series holds a weighted average score of 67 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kirby Howell-Baptiste is credited mononymously as "Kirby" in this show, after dropping her surname from her stage name in 2023.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schwartz, Ryan (February 5, 2024). "Apple Sets Dates for Jake Gyllenhaal's Presumed Innocent Remake, Michael Douglas' Franklin and 10 Others (Watch)". TVLine. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  2. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (June 9, 2022). "Apple Orders Drama Series 'Sugar' Starring Colin Farrell From Writer Mark Protosevich". Variety. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  3. ^ "Apple TV+ drops new teaser showcasing star-studded, upcoming lineup of new and returning series and films". Apple TV+ Press. Retrieved December 14, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Sugar: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 18, 2024.
  5. ^ "Sugar - WGA Directory". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  6. ^ "Shows A-Z – Sugar on Apple TV+". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 28, 2024.
  7. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 9, 2022). "Colin Farrell to Star in Genre-Bending Apple Series 'Sugar'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  8. ^ Cordero, Rosy (August 17, 2022). "Sugar: Kirby Howell-Baptiste To Star Opposite Colin Farrell In Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  9. ^ Petski, Denise (August 18, 2022). "Amy Ryan Joins Colin Farrell & Kirby Howell-Baptiste In Apple Series Sugar". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  10. ^ White, Peter (August 29, 2022). "Sugar: Alex Hernandez, Lindsay Pulsipher & Dennis Boutsikaris To Star In Apple Series, Anna Gunn & James Cromwell To Recur". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  11. ^ Cordero, Rosy (September 27, 2022). "Sugar: Nate Corddry, Sydney Chandler & Miguel Sandoval Among 5 Cast In Apple Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
  12. ^ Sharf, Zack (August 1, 2022). "Colin Farrell Hopes Penguin Series Starts Filming in 2023, and He Still Wants to Star in The Batman 2". Variety. Retrieved September 2, 2022.
  13. ^ "Sugar: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved April 18, 2024.

External links[edit]