SUGAR. The Stylish Colin Farrell and the Otherworldly TWIST that Divided the Audience [REVIEW]

The detective series “Sugar” is not what it seems. We review the production starring Colin Farrell.

Jakub Piwoński

25 May 2024

It was supposed to be a tailor-made suit. But something must have gone wrong, and the seams have come undone. “Sugar” is a series that looks stylish, has an enticing atmosphere, and an intriguing protagonist, but for some unclear reasons, the screenwriters decided to complicate our viewing experience. It’s an example of a show whose originality will be remembered very poorly by its audience.

[Note: this text contains plot elements]

Colin Farrell plays a private detective who, while roaming the streets of Los Angeles, tries to solve the mystery of a missing girl. It’s as if Hollywood itself tasked him with tidying up its mess, as themes of sexual harassment and several other image problems echo in the background. The investigation, however, is conducted with the ambiance of film noir, enhanced by black sunglasses, stylish attire, an old-school car, and occasional scenes reminiscent of genre classics. It turns out John Sugar likes movies, the old, best ones, and enjoys taking breaks from work to watch them. How familiar.


The creators hint from the start that while the protagonist is wallowing in the dirt of a certain mystery, he himself has a much bigger secret. Various ideas come to mind about what the protagonist’s identity might hide. Maybe he’s a spy or a former soldier struggling with some trauma? Maybe he’s a former hitman who decided to free himself from his past employers under a new name? But in the wildest dreams, it was impossible to predict what the screenwriters delivered in episode six.

We’re dealing with a top-tier twist. It’s not just that we learn something that changes our perception of past events. That would be too simple. Episode six presents a resolution that turns the established world upside down. Thanks to it, this detective story abruptly transforms… into science fiction. And while I have nothing against genre mixing, when such a radical change in convention is kept secret, it unfortunately can only be seen as a cheap, viral gimmick that will heat up discussion forums and make “Sugar” talked about solely in the context of this awkward twist.

Nevertheless, I won’t explicitly reveal the creators’ “original” idea for the protagonist’s identity, both to maintain some review integrity and to avoid spoiling all your fun. I’ll just say that with Sugar, it’s a bit like meeting a sexy girl at a party who seduces and entices, but when it comes down to it, turns out to be… a man. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, from the perspective of an eager, heteronormative male, a clear disappointment comes to the forefront. That’s roughly how it works. “Sugar” is a moody detective series that ultimately ends up more like a spin-off… of “Star Trek.” It changes the entire universe of our expectations.

This was not the promise made when we were introduced to this world and this character. Colin Farrell is truly electrifying, the suit looks fantastic on him, and he plays very restrainedly, building an aura of a long-extinct genre – the gentleman. Episode by episode, he reveals his nature, showing extraordinary sensitivity, a fondness for animals, politeness towards women, and an unusual faith in humanity. Until the unfortunate episode, as a viewer, and as a man, I saw something inspiring in this character. However, the creators decided to destroy this impression by making it clear to me that such people, in truth, do not exist.

I felt hurt, as if someone mocked my desire to be a better person. In an instant, I stopped identifying with this character. I don’t know if this was the creators’ intention, who literally suggested that only an angel can walk through the hell of human sins because humans are instantly corrupted by evil, but it seems to me that if you make such an angel your hero, his “otherworldliness” should at least be hinted at. To mitigate the negative shock.

I admire the creators’ courage, Apple producers once again showed that they are interested in unconventional projects and are not afraid to take risks, but this time they clearly… overdid it.

Jakub Piwoński

Jakub Piwoński

Cultural expert, passionate about popular culture, in particular films, series, computer games and comics. He likes to fly away to unknown, fantastic regions, thanks to his fascination with science fiction. Professionally, however, he looks back more often, thanks to his work as a museum promotion specialist, investigating the mysteries of the beginnings of cinematography. His favorite film is "The Matrix", because it combines two areas close to his heart - religion and martial arts.

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