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Sugar (2024 TV series)

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Created byMark Protosevich
Directed byFernando Meirelles
Adam Arkin
Opening theme"Street Fighter Mas" by Kamasi Washington
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
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]


Described as "a genre-bending contemporary take on the private detective story set in Los Angeles,"[2] it follows John Sugar, a private investigator recruited by a wealthy movie producer to investigate the disappearance of his granddaughter.






No.Title [4]Directed byWritten by [5]Original release date [6]
1"Olivia"Fernando MeirellesMark ProtosevichApril 5, 2024 (2024-04-05)
In Tokyo, private investigator John Sugar recovers the kidnapped son of a Yakuza leader, but sustains a cut to his left shoulder in the process. Shortly after, he is offered a new case and returns to Los Angeles. There, Sugar, who is revealed to be an avid cinephile and a polyglot, meets with Jonathan Siegel, a legendary film producer whose granddaughter, Olivia, has gone missing. Despite her history of drug-related disappearances, this time Siegel is deeply concerned by her lack of contact. Sugar's handler Ruby expresses misgivings about him taking on the case, but Sugar insists, saying that Olivia reminds him of his sister DJen. He begins his investigation at Olivia's apartment, where he encounters her stepbrother David and his bodyguard, Kenny, who act uncooperatively. In the apartment, Sugar finds a suitcase full of memorabilia dedicated to Olivia's late mother, Rachel Kaye, from when she was a young actress. He then tracks Melanie Matthews, who used to be Olivia's stepmother. They bond over expensive whisky, and Sugar reveals that he metabolizes alcohol unusually quickly, allowing him to drink large amounts of alcohol without feeling drunk. He takes Melanie home, but rebuffs her advances. His investigation leads him to discover a dead body in Olivia's car. In his hotel suite, Sugar receives a mysterious invitation to a party by a society of polyglots. After finding compromising Polaroid photos of Rachel Kaye hidden in Olivia's suitcase, suggesting that Olivia was digging into her mother's past, Sugar seems to experience neurological sequels from the wound on his shoulder, which has reopened. He injects himself with a mysterious intravenous substance before losing consciousness.
2"These People, These Places"Fernando MeirellesMark ProtosevichApril 5, 2024 (2024-04-05)
Sugar meets with Bernie Siegel, Olivia's father, who appears indifferent about her disappearance, assuming she's on another drug-fueled escapade. Bernie denies having taken the compromising photographs of his late wife, and becomes defensive when questioned. David Siegel and Kenny break into Sugar's hotel room, trying to gather information about him. Sugar interrogates several of Olivia's friends and learns that she had been sober, not purchasing drugs in at least a year. Meanwhile, it is revealed that several women are accusing David of sexual misconduct and that Bernie and his team are trying to cover it up. 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. Jonathan Siegel asks Sugar to dispose of Carter's body to avoid implicating Olivia in the crime, but when Sugar returns to the car, the body has disappeared. Sugar meets again with Melanie Matthews, who remains cagey about her relationship with Olivia and, like Bernie, dismisses the urgency of her disappearance. She pretends not to recognize a picture of Carter, but Sugar does not believe her. Convinced that she knows Olivia's whereabouts, he hires civilian Charlie to keep tabs on her. Teresa Vazquez, Carmen's sister, is visited by gangster Byron Stallings and his goons, who are looking for Carter and think Melanie may have answers.
3"Shibuya Crossing"Adam ArkinMark Protosevich and David RosenApril 12, 2024 (2024-04-12)
Melanie is tricked into going to Teresa's, where Stallings aggressively interrogates both women about Carter's whereabouts and threatens to torture them. Sugar, tipped off by Charlie, manages to rescue Melanie and Teresa by posing as a parole officer and distracting the gangsters with a smoke bomb. Melanie reveals to Sugar that Olivia killed Carter in self-defense after discovering him with Carmen's body. Olivia, fearful of scandal tarnishing her family's name, persuaded Melanie not to report the incident, and went into hiding. Despite her knowledge and involvement, Melanie asserts that she doesn't know Olivia's current whereabouts but is deeply concerned for her safety. Meanwhile, Kenny digs into Sugar's past and uncovers details about the mysterious polyglot society, which he suspects to be a network of international spies. Sugar's shoulder injury continues to bother him. He attends the reunion of the polyglot society, which is hosted by Ruby and framed as an innocuous party. There, Sugar reconnects with his old friend Henry, an anthropologist. It is implied that the 'polyglots' may all be working in service of an overarching mission, observing and reporting on personal interactions, using their stated professions as a cover. Assessing Sugar's latest report, Ruby expresses frustration with his emotional involvement in cases and warns of potential repercussions for his continued investigation into Olivia's case. She comments on his poor health and insists he books an appointment with Dr. Vickers. Later, she calls Vickers to warn him about Sugar getting too close to the truth, before purging information about Stallings from various law enforcement databases.
4"Starry-Eyed"Adam ArkinMark Protosevich and Donald JohApril 19, 2024 (2024-04-19)
Sugar gets a check-up with Dr. Vickers, who asks him about his use of intravenous drugs and expresses concern about his mental health. With Melanie's help, Sugar then tracks Taylor, a friend of Olivia's who eventually reveals that David Siegel sexually blackmailed her, that there were other victims, and that Olivia was aware of it. Meanwhile, David and Kenny escalate their efforts to undermine Sugar by travelling to Arizona to visit who they think is his mother. The woman, Helen, charms them but gives them no information. Ruby feeds false information to Sugar about Byron Stallings, omitting any serious criminal details. Sugar wants to update Jonathan Siegel, who in lieu of a meeting invites Sugar to a party for the screening of one of his early productions. There, Sugar observes Bernie and Melanie having a covert conversation, deducing that she is still hiding something. The allegations against David become public during the screening. Shortly after being informed, Jonathan suffers a heart attack backstage. Sugar notices that the gold dress worn by the lead actress in the movie is the same dress worn by Rachel Kaye in the racy Polaroids from Olivia's suitcase. On his way back from Arizona, David receives a threatening call from Stallings, who warns him not to implicate him. Stallings later leaves for the Mexican border. His den is revealed to have a cellar with a padlocked door, which he calls his "special project", and one of his cronies is seen wearing a necklace belonging to Olivia.
5"Boy in the Corner"Fernando MeirellesMark ProtosevichApril 26, 2024 (2024-04-26)
Sugar visits a recovering Jonathan, and sees the gold dress in his personal archives, intuiting a connection between the veteran producer and the young Rachel Kaye. Sugar then interrogates David, who eventually confesses that Stallings was providing him with young women for sexual services. He explains that he developed a friendship with Stallings and at some point confided in him about the allegations against him, as well as about Olivia encouraging one of the victims (implied to be Taylor) to go public and not settle, hoping that Stallings might scare Olivia into being silent. He gives Stallings' address to Sugar. Meanwhile, Ruby meets with Miller, another member of their organization, who tells her to stop Sugar from looking more into the case by any means necessary. That evening, Melanie arrives home late to find one of Stallings' henchmen in her house. She fights him off and locks herself in the bathroom. Sugar, checking in with Charlie and noticing the gangster's truck parked outside Melanie's, arrives to save her just in time. He violently beats up the thug, scaring Melanie, before letting him go and inviting her to stay with him at his hotel. Stallings arrives at Tijuana and meets human traffickers, forcibly separating some of the younger Mexican women from their families. After narcissistically reminiscing about his child actor career and being comforted by his mother, 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, warns Sugar that Stallings has returned. Sugar calms Stallings' vicious doberman dogs simply by talking to them. In the house, Sugar is ambushed by Stallings and two of his acolytes, all heavily armed. They reveal they have been tipped off about his arrival, beat him up, and plan to murder him. Sugar pleads with them to stop the violence, saying he does not want to kill them. When Stallings orders his crony to shoot him in the head, Sugar somehow deflects the bullet with his hand. Seemingly showing superhuman strength and speed, he overpowers all three, incapacitating Stallings and killing both acolytes, although he is stabbed in the stomach in the process. He then interrogates Stallings, who refuses to tell him anything, so Sugar executes him. Checking Stallings' phone, he recognizes Ruby's number as the one warning them of his arrival. He investigates behind the locked door in the basement, but finds only caged dogs. Unable to contact Charlie and gravely injured, Sugar asks Melanie to meet him at a nearby motel. There, he refuses to be taken to the hospital, but asks her to contact his friend Henry, saying he is a doctor. Henry arrives, asks Melanie to go get a supply of drugs at the drugstore, and conducts surgery in her absence, apparently giving Sugar a transfusion of a mysterious shimmering blood-like liquid. A partially recovered Sugar confronts Ruby at her home, but she refuses to reveal her reasons for warning Stallings, reiterating instead that Sugar needs to stop investigating. Sugar asks her if Olivia has been trafficked to someone being protected by their organization, and Ruby doesn't answer. She offers him an aspirin and goes upstairs to get some, but he abruptly leaves before she returns. Back in the motel, while Melanie is sleeping, he again injects himself in the neck with his intravenous drug kit, saying that he wants to take a break and "go home" for the evening. As he stands in front of the mirror, he transforms into a blue-skinned humanoid.
7"The Friends You Keep"Adam ArkinDonald Joh and Sam CatlinMay 10, 2024 (2024-05-10)
Ruby and Miller use a strange typewriter-like device to send a message, and after receiving a reply, Miller leaves in search of Sugar. Sugar awakens in the motel room to find that Melanie has been watching over him. Attending David's Jewish funeral, Jonathan comforts Bernie, who now believes Olivia is truly in danger and missing due to her absence. Miller arrives at the hotel with backup and, after a scuffle, subdues Sugar by grabbing his neck and lifting him up in the air with a single hand, but Melanie knocks Miller over with a towel bar, and they run away. Melanie demands answers but Sugar can only reveal that he belongs to a secret job and that private detective is only his "day job," leading her to believe he is a spy. We learn that David has succumbed to his injury. Sugar tries to warn Henry at his university job, but finds that Miller has gotten to him first. Sugar later tails Miller to a mysterious house, only to find upon entry that many of his fellow "polyglots" are there. Ruby reveals that the mission is over, and they have been called home. Henry tells Sugar that some influential, powerful humans found out about their presence, and have been blackmailing them threatening 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's son, finding the 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 himself. The cuffed Sugar still manages to subdue the son, who suddenly shoots himself in the head. Sugar investigates the basement, finding an array of torture and slaughtering devices, and stacks of recordings. He opens a locked cabinet under the stairs.
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 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 was abducted 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.


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]


On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of 74 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]


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


  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 June 10, 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.

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