Colin Farrell in the driver's seat of a car in the Apple TV+ series 'Sugar'

‘Sugar’ Review: No One Has Looked Hotter Than Private Eye Colin Farrell

Colin Farrell is often in projects where he looks incredible. Hell, he made the Penguin hot. But watching him as a private investigator in Sugar is next level. Detective stories are a dime a dozen, but seeing Farrell embody John Sugar should be on the top of everyone’s viewing list.

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We’ve fallen into a trap with detective stories recently. They either have to completely rewrite the genre or they have to be something so completely by the book to grab our attention. Sugar exists somewhere in the middle of that. Harking back to the feel of a noir, the story takes us into John Sugar’s latest case, trying to find Olivia Siegel (Sydney Chandler). The granddaughter of a wealthy movie producer (and the daughter of a less successful one), Olivia goes missing and many of her family members assume she’s on a bender.

John, hired by her grandfather (James Cromwell), is determined to find out the dirty secrets of this family. Call it the genre mixing the show does or the beauty of seeing a modern day noir film set in Los Angeles, but whatever it is, there is something about Sugar that just captivates you.

Every episode keeps you on edge, wanting to know what is to come for Sugar and this case. Beyond that, Sugar himself is seemingly slipping from his reality, panicking in the shower or thinking he cut himself and is bleeding everywhere, only to discover that isn’t the case.

So you’re left wondering what is going on with him, with Olivia, and with each character he encounters on his quest for answers—all while wearing very stylish suits that he doesn’t love getting cut up in fights.

A man, his car, and his dog

John Sugar sitting at a computer at a table
(Apple TV+)

If you take out the mystery of Sugar, you’re still left with a stunning series. Every single shot of Farrell feels like something out of an old Hollywood picture book, including the classic car that he drives in that his confidant Ruby (Kirby) mocks him for.

But it is all a part of who John Sugar is. He’s the fitted black suits, the voiceover that feels very 1950s, and the car that would probably cost a fortune to keep up with. It is made that much better when he ends up in possession of a dog named Wiley that he decides to keep as his own. All of these qualities turn John Sugar into a man you want to succeed; you want to see the world through his PI gaze.

And the allure of the season as a whole comes down to the fact that this show is just good. It is trippy in the best of ways, and,as is always the case with Farrell’s work, he’s playing a completely different character from the rest of his filmography. Apple TV+ has found magic with Sugar, providing us with a new kind of private investigator to come back to time and time again, and I want to live in the mind of John Sugar and his cases as much as possible.

(featured image: Apple TV+)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.