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Sugar Review: Colin Farrell’s Attempt at Neo-Noir is Adequate at Best


Apple TV+ has premiered the initial two episodes of Sugar, featuring a star-studded cast including Colin Farrell, Amy Ryan, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and Dennis Boutsikaris, alongside other recognizable talents scattered throughout the series.

Despite all the familiar faces, the spotlight of this noir detective series undeniably falls on Farrell, who is celebrated for his roles in numerous critically acclaimed films and television shows. However, as it appears, Sugar might not make it to the list of Farrell’s best work.

Sugar is the story of a private detective whose job is to find missing people, and he will do it at any cost. The main character, aka John Sugar played by Farrell, has leaned hard into the noir attempt, and almost too hard that it simply did not work out for the Apple TV+ series. In this review, you can read more about our thoughts on Sugar, and decide if you want to stream it or skip it!

Colin Farrell Could Save Sugar

When Sugar was first announced, which was then followed by a teaser trailer, and then finally the official trailer, our expectations were set high. We couldn’t help but recall some of Colin Farrell‘s previous like The Banshees of Inisherin, The Gentlemen, The Lobster and In Bruges.

Farrell has been one of the most seasoned Irish actors to have stepped food in film and TV, but he might just have dropped the ball in Apple TV+’s series, Sugar.

Colin Farrell Could Save Sugar
Credit: Apple TV+

Sugar could have attempted a simple detective series with a whole lot of action with Farrell and people would have watched it nonetheless. However, the inclusion of neo-noir felt almost a little too forced, and awkward at certain points of the first two episodes.

This series is so incredibly far from Farrell’s best performances, and inspite of that, Sugar works because of him. If there was no Farrell, this review might just have been a lot harsher than it is.

Currently, only two episodes of Sugar have aired on Apple TV+, leaving ample opportunity for improvement. There’s a notable need for increased action and suspense, as well as a revision of prolonged dialogues that lack punctuation, and scenes devoid of any contribution to the episodes. At times, Sugar seems to stagnate, offering viewers moments where little unfolds beyond observing Farrell’s performance.

Sugar Review
Credit: Apple TV+

Since Sugar has only just begun, one can only hope that it gets better from the starting point, and doesn’t hit any more lows. So, here’s hoping. As for the plot of the series, it sticks close to the neo-noir detective genre, almost too close. Sugar feels like a half-hearted attempt for now, but we will hold back on more criticism until the next episode is out.


Apple TV+ has a lot to offer, and as of now, Sugar doesn’t rank among the top series, however, it is still fresh, and stars one of the finest actors. So, we would recommend watching it, for Colin Farrell and in hopes of better episodes moving forward.