3 reasons to watch the Apple TV+ noir crime drama

Sugar, Colin Farrell’s homage to classic film noir detective movies on Apple TV+, is well worth watching for anyone who enjoys top-notch acting, a mystery wrapped in an enigma, and a really huge twist.

But go in knowing that the drama series gets darker and darker as it goes along.

Apple TV+ revives the private detective genre with Sugar

Private detective shows used to be a staple of television. From Magnum, P.I. to The Rockford Files, they were on virtually every night of the week. In recent decades, however, they’ve mostly been replaced by police procedurals.

But Apple TV+ brought back the classic genre with Sugar. The official description says:

“Academy Award-nominee Farrell stars as John Sugar, an American private investigator on the heels of the mysterious disappearance of Olivia Siegel, the beloved granddaughter of legendary Hollywood producer Jonathan Siegel. As Sugar tries to determine what happened to Olivia, he will also unearth Siegel family secrets; some very recent, others long-buried.”

If you need more persuasion, here are three reasons to watch Sugar on Apple TV+:

1. It revives a classic film genre

The Night of the Hunter, The Big Sleep, The Wrong Man: These are all classic detective movies that are clearly beloved by the makers of Sugar. The Apple TV+ series is set in brightly lit Los Angeles, but it’s film noir nevertheless.

All the usual elements are there. Like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe before him, John Sugar isn’t a traditional hero — he’s hiding a dark secret. And that’s true for everyone involved, with lies and betrayal everywhere.

While there’s a missing woman to be found, everything — and everyone, including the lead character — is a mystery.

2. Amazing acting

Colin Farrell and Amy Ryan both shine in Sugar.
Photo: Apple TV+

Colin Farrell is in almost every scene of Sugar. The entire series hangs on him. And he’s brilliant. The character he plays is complex. John Sugar starts off seeming like a simple PI with a heart of gold, but each new revelation makes him more and more mysterious. Farrell nails it.

That shouldn’t surprise anyone. Farrell earned an Oscar nomination for The Banshees of Inisherin, after all.

Other actors turn in strong performances, too, especially Amy Ryan. Again, not a surprise: She’s known for her skill in supporting roles, as in the first season of Only Murders in the Building.

3. There’s such a huge twist

I’m not going to spoil the twist but it’s important that you know there’s one coming. The first couple of episodes of Sugar lure you into thinking this is a very standard detective film before hitting you with the big left turn.

And it’s not like you won’t suspect something is coming. While the show was first streaming on Apple TV+ this spring, fans speculated that John Sugar was really a vampire, a werewolf, an angel … you name it.

Again, I won’t ruin it for you. And I urge you to not find out for yourself beforehand. Especially as the big twist adds significantly to the series.

Why you might avoid watching Sugar

Sugar is a crime drama in the same spirit as gritty detective films of the past. Some violence is to be expected. Easily a half-dozen people are dead by the season finale. But the show gets progressively darker, and you get well into the series before the real violence begins. The last two episodes have some very dark scenes.

Spoiler alert: While I think trigger warnings are overused, if you don’t want to watch a show that includes a woman being tortured, you should skip this one.

Watch Sugar now on Apple TV+

The entire first season of Sugar is available now. You can binge it all with no waiting.

Watch on Apple TV

Watching comes with a subscription to Apple TV+. The service is $9.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. You can also get it via any tier of the Apple One subscription bundle.

And Apple’s streaming video service also includes much more than dramas like Sugar, of course. There are comedies, science fiction, children’s shows, nature documentaries, etc.

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