Sugar Rush (British TV series)
Sugar Rush is a British television comedy drama series developed by Shine Limited and broadcast by Channel 4, based on the Julie Burchill novel of the same name. It is centred on the life of a 15-year-old girl Kim Daniels, who has moved from London to Brighton on the south coast of England.
|Opening theme||"One Way or Another" by Blondie|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||2|
|No. of episodes||20 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 minutes (including adverts)|
|Original network||Channel 4|
|Original release||7 June 2005 –|
17 August 2006
From the beginning of the first series, main character Kim is adamant that she is sexually obsessed with her best friend, Sugar. Her strong feelings for Sugar motivate her to do anything for her friend, even when Sugar takes advantage of Kim's eagerness.
Kim enters Sugar's world of casual sex, cigarettes, the over-consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs. The main theme of series 1 is for Kim to accept her feelings for Sugar even though Sugar is heterosexual. The last episode of Series 1 exemplifies the lengths that Kim is willing to go to for her friend. In the next series, Kim attempts to build a relationship with a young woman, Saint.
Sugar has little time for serious activities in her life and there is little which causes her to worry. She spends the majority of her time drinking alcohol, socialising and having casual sex with men. In spite of their different backgrounds, Sugar and Kim soon become close friends.
Sugar is accustomed to using her good looks in order to get what she wants. Sexy, sassy and street-wise, she becomes a bad influence on Kim. She encourages Kim to drink alcohol and eventually gets Kim mixed up in all kinds of situations. Sugar has an addictively electric personality that attracts people, especially Kim. It should also be stated that Kim's love for Sugar almost borders on obsession. Kim seems to be her only close friend and she rarely hangs out with any other girlfriends. She only has intermittent relationships with the men in her life.
Sugar constantly teases Kim about her sexuality. At times, it seems as if she does not realise the great extent to which her words hurt Kim. In Series 2, Sugar is incarcerated in a young offenders institute. She is in custody because she stabbed a man who was attempting to rape her. This occurred in the last episode of Series 1, where it is the first time she breaks down in tears. Sugar, however, is then quick to take charge of the situation by stealing a car with Kim and driving to London where they spend the night in a posh hotel.
Sugar exhibits a more vulnerable side of her when she tells Kim that she feels really lonely in prison. She reveals that Kim is the only person in her life who has not abandoned her since she has been imprisoned. In the third episode of the second series, it is implied that Sugar slept with one of the female prison guards in order to have her sentence reduced. Whatever the case, Sugar is then released from prison. This causes friction between Kim, Sugar and Kim's new girlfriend, Saint.
In Episode 3 of Series 2, it is revealed that Saint is still friends with her ex-boyfriend, which causes some friction in her relationship with Kim. During Episode 5 of Series 2, Kim is caught cheating on Saint with rocker Montana which results in Kim overdosing on the beach. After several hallucinations, Kim repeatedly calls Saint apologising profusely before collapsing. When she awakes, Kim mistakenly believes Sugar saved her life. She later discovers that it was actually Saint who saved Kim's life. Sugar later confesses to Kim that it was actually Saint who saved her. Saint asks Kim to move in with her near the end of series two. Kim accepts although she has reservations. She confesses to Sugar that she does not want to move in with Saint because she always wondered what would have happened between herself and Sugar if the latter had not been arrested. When Sugar has convinced Kim that, although they 'have their moments,' they would argue too much. Kim returns to Saint and tells her that she will move in, leaving Sugar crying in a cafe. In episode 7 of series 2, Saint tells Kim she loves her.
- Kimberly Daniels
- Fifteen-year-old Kimberly (Kim) is the protagonist of the series. She narrates her experiences, which focus primarily on her sexuality and her quest for love. She is a lesbian.
- Maria "Sugar" Sweet
- Sugar, whose real name on the show is Maria Sweet, is a teenager who lives life without thinking of the consequences.
- Saint (whose real name is Sarah) is a young woman who works during the day in a female-orientated sex toy shop (called The Munch Box) and by night as a DJ at the CC (short for Clit Club). She is attractive, assertive and confident. Saint was introduced in the first episode of Series 2, where she bumped into Kim on the street. Both noticed that here was a certain chemistry between the two and after several failed attempts at dating, they become girlfriends
- Matt Daniels
- Matt is Kim's confused and alienated younger brother who believes he is from a different planet. Matt is desperate for attention from his parents and others. He does not appear to have any friends, although this changes in series 2. He goes to extreme lengths to get noticed, even to the point of turning everything he owns blue including himself and his hamster. He also shows a lack of knowledge when it comes to sexuality. for example, at one stage he believes that he is menstruating.
- As far as Kim is concerned, Matt is just her brother who wanders round with a goldfish bowl on his head. He completes a remarkable transformation into a goth for series two. He begins to experiment with cross-dressing. He even borrows Stella's underwear. In one episode Kim bribed him to stay in the house while she left to visit her girlfriend Saint while she was supposed to be babysitting him by trading her lip-glosses in return for his silence.
- Stella Daniels
- Stella is married to Nathan and is Kim and Matt's mother. She seems to be more interested in having sex than being a mother. Stella rarely is seen to do anything meaningful and does not appear to have a profession. She often does not take the time to care for her children properly. Her cavalier attitude seems to hurt Matt more than Kim.
- She spends a lot of her time trying to cover the tracks of her extra-marital activities from Nathan, whom she still loves. She attempts to justify her behaviour by stating that 'when you've had two kids and you've been living with the same man for 15 years the sex isn't that great'.
- Nathan Daniels
- Nathan is described by Kim as 'half man, half pinny'. Nathan endeavours to be a good father but is completely ignorant of anything going on around him especially when it comes to his family. He comes across as being very nervous all of the time. He appears to live life in his own dream world where his family is stereotypical- his wife is faithful, his son is normal, his daughter is straight and doing well at school, and Brighton is the perfect escape from London.
- Nathan has grown into an adult without realising, and has slowly become completely unexciting. He takes full responsibility for all of the cooking and the housework. He never asks Stella to help with the housework. For example, when he sees Stella attempting to wash her own clothes when she contracts scabies, Nathan is shocked because Stella does very little to help around the house. He has very nearly 'tidied himself out of a marriage', and does not have much luck when he decides to try to spice things up. When he makes his 'sexy dessert,' Stella ends up being admitted to the hospital.
There were a number of supporting characters. Tom is Kim's next-door neighbour, the son of two gay men who has to deal with being called names himself. After telling Kim that he's not gay, she tells him she is. Mark Evans is the ex-boyfriend of Kim's current lover, Saint. He sparks a confrontation between the pair when Kim accuses her of "pretending to be gay". Beth only appears for two episodes of the first series of Sugar Rush, but makes a strong impression on Kim. When we first meet her we think she's trying to "un-gay" herself at the church meeting, but we later learn it is just to see 'who she can pull'. She brings a normality to Kim's life, and seems really interested in Kim, which in turn causes Kim to believe she's over Sugar. She is in fact not, and the last time we see Beth she is alone on the pier, after being stood up. Dale appears in seven of the ten episodes in Series 1. He is a handsome handyman who embarks on an affair with Kim's mother Stella. He was portrayed as a slob and it seemed like he had no real feelings for Stella and was just seeing her for sex. Anna is a beautiful womaniser who can be charming when she wants to be. She wasted no time in seducing Kim and wasted even less time discarding her after they'd had sex together, leaving Kim feeling used and humiliated. She is described by Kim as a 'psycho bitch.'
There were 2 series of the programme, the first airing in 2005 and the second in 2006. Each series consists of ten episodes, each 30 minutes long, including adverts. Episodes do not have individual titles.
Channel 4 stated that Sugar Rush will not be returning for a third series, despite its popularity with viewers and critics alike. Some rumours were that there was not a scheduling spot for it, that it was being removed because of the requirements for Big Brother 8, and because a third series was never originally planned.
A decision had been made to allow new dramas to be made for each month in 2008. However, a spokeswoman confirmed that third and fourth series were never planned, and that the story of the girls had run its course.
Hallinan and Crichlow subsequently spoke out about the cancellation, saying, "the show was an asset to Channel 4. I don't think Channel 4 recognises Sugar Rush was a brave move and did really well for the channel," and adding that the cancellation, "was a last minute thing, especially the way we leave series two [i.e. with Sugar moving in with Kim and Saint and Stella's pregnancy], it sets things up for series three."
The main characters are Kimberly Daniels, her family and friends. Kimberly Daniels is played by Olivia Hallinan. Her father, Nathan, is played by Richard Lumsden. Kurtis O'Brien plays her younger brother Matt. Lenora Crichlow plays Maria "Sugar" Sweet. "Saint", Kim's girlfriend in series 2, is played by Sarah-Jane Potts.
There are several supporting characters. Kim's next-door neighbour Tom is played by Andrew Garfield. Jalaal Hartley is Saint's ex-boyfriend Mark Evans. Laura Donnelly plays Kim's friend and love interest, Beth. Dale (Neil Jackson) embarked on an affair with Kim's mother Stella. Anna (Anna Wilson-Jones) seduced Kim and wasted no time discarding her
The main theme of series 1 is for Kim to accept her feelings for Sugar even though Sugar is heterosexual.
The first series was broadcast in 2005 on Channel 4, at 10:50 p.m, but would sometimes air later due to Big Brother 6 UK over-running, with the next episode on E4 afterwards, sometimes overlapping the Channel 4 broadcast. The programme was shown significantly after the watershed.
The first episode of the second series was broadcast on Channel 4 on 15 June 2006, and the last episode was aired on 17 August 2006 on Channel 4, and on 10 August 2006 on digital channel E4.
On 20 November 2006 Sugar Rush (A Shine Production for Channel 4, United Kingdom) was awarded the 34th International Emmy Award classified under "Children & Young People". It ran against "Boys Will Be Boys" (Monster Film for NRK, Norway), "Elias - The Little Rescue Boat" (Filmkameratene AS, Norway) and "Johnny and the Bomb" (Childsplay Television, United Kingdom).
Lenora Crichlow's portrayal of the central character Maria Sugar Sweet inspired Burchill to write the 2007 sequel novel Sweet.
Both series one and two of Sugar Rush have been released on DVD box-sets. The first series' box-set was released on 15 August 2005. The second series box-set, and a separate series one and two box-set were released on 21 August 2006. An audio CD compilation of the first series' music has also been compiled, but as of September 2006 a similar audio CD to complement series two has yet to materialise. Some of the commercial music used in the TV series has been changed to stock background music for the DVD release.
- "Channel 4 cancels Sugar Rush". Lovegirls.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2007.
- Turner, Toni. "Sugar Rush Interview - Part 2". LoveGirls.co.uk. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
- "BAFTA winners & nominees". Bafta.org. Retrieved 20 May 2007.
- The Independent, 5 October 2007, Julie Burchill: Where a wild thing went