sugar rush 2
Producer: Johnny Capps
A new television moment has hit my all-time top five. It happens about five minutes before the end of the season finale in Sugar Rush 2. I can't say what it is. I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise. But I know it is there. It was perfect, and the fact that such sexy lesbian moments are now possible on TV just blows my mind. Trust the Brits to get there first, and on a show meant for young adults of all things.
Sugar Rush 2 is that rare and wonderful thing – a "sequel" that surpasses the original. I thought season one was pretty special. It made me laugh and cry in equal measure, but there was something about the way Sugar refused to change and evolve right to the end that always bugged me.
Season two rectifies that problem, and introduces a new character, Saint, to vie for Kim's affections. The second season is more about Kim, her perspectives on life, her jealousies, fears and fuck ups. There's still a lot of obsessing, but not with just one target. She finally wakes up to herself and starts to see Sugar for who she really is, and loves and accepts her for it anyway, or at least tries to.
The rest of the cast is back. Kim's odd parents become swingers to spice up their dull sex life. Her brother Matt turns into a transsexual goth who sleeps in a coffin and loves trying on pink, frilly underwear.
Then there's the lesbian scene of Brighton, to which Kim is finally introduced, and all the temptations within. First there's the older predator who picks Kim up and dumps her just as quickly. There's Kim's geeky stalker. There's the sexy singer who tries to lure Kim away from her true love.
Then there's Saint (Sarah-Jane Potts, of Kinky Boots fame, who looks like dykey Kate Beckinsale). She's a sex shop owner and DJ who comes across as equal parts sexy, playful and emotionally distant, but we do see her mainly through Kim's insecurity and paranoia.
In those moments we see Saint on her own terms are truly enlightening. Saint has a raw and powerful love for Kim that Kim's insecurity won't let her see or appreciate. As soon as we get back to Kim's perspective, all we see are Saint's walls re-emerging. The aftermath is a clever piece of TV, beautifully written and executed, where all three characters at the centre of this series are shown in a new and revealing light.
I get a warm glow in my stomach when thinking of this show. You can see the mistakes Kim is going to make from miles away, but part of the fun is that pantomime-ish feeling of expectation, the "look behind you!" moments. Then the show surprises you and it goes wrong in hilarious ways you don't expect, and just when you think Kim will screw up for the last time, she gets something totally right, and your heart melts for her.
Then it all comes down to those last few minutes of the season. Your heart falls into your stomach and you realise, I'm going to really miss these characters. It's moments like this I realise that I really love good television writing. Damn those Brits, having all the fun. Great writing, great music, great acting, great sex, just all-round great TV.
Note: The DVD editions of Sugar Rush and Sugar Rush 2 (only available in the UK) may be a huge disappointment for any fan who loved the music in the original broadcast. Due to copyright reasons, the DVD contains a lot of elevator music in place of the amazing soundtrack and it changes the entire feel of the show. If you can, get hold of copies of the original version aired on TV and hang onto them, there will never be a DVD edition that is as good.