Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sugar Rush

I don’t watch a lot of television. In fact, I usually see a few things that look good, ring them in the listings and then forget all about them. Such is my way.

However, there are a few programmes I do make a point of watching. I’m talking here about things that are currently being aired - I have a large DVD collection of now defunct shows like Frasier, but that’s a whole other post.

One show I’m enjoying in Sugar Rush. The show is about Kim, a young out lesbian living in Brighton, and is based on a much maligned novel by Julie Burchill. Now, I must admit here that I haven’t read it. A combination of bad reviews and the fact that I can’t stand Burchill at the best of times has meant I’ve steadfastly avoided it. One such review stated “Burchill claims to have written Sugar Rush in ten afternoons. You can tell.” Anyway, if I start a rant on Burchill and the furore surrounding her, I’ll be here all day. Oh, I suppose I really should read the book at some point, just to be able to make a comparison, but frankly, I don’t really want to.

It seems that Channel 4 picked up the option on Sugar Rush, then did the sensible thing - they took the rough premise and ditched everything else. Now, as I have admitted, I can’t compare the show to the book, but the characters within the show have more depth than the caricatures that apparently inhabit the novel. Praise must be given here for the actors involved. I can’t imagine the roles, in particular that of Kim, being easy to play. Olivia Hallinan has taken Kim from being a naïve, closeted girl to out and proud but still approachable over the course of the two series. The various supporting characters of Kim’s family also help to provide more light relief from any heavily emotional material provided by Kim’s relationships, in particular her parents Stella and Nathan and their attempts at fixing their marriage by joining in the local swinging scene.

This series also seems to be more humorous than series one. You may have to see it to find this funny, but the sight of Nathan looking anxious and saying to his wife, “maybe we shouldn’t have had sex with the neighbours” after finding his son experimenting with cross-dressing, unwittingly using a pair of the neighbour's pants, made me laugh.

Between series one and two, there has been an on-screen gap of 18 months, which has annoyed many viewers. This sort of time jump is tricky to pull off, but here it seems to have worked ok. Although I am curious as to how Kim managed to get over her obsession with Sugar, the show has such an unreal, stylised quality to it, the time gap doesn’t bother me. This lack of reality is part of the shows appeal for me. I have angst and emotional trauma in my own life, I don’t want to relax by watching it on the telly as well, thank you very much.

One of the other reasons I watch the show, and I doubt this will come as a surprise to anyone who has read my blog before, is the clothes. Sugar’s outfits are always…interesting in the extreme. Glittery, red knee high socks, anyone? Kim’s on the other hand are none too bad. Interesting colour combinations, various cute little pieces. And I could happily raid Saint’s (you can tell it’s not real life just from the character names, huh?) wardrobe too - loving that red beret.

The music deserves a mention, too. Any show that has Blondie’s One Way or Another as the theme tune is fine by me. Other artists featured on the sound track include Emiliana Torrini, Portishead and Goldfrapp. Actually, I must check out the soundtrack CD. Not something I ever buy, incidentally. Well, not since I bought the Clueless soundtrack, but I was 13 at the time, so that’s my excuse.


At 3:43 PM, Blogger Inspector Monkfish said...

What is it you don't buy? Soundtrack CDs?

I haven't seen the programme, 'though I do remember having seen an advert for it at some point.

We have the TV on a lot (almost constantly), although I would prefer to have it on less - I do find myself watching complete rubbish that I have no real interest in what-so-ever.

I think I get distracted eas-ooh ice cream!

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Suz said...


Yeah, I tend not to but soundtracks. I have a couple, but it isn't really something I'm drawn to.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Or not to buy, even. I must start proofreading!!


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