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 for anyone yet to watch the show. But I know it is
there, and I'll probably watch it another twenty times. 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 apparently meant for teens of all things.
Sugar Rush 2 is that rare and wonderful thing
– a "sequel" that surpasses the original. I actually
thought season one was pretty special.
It made me laugh and cry in equal measure, but there was something
about the way the character of Sugar refused to change and evolve right to the end that always bugged me.
Season two of the show rectifies that problem, and introduces
a new character, Saint, to vie for Kim's affections.
The second season is more about Kim, about her perspectives on
life; her jealousies and fears and fuck ups. There's still a lot
of obsessing, but Kim's obsessions don't just have one target
anymore. 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 she tries to.
The rest of the supporting cast is back. This season Kim's odd
parents become swingers in an attempt to spice up their dull sex life.
Her brother Matt ceases to believe he's an alien and turns into
a transsexual goth boy 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 Anna, the older predator who picks Kim up and dumps
her just as quickly. There's Melissa, Kim's geeky stalker, who
Kim finally gets rid of in a hilarious way. There's Montana, the
sexy singer (played with relish by Hex's lesbian
ghost Jemima Rooper) who tries to lure Kim away from her true love.
The big changes focus mainly around Saint (Sarah-Jane Potts, of Felicity fame,
who looks like a younger, dykey version of Kate Beckinsale). She's a
sex shop owner and DJ who Kim meets early in the season. Saint comes across as equal parts sexy, playful and emotionally
distant, but we do see her mainly through Kim's eyes (through her
insecurity and paranoia!)
We do get to see Saint briefly on her own terms during the hours
when Kim is incapacitated and unable to give us her perspective,
and those moments are truly enlightening. Saint has an unexpectedly
raw and powerful love for Kim that Kim either refuses to see,
or is incapable of seeing. The second 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
I get a warm little glow in my stomach when thinking of this
show and these characters. The weird thing is, 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, like you know
what's coming and have the absurd urge to cry out "look behind
you!" Then sometimes the show surprises you and it goes wrong
in hilarious ways you don't expect. Then, just when you think
Kim will screw up once more, she gets something totally right,
and your heart melts for her.
Then, finally, it all comes down to those last few minutes of
the season when you realise it is nearly over. Your heart falls
into your stomach and you realise, I'm going to really miss
these characters. I haven't really felt that way since shows
like Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
or even the first season of The
L Word. It's moments like this I realise that I really love good television writing.
there was any justice in the world Olivia Hallinan and Sarah-Jane Potts
would team up to make a lesbian film together. Their chemistry
onscreen is just off the scale. Damn those Brits, having all the
fun. Great writing, great music, great acting, great sex, just all-round
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.
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