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Series / Sugar Rush

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Sugar Rush is a critically acclaimed 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 around the life of 15 year old lesbian Kim Daniels who, at the beginning of the first season, moves from London to Brighton, where she meets future best friend and love interest Maria "Sugar" Sweet, a rebellious, promiscuous, binge-drinking, drug-taking, shoplifting, street-smart young girl of Kim's age. Kim becomes sexually obsessed with Sugar, and the show's first season centres around Kim struggling with her sexuality and her feelings for Sugar, while at the same time trying to deal with her dysfunctional family (parents Nathan and Stella, and her younger brother, Matt) and the unwanted advances of her next-door neighbour, Tom. The second season shows Kim as out and proud, but with a new love interest, Saint, after having gotten over her obsession with Sugar (the two are, however, still best friends), and, as always, dealing with her parents and younger brother.

The first series was broadcast in 2005 on Channel 4. 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.

A third season was rumoured, but it ultimately seems that it will never see the light of day, due to Channel 4's cancellation of the show. This move outraged viewers and critics, as well as the show's two stars, Olivia Hallinan and Lenora Crichlow.

Not to be confused with the Disney animated film Wreck-It Ralph, which was released under the title Sugar Rush in Japan, or the Fictional Video Game from the film that provided that title.

This show provides examples of:

  • Better as Friends: In the second season finale, Kim and Sugar conclude that they are better off as friends, and that Kim deserves to be with Saint.
  • Casual Kink: Kim tries out spanking early in the second season. Later, she and Saint show that they enjoy a bit of mild BDSM.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kim develops a brief relationship with a girl called Beth. However, at the end of the penultimate episode of the first season, she stands her up on a date. Beth is never seen from, or even mentioned, again.
    • Tom, Kim's bumbling yet sweet neighbour who has a huge crush on her, has completely disappeared by Season 2 and is not mentioned again.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Matt, especially in the first season, in which he (amongst other things) believes himself to be an alien, paints himself and his pet hamster blue (an act which kills the unfortunate hamster), and devours a huge amount of pills because he believes them to be "space food". By the second season, however, he is considerably less bizarre, most likely due to him maturing.
  • Coming-Out Story: Kim doesn't so much come out to her parents - more like her parents figure it out after they discover her in bed with Sugar.
  • Cure Your Gays: In one episode, Kim attends a club, headed by a preacher, who believes he can "cure" gay people. In spite of the whole thing making her uncomfortable, she attends due to being so desperate to get over Sugar. Ironically, she ends up falling for a girl called Beth whilst there, and it later turns out that Beth was only attending the meetings in the first place just so she could pull someone.
  • Daydream Surprise: Crops up several times. Heck, the first few minutes of each season start out this way.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most of Kim's inner monologue. Hardly surprising really.
  • Disaster Dominoes: Who'd have thought Sugar's dose of crabs would have caused so much trouble?
  • Erotic Eating: A few times, usually when Kim is watching Sugar eat.
    • When Nathan and Stella reconcile after the latter's affair, they attempt to spice up their love life with food play. It goes horribly wrong.
  • Gayngst: Kim has some elements of this (mainly in the first season), but it's largely down to the usual teenage angst present in a lot of 15-year-olds, and her own confusion about her sexuality.
  • Goth: Matt becomes one in Season 2 - to the extent of sleeping in a coffin.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In Season 2, Sugar is clearly jealous of Kim being involved with Saint. Also, in the early stages of their relationship, Kim falsely assumes that Saint is still sleeping with her ex-boyfriend.
  • Jerkass: Sugar is one a lot of the time, but she does have her Jerk with a Heart of Gold moments. Even Kim comes across as a Jerkass on a few occasions, but she rarely has anyone call her out on it.
    • Guillaume and Dale also qualify.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Sort of. When Kim and Sugar kiss in the nightclub, they are both high on Ecstasy. However, while Kim has clearly wanted it all along, Sugar is merely using the kiss to attract a boy whom she later ends up kissing, to Kim's devastation.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: Kim and Sugar at the end of the first season, though played with in that Sugar's main motive is guilt, and it is shown to be only temporary (judging by the start of the second season).
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Invoked when Kim has to convince Guillaume to go on a second date with Sugar. She first tries to appeal to him emotionally, but he's too much of a jerk to care. What does work is telling him he didn't manage to give Sugar an orgasm (which isn't true) and if he doesn't go she will forever think he's crap in bed. He's horrified at the prospect and agrees to see her again.
  • Meaningful Name: Saint. A lot of Season 2 can be summed up as "Kim does something stupid, but Saint forgives her anyway. Repeat."
    • The funny thing is that, in the book, Saint was a snobby bitch who was only nicknamed Saint for sheer irony.
  • Mood Whiplash: The last few minutes of Episode 9 of the first season, and the first half of the following episode. During a relatively pleasant, loved-up episode which features Kim seeing a girl called Beth, and then going to meet her for a date near the end of the episode, she suddenly receives a phone call... from a frightened, crying Sugar, covered in blood. In the next episode, it turns out that Sugar stabbed someone. Who saw that coming?
  • Near-Rape Experience: Kim considers going ahead with date raping Sugar, but she backs out of it after spending a lot of the episode debating about whether it is right or wrong, and feels incredibly guilty about the whole thing.
  • Not That There's Anything Wrong with That: Sugar, to some lesbians whilst she's running Saint's shop, explaining that she's straight.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Sugar, obviously (real name Maria Sweet), and Saint (her real first name is revealed to be Sarah in the series, and Zoe in the book).
  • Parallel Porn Titles: In one episode, Stella's lover, Dale, is heard ordering a porn movie with the title of Chitty Chitty Gang Bang.
  • Parental Abandonment: By the second season, Sugar's mother clearly has no interest in her daughter whatsoever.
  • Parental Issues: Sugar and both of her parents. In the first season, she often talks about how her father was a serial cheater who walked out on her, her mother, and her brother. In the second season, her mother moves away and effectively abandons Sugar.
  • Parental Substitute: Nathan and Stella take Sugar in after she is released from prison.
  • Plot Hole: At the end of the second season, Stella reveals that she is pregnant, and, although uncertain, she thinks that Nathan may be the father, as he is the only one allowed to not use a condom (the couple are swingers). However, in the first season, Stella claims that Nathan has had a vasectomy. While it is, in rare cases, possible for those who have "had the snip" to get someone pregnant, you'd think that the show would address Nathan's vasectomy during the pregnancy storyline. Unless, of course, Stella was lying about the "snip", for some reason.
  • Primal Scene: Kim finds out about Stella and Dale's affair when she walks in on them having sex (loudly) in the living room.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Kim delivers one to Sugar in the first season finale:
    Kim: It’s always going to be like this, isn’t it? You call, I come running. You say 'jump', I say 'how high?'. Translating for French guys, buying stuff with my mum’s credit card, snogging you to pull someone else. Name one thing you’ve done for me. One thing. One sodding thing.
  • Romantic False Lead: Saint qualifies as the more sympathetic version of the false lead. Although Sugar insists she isn't interested in Kim, her instant dislike of Saint and near continuous efforts to sabotage the relationship — one time she claims Saint came on to her, another she robs her shop — suggest otherwise. If it had continued for another series these issues might have been resolved, but alas...
    • Another example would be Beth from the first season.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Averted - Kim initially thinks that she only likes Sugar and not any other girls, but, after meeting Beth, she realises otherwise.
  • Sorry, I'm Gay: Kim has to tell Tom (who has a huge crush on her) that she's gay when he will not get the hint that she isn't interested in him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Kim's behaviour towards Sugar has elements of this. To a much lesser extent, Tom towards Kim.
  • That Poor Cat: Apparently cats don't like having electric toothbrushes-cum-vibrators thrown out of windows at them.
  • Time Skip: Season 2 is set 18 months after the first.
  • Toxic Friend Influence: Sugar and Kim, although to a somewhat lesser degree than is presented in a lot of other fiction.
  • Transvestite: Matt has his moments in the second season, notably with him trying on his mother's underwear because he "likes it". It is played straight and heartwarmingly, and is never depicted to be overly comical or "wrong".
    Nathan: (holding up a pair of women's underwear) You do know they are for girls, don't you?
    Matt: Women actually.
    Nathan: Exactly, they're for women and not for men. Like you and me.
    Matt: What? I like them.
    Nathan: I'm sorry, Matt, you can't wear them.
  • Volleying Insults: Usually Kim and Matt.
    • Kim and Sugar also do it sometimes, although they're only teasing each other.
    Sugar: Dyke!
    Kim: Slapper!
    Sugar: Rug-muncher!
    Kim: Slut!
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In Episode 7 of Season 1, a heartbroken Kim stumbles out of the nightclub and graphically pukes over the floor.
  • Who's Your Daddy?: Near the end of the second season, Stella reveals that she is pregnant. Although she is certain that Nathan is the father, there is still some uncertainty, due to the fact that Stella and Nathan are swingers. Unfortunately, due to the series' cancellation, this plot point went no further.