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This three-episode British melodrama has some spark, but its brothers-at-war narrative is pretty limp...
Acorn Media / 177 Minutes / 2011 / Unrated / Street Date: April 16, 2013
How exciting is the new Sugartown DVD edition? Well, it focuses on a… ROCK FACTORY!
Yes, in sleepy Yorkshire, a fellow named Jason Burr (Shaun Dooley) runs Burr’s rock factory, and it goes without saying that it has seen better days. At one point, his little hamlet was the stick-of-rock capital of Britain, but now people are just trying to hang onto their jobs. Jason’s brother Max (Tom Ellis) has big plans to revamp his town to make it a hipster Mecca, but there isn’t much room for a rock factory in that game plan.
And it doesn’t help things that both brothers harbor feelings for the lovely Emily (Miranda Raison), but the fact that Jason proposes to her in the first episode here doesn’t exactly help things in that department. We’re left with yet another modern television fable about economic troubles and the petty dramas that accompany them, and this is where Sugartown pretty much bottoms out.
Performances are fine, and the halcyon setting of its narrative is endearing, but there’s a lot of filler on this DVD set. As a whole, there simply isn’t a through-line of compelling story at hand in Sugartown – there are many TV clichés that present themselves with the usual default draw (unrequited love, kooky neighbors, brittle family relations that inevitably end up well), but even if Anglophiles will want to make it through this three-episode set once they start, the show isn’t mandatory viewing.
I blame the rock factory.