In the latest installment of "What to Watch", IMDb's TV Editor Melanie McFarland chats with "Mad Men" stars Jon Hamm, January Jones, John Slattery, and series creator Matthew Weiner about the drama's extraordinary legacy, as AMC prepares to air its final seven episodes.
While clearly watchable as porno fluff, this would-be followup to Gail Palmer's hit CANDY series (which starred DEEP THROAT alumna Carol Connors) merely demonstrates how far its auteur, Gerard Damiano, had fallen from grace. The relentlessly leering, non-stop double entendre exercise in porn is an all-too familiar sad example of his career's last act.
Title role goes to Ariel Knight, a cute blonde who reminded me of redhead Sharon Kelly, erstwhile porn star who later went XXX as Colleen Brennan. Knight's rendition of Sugar is bubble-headed and peppy -the only reason to watch this junker.
John Leslie, looking really worn-out and over-the-hill, reprises his role from the CANDY films as Det. Johnny Dooropener, enlisted by Sugar to find her lost sister Candy in order to unlock an inheritance. That's the entire excuse for a plot, as Sugar's non-adventures are strictly of the humping variety.
Beginning with Leslie's frequent asides to the audience, Damiano encourages his cast to overact and sap all the life out of the various comic set-ups. Sugar's dream is to get the money to finance her attending word-processing school, a quaint ambition that brought back '60s memories of the then-extant clerical job (long since made obsolete) of key-punch operator.
Sugar is first violated by horny lawyer Robert Bullock, then put in a 3-way with the omnipresent Mike Horner and Peter North at Madam Zenobia's San Francisco brothel. I doubt if this was meant by Damiano as a tribute to fellow NYC porn pioneer Eduardo Cemano, but rather just a generic lifting of a catchy old title.
Meanwhile Leslie humps his perky secretary Laurel Canyon, who struck me as probably understudy for the title role, as she resembled Ariel's character a lot. Canyon is later seduced by Nina Hartley playing Candy's old boss (though she wasn't in the Connors films). Randy Spears chews the scenery even more intensely than usual ('tain't funny, Randy) as a villain named Dr. Dastardly and the entire cast (plus gratefully uncredited extras) show up for a particularly tedious orgy - a ploy I thought went out with the Dark Ages of porn.
The only bright spot lost in this farrago is John Leslie playing blues harmonica live by a pool, reflecting his avocation (that never evolved into an actual career) as a talented jazz musician,. Like Damiano, he was fated to live out his career on the fringes of show biz, both talents leaving an indelible mark. Porn fans will want to remember them from their salad days, not in decline as evidenced by SUGAR.
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