Who Is Melanie In Apple TV’s ‘Sugar’ Series?

A former rock star turned junkie, who eventually became an activist for women’s safety in abusive relationships, Melanie Mackintosh in Apple TV’s Sugar is one of its most significant characters. As a fan of The Office, seeing the adorable Holly (Amy Ryan) play a layered and solid role is always delightful. Melanie is the ex-wife of Bernie Siegel and the last person who saw Olivia before she disappeared from the face of the earth. 


Melanie is a woman who knew success from a young age and then fell off the tracks as she grew older. One can imagine that marrying Bernie Siegel definitely put some of her prime years to waste. Now Melanie finds herself an alcoholic who starts drooling when she sees Sugar for the first time. After a night of constant drinking, Melanie invites Sugar back to her house. She thought the dynamic would be different, but Sugar doesn’t approach her romantically. Melanie has been struggling to quit alcohol before this, but this encounter between her and Sugar helps her to rethink her life. She drinks alcohol and invites Sugar to an AA meeting, trying to bond with him. She warns him about her cagey behavior when they start hanging out together. Melanie isn’t one of those woman who hasn’t figured out her emotional needs or is insecure about who she is. The one thing that strikes you is her kind and warm nature as a woman who always wears leather jackets. She doesn’t have to be pretentious with people to impress them; in fact, it’s her confidence in herself that makes it hard for others to not get drawn towards her. None of the relationships she pursued ever worked for her, yet she is content without a man. Her secret meetings with Bernie are nothing more than fulfilling her carnal desires. It’s understandable that she divorced a man who isn’t a reliable partner by any means. Her days as a junkie are far behind her, and even though she struggles with alcohol addiction, she hasn’t lost her mind completely about not quitting. 

While Sugar coming into her life changes it completely, one might find Melanie to be the most stable person in the show, despite the awful people that surround her. Even Sugar in his monologues to himself can’t figure out Melanie completely, and she isn’t erratic or unpredictable, but rather safe and mature. Becoming one of the manic pixies is the easiest way to be, especially if one has enjoyed stardom, but Melanie is past that. Melanie’s decisions come from a place that has a sense of the right and the wrong, and not one of her actions is such that she can be held accountable for it. 


When Olivia and Melanie got close, she didn’t have Olivia around in any way that could be a bad influence for her. She rather chose to help Olivia stay clean and live an honorable life. Because of Melanie’s ideals, Olivia got into raising her voice for women who suffer abuse. Melanie might belong to a rich circle, but she never chose to be privileged enough that she’d turn her eyes away from people who needed her help. Helping Carmen ended up being fatal for her when Stallings took her hostage later, but even then, you see a woman of character who doesn’t bow down to an authoritative person. Melanie’s bravery makes her the perfect person to help Sugar in a case that takes more twists and turns than one can imagine. Finding her stepdaughter became her number one priority when she met Sugar and saw he actually wants to find her. 

When Melanie and Sugar find out about Davie’s secrets about him being a sexual predator, she immediately confronts Bernie about it. However bad Bernie might be, Melanie never thought he was a man who’d help his son get away with something as vile as this. She is infuriated with Bernie and doesn’t reason with him, and she leaves the party early after Bernie probably wanted to calm the situation down. We never see her around Davie, and that’s understandable. No woman except Margit ever wanted to be around him, and his personality and behavior towards women justify that. 


When Sugar calls up for Melanie’s help in Episode 6, he’s a man who’s been betrayed by his own people. After killing Stallings, he’s a broken and battered soldier who wouldn’t survive without help. Melanie tries to keep him alive without thinking twice, knowing this is a good man who needs saving. With help from Henry, Melanie helps Sugar heal in no time. Gladly taking the couch while he can rest on the bed, Melanie breaks gender norms and shows character at every chance she gets. Almost becoming Watson to Sugar’s Sherlock, Melanie Mackintosh is a winner. 

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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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