Netflix’s newest original show has been available to stream for a month now, and has been well received by audiences and critics alike. “Sweet Tooth,” which is adapted from a DC comic of the same name, follows the story of Gus (Christian Convery), a ten year old human/deer hybrid who must survive a post-apocalyptic world full of the most dangerous creatures left alive, human beings.
“Sweet Tooth” is originally a DC comic book series created and illustrated by Jeff Lemire. The comic began in 2009 and followed the same hybrid boy that is the protagonist of the Netflix series. While the original comic iterations of “Sweet Tooth” ended in 2013, the amount of source material created during its run combined with the series’ success gives promise to more seasons ahead on Netflix. The show is executive produced by Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr., putting a comic book adaptation in very capable hands.
First things first, despite the main character being an adorable young boy whose backstory resembles that of Bambi, this show is definitely not intended for young children. The subject matter is heavy underneath the beautiful cinematography and CGI, and often features disturbing imagery. For comic book fans and casual viewers alike, however, this heavier material makes for an intriguing and thrilling plot.
The world of “Sweet Tooth” is post-apocalyptic in just about the most relevant way possible: human beings destroyed the planet and in response, mother nature released a deadly virus that ravaged the population. If that description sounds familiar to you, you aren’t alone, and it may be a contributing factor to the show’s success as the United States eases out of the pandemic. What emerges from what in the show is dubbed “The Sick,” is a new hybrid species immune to the disease; animal-human hybrid children. Gus, a half human half deer child is amongst the oldest of these children. He begins his adventure in Yellowstone National Park: evidently the perfect place to hide as an apocalypse unfolds.
While the show was filmed in New Zealand, it captures the American landscape perfectly as Gus makes his way on foot to Colorado in search of his mother. The beauty of Yellowstone stands out from the get-go. The opening shot of the show gives you just a small taste of what is to come, but every scene in this show is so beautifully shot that the filming locations are gorgeous enough to hold the audience’s attention. What keeps you watching are the numerous fantastical and lovable characters as the foundations for several overarching storylines are set up in the pilot episode. With fantastic characters like Sweet Tooth, a mostly human boy with antlers who has a love for sugar and Big Man, a major league football player turned post-apocalyptic assassin and hybrid kid babysitter, there are countless opportunities for interesting turns in the first season of Gus’s story.
Gus is a lovable character from the moment he appears on screen, his chemistry with his father figure shows off a typical family dynamic in a very atypical situation: post-crumble society in the depths of the woods. Gus’s father (Will Forte), also called “Pubba” by his son, steals the show almost instantly. His character is paranoid, serious, and loving while at the same time coming off as a bit unhinged and absurd. Will Forte, known for his work in comedy on “Saturday Night Live” and “MacGruber,” brings that same comedic and silly energy to an otherwise serious part. The casting seemed unusual at first glance, but fits perfectly into the absurd world of “Sweet Tooth.” Familial love is a theme that is heavily explored as the series goes on, starting with this wonderful father and son duo.
“Sweet Tooth” is at its core an adventure and a confrontation between what is known and what is different, filled with action and heart along the way. If you’re looking for a new show to binge, this eight-episode series is a fun watch and is still in Netflix’s top ten list after a month on the platform, for good reason.
“Sweet Tooth” is available to stream now exclusively on Netflix.
By Emily Frantz