Sweet Tooth TV Review

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

Plot: Ten years ago “The Great Crumble” wreaked havoc on the world and led to the mysterious emergence of hybrids — babies born part human, part animal. Unsure if hybrids are the cause or result of the virus, many humans fear and hunt them. After a decade of living safely in his secluded forest home, a sheltered hybrid deer-boy named Gus unexpectedly befriends a wandering loner named Jepperd. Together they set out on an extraordinary adventure across what’s left of America in search of answers— about Gus' origins, Jepperd's past, and the true meaning of home. But their story is full of unexpected allies and enemies, and Gus quickly learns the lush, dangerous world outside the forest is more complex than he ever could have imagined. 

Review: Pandemic-themed stories have grown in popularity since COVID-19 changed our world in 2020. Some of these films and TV series have been good while others were incredibly tone-deaf. It seems the more the story tries to capture reality, the less enjoyable it has been for the rest of us. Sweet Tooth is an interesting addition to this wave of entertainment as it is an eerie take on a worldwide plague but one with a layer of hopefulness that makes it a rousing adventure rather than a depressing one. Sweet Tooth also works because it changes the bleak tone of Jeff Lemire's acclaimed comic book and turns it into a show that everyone can enjoy. The result is a blend of The Walking Dead and Twelve Monkeys but through a Tim Burton-esque lens and quite possibly the show everyone will be talking about this summer.

Sweet Tooth, Netflix, Jeff Lemire, Will Forte, Jim Mickle, Fantasy, Robert Downey Jr, Nonso Anozie, Dania Ramirez, Fantasy, Dystopia, Pandemic

From the moment James Brolin's deep narration opens the first episode, you can tell that Sweet Tooth is aiming to be a dystopian fairy tale. Yes, there is death, plague, and the decimation of modern society, but it comes with the rise of the Hybrids: children who are born half-animal and half-human. At the center of the story is Gus (Christian Convery), a deer-boy hybrid living in Yellowstone National Park with his father (Will Forte). As the fall of civilization happens around them, the father-son duo leads an idyllic existence until the real world comes crashing in. Gus then joins with Tommy Jeppard (Nonso Anozie), a drifter with a mysterious past. Together, their cross-country journey forms the core of this series.

While Gus, the titular Sweet Tooth, is the main character here, the ensemble cast tells the story from multiple perspectives which converge in unexpected ways. There is also Adeel Akhtar as Dr. Singh, who understands how to cure the virus sweeping the world. Dania Ramirez plays Aimee, a therapist who lives at a zoo. Stefania LaVie Own is Bear, a teen orphan who fights for Hybrids. Neil Sandilands is the villainous General Abbot, the antagonist of the story. Everyone's tale is told from episode to episode before they connect, some in ways similar to the source comic and others wholly different. Having read the entire 40 issue run of Sweet Tooth, it exists almost like an entirely distinct story from the television series.

Sweet Tooth, Netflix, Jeff Lemire, Will Forte, Jim Mickle, Fantasy, Robert Downey Jr, Nonso Anozie, Dania Ramirez, Fantasy, Dystopia, Pandemic

Under the direction of Jim Mickle, whose experience on mature films like We Are What We Are and Cold in July, as well as the noir series Hap and Leonard, is very different from this epic show, Sweet Tooth features some stunning landscapes and visuals of a broken United States a decade after a pandemic. With characters often sporting face shields and masks that have become commonplace in our real world, the series gets an added dose of reality. Filmed in New Zealand during the height of COVID-19, this series sometimes shifts from a satirical look at social distancing and safety to an almost eerie one.

With music by Jeff Grace and cinematography by Aaron Morton, Sweet Tooth looks and feels like a feature film production rather than a television show. Robert Downey Jr and Susan Downey, in partnership with Warner Bros, have been working on this property for many years now and the labor of love really seems to have paid off. The eight-episode season, all of which were made available for this review, has the makings of a big summer hit the likes Netflix has not had since Stranger Things first debuted. Because this series has minimal profanity and a level of violence on part with a mild PG-13 film, this is a tale that can be enjoyed by pretty much all ages. Teens will identify with Gus and the other younger characters while adults will certainly find the stakes intense enough to keep them tuned in.

Sweet Tooth, Netflix, Jeff Lemire, Will Forte, Jim Mickle, Fantasy, Robert Downey Jr, Nonso Anozie, Dania Ramirez, Fantasy, Dystopia, Pandemic

The biggest problem with Sweet Tooth will be for fans of the comic book. Jim Mickle's adaptation keeps the core plot the same but changes virtually everything else. The dynamic between characters, how they arrive in the story, and their motivations are completely different from Jeff Lemire's story to the point that this almost feels like a distinct story entirely. Maybe the comic was never going to be adaptable but fans may find themselves disappointed at just how different this is. For anyone coming into this story fresh, you will find yourselves enjoying an adventure bigger than most television series and one that does not dumb thing downs for kids or make things too mature for adults. Sweet Tooth is a well-rounded epic that has the potential to be a long-running success for Netflix that will keep audiences entertained for seasons to come.

Sweet Tooth premieres on June 4th on Netflix.




Source: JoBlo.com

About the Author

5919 Articles Published

Alex Maidy has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been JoBlo.com's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.