Julien Neaves, Editor
When I saw the thumbnail for Netflix’s post-apocalyptic Sci Fi drama Sweet Tooth I was immediately intrigued. There was just something about the look of this kid with the deer antlers.
And that kid is Gus aka “Sweet Tooth”, the ten-year-old protagonist of the series based on the Vertigo comic of the same name by Jeff Lemire. Gus is one of a group of young animal/human hybrids that mysteriously appeared after the world was ravaged by a deadly virus called H5G9. With a mild SPOILER ALERT here’s my review of Season 1:
Of course he’s a real kid. Why do you ask?
If I had a nickel for every post-apocalyptic world caused by some type of virus or plague I would have, well, a whole lotta nickels. So the whole society-ending-virus concept is not exactly novel. Sweet Tooth stands out because of the hybrid concept which spins off into themes of humanity, identity, tolerance and bigotry. And it is also very much a character-driven drama, telling three separate stories and slowly interweaving them.
The main story, and easily the most interesting, is that of Gus (Christian Convery) and Tommy Jepperd aka “Big Man” (Nonzo Anozie), a former professional football player who reluctantly accompanies the hybrid boy on a quest to find his mother. Convery does a great job as Gus, presenting a cute and likeable character with boundless optimism. But he is a naïve little kid and frequently makes dumb mistakes that, while understandable, are still slightly irritating. Anozie, who I thoroughly enjoyed in both Game of Thrones and Sci Fi series Zoo, delivers the standout performance of the series, delivering a character with strength and wit that is haunted by his past. And his chemistry with Convery is as sweet as a candy apple. I must also shout out SNL alum Will Forte, who impresses as Gus’s overprotective father Pubba, and Thanos himself Josh Brolin for his excellent narration.
Let’s hope this little piggy doesn’t go to market. Yikes! (Cr. Kirsty Griffin/Netflix © 2021)
The other two stories are, well, they’re okay. The second story is of Dr Aditya Singh (British actor Adeel Akhtar) who lives in a cul de sac with virus-paranoid neighbours and tries to keep his infected wife Rani (Aliza Vellani) alive. They are believable as a couple and their tale has an interesting Twilight Zone-thriller vibe. The third story is of Aimee Eden, a former therapist who adopts a female pig hybrid and begins a secret hybrid sanctuary called the Preserve. Eden is played by Dania Ramirez (Heroes, Devious Maids) and, while capable in the role, she doesn’t do anything all that outstanding with it. Her adopted pig daughter Wendy aka “Pig Tail” (Naledi Murray) is totes adorbes though.
But don’t let the cute half-animal kids fool you; this series gets very dark very quickly. The hybrids are under constant threat from a militaristic, hybrid-hunting group called the Last Men, led by amateur Rasputin cosplayer General Abbot (a intimidating turn by Neil Sandilands from The 100 and The Flash). Gus and Big Man also encounter a group of animal cosplaying teenagers called the Animal Army who use lethal means to protect hybrids. It’s a dangerous world with the threat of death always around the corner, so viewers are always kept on their toes. There is also some PG-13 violence and a couple truly disturbing moments, both on and offscreen. But thankfully all the darkness (including potential child murder) is broken up with comedic and heartfelt moments, which I appreciated.
So are you guys, like, furries or something?
Sweet Tooth also boasts some lovely cinematography and a soundtrack which seesaws from idyllic instrumentals to tension-filled themes. The practical effects on the hybrids is decent and Gus’s CGI ears do look realistic. But I can’t say that about all the CGI though. There’s a mole hybrid kid that looks VERY CGI and kind of took me out of the story every time I saw him. There is also a scene with an animal (a regular one this time) that was clearly spawned from the uncanny valley. On the positive side the costuming work is stellar, especially with the above-mentioned Animal Army.
But any gripes I have with the show are minor. It is a well-acted, thrilling, and endlessly entertaining tale with a whole lot of heart and a lot to explore in future seasons. So if you’ve got a sweet tooth for an above par sci fi drama then you should definitely binge on the first season of this series. You see what I did there, and you liked it!
Editor Jules’s Score: 8.5 out of 10
So what did you think of Sweet Tooth? Feel free to hit us up in the comments. And you can check out more Netflix genre content below:
Netflix’s Post-Apocalyptic Series ‘Tribes of Europa’ Season 1 is Top Tier Sci Fi
Five Reasons to Binge Netflix YA Fantasy Series ‘Shadow and Bone’ (And Two Reasons You May Want to Skip It)
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.