Sweet Tooth: Saccharine in the Good Way – Netflix Review

As the world falls apart, one young boy tries to make his way.

Well, it’s the apocalypse, again. This time it comes in the form of a virus that mostly spreads because people don’t take it seriously. Eventually, the virus proves to be extremely lethal and that is only compounded by the government’s poor response and the mistrust of various groups based on their reactions to the situation. This was in production before 2020, so don’t think this was commentary, it just happens that people being shitty started before a pandemic. At the same time that the virus is ravaging humanity, people start giving birth to “hybrids,” human babies which also have animal traits. One such baby is Gus (Christian Convery), a half-deer hybrid.

You can tell it’s the apocalypse from the fashion choices.

Gus is raised by his father, Pubba (Will Forte), on a preserve away from society, being told to avoid people at all costs, for ten years. Unfortunately, the preserve is eventually found by the “Last Men,” a group of hybrid hunters whose military force appears to be among the most powerful in the US after the “great crumble.” Without his father, Gus quickly starts to journey beyond the fence, hoping to eventually find his mother, Birdie (Amy Seimetz). The first person he encounters is former football player and mercenary Tommy “Big Man” Jepperd (Nonso Anozie). Despite Big Man’s dislike of hybrids, he eventually starts to take a liking to the young deer-boy, even nicknaming him “Sweet Tooth” due to Gus’s love of sugar. They are eventually joined by “Bear,” the leader of a pro-hybrid army played by Stefania LaVie Owen.

Forte is great in the parts that he’s in.

Naturally, a big part of this show is watching the impact of a massive pandemic on the population. People naturally start being less trusting of others because anyone can be a threat. Despite that, we see that people mostly believe that “certain people” are the ones who will die from the disease and thinking that they are the exception. We see neighborhoods of yuppies throwing parties (despite knowing a wave of the virus is coming again) and then burning the suspected infected alive. We witness this through the eyes of deuteragonist Dr. Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar) and his wife, Rani (Aliza Vellani). Dr. Singh has been working on a cure for the virus for a decade and his wife is the longest-surviving infected person. His arc is one of the most interesting in the show, because even though he is trying to save humanity, it’s clear he mostly just wants to save his wife at almost any cost. 

These two watched their neighbors immolate their friends. After a party.

There is also a third series of events with yet another deuteragonist named Aimee played by Dania Ramirez. Aimee runs a secret sanctuary for hybrids, particularly her adopted daughter Wendy (Naledi Murray), who is one of the rare hybrids who can speak normally. It’s not certain if hybrids are actually incapable of normal cognition or if they are just kept away from people so much that they don’t develop the ability to speak human language. Aimee’s sanctuary is being hunted for by the leader of the Last Men, General Abbot (Neil Sandilands). Also, James Brolin narrates the series, but hasn’t been on the show in person yet.

The world is hunting him like he was a… deer, I guess.

The key to the show is really the cute optimism of Gus contrasted with the pessimism of the Big Man and the cynicism of Bear. While it seems like another “surviving the apocalypse” show, the sincerity of each of their viewpoints comes through and makes everything feel a bit more personal. While the three plotlines don’t actually intersect until the very end of the season, which clearly sets up for a major second season, the interplay works great. They aren’t always thematically connected, but we see how many of the acts of each character end up impacting the others. We also see them all confront the big question of what is acceptable in the name of survival. 

Helps that the kid is just adorable.

Overall, solid show. I recommend giving it a try. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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