Sweet Tooth is set 10 years after the Great Crumble. A mysterious virus has swept the globe causing humanity to descend into chaos “No rules and No Laws”. Gus (Christian Convery) is one of the hybrid children in the show who has ears and antlers of a deer. Gus is raised by his father Pubba/Richard Fox (Will Forte) and stay hidden in the interior parts of Yellowstone National forest. Pubba had protected Gus from the nightmares of the world and instilled in him the spirit of curiosity and compassion which proved to be almost as contagious as the virus that caused the Great Crumble.
Sweet Tooth seems like an odd title for a post-apocalyptic drama, particularly one about an apocalypse caused by a virus, which has the unfortunate timing to get released while we are still digging our way out from covid, But once you get to know its adorable young hero Gus, “sweet” turns out to be the most accurate possible adjective to describe the show.
After his father’s death, Gus finds a photo of his mother living in Colorado. When his residence is threatened by The Last Man, Gus is saved by a nomad named Tommy Jepperd/Big Man (Nonso Anozie). Gus, who saw Big Man’s kindness, continued to follow him as they went on an adventure together and headed to Colorado to find his mother.
There are other characters as well whose stories becomes relevant along the way. It is beautifully written an a special mention to Christian Convery for making his character Gus a delight. Sweet Tooth offers something different, clever and it paid off. It’s enchanting and we were glued as soon as we saw the adorable hybrid babies.
This story is built upon the idea that some kind of virus came into the world infecting all the babies making it so that there are no more pure humans born. Along the way we learn that Gus is loveable, curious, inventive, and with boundless hope and innocence he ends up winning the hearts of everyone he encounters. Jepperd, a very large, scary-looking black man who was a former professional football player who was suckered into basically adopting Gus who he saw was an innocent creature who needed protection.
Aimee (Dania Ramirez) along with her hybrid child, Wendy / Pigtail (Naledi Murray) began to look for other hybrids that were threatened by The Last Man. The interactions between mother and daughter were sweet and the mother easily relented to the ideas of rescuing the other hybrids.
In another part of the city, a former doctor, Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar) had been treating his wife, Rani Singh (Aliza Vellani) for 10 years from the symptoms of the H5G9 virus. Aditya then had to replace Dr. Bell (Sarah Peirse) because they retired, Aditya continued his research into drugs that used hybrid children as the basis for the ‘cure’ for the virus and is forced to abandon his humanity to dissect the hybrids.
Bear (Stevania Lavia Owen) is the leader of a cult that holds human-animal hybrids in high esteem and welcomes the two unlikely travelling companions. With Gus being a totally innocent and extremely naive character, and Jepperd a dark warrior character coming into redemption, Bear splits the difference between the two. She is the light version of Jepperd and a unlikely warrior herself. Bear and Jepperd end up becoming friends and almost like family, with Gus being the “glue” between the otherwise distrustful rivals.
While the acting of the three main characters (and Gus’s father in the first half of the season) is excellent, some of the more peripheral characters are not. Dr. Singh becomes annoying and his wife Rani even more so. General Abbot is way too much of a stereotypical bad guy that is almost goofy and surrounds himself with faceless, unknown and mindless henchmen. The only exception is one of his lieutenants, with a lot of foreshadowing of his emerging character being on the verge of becoming a hero of some sort.
The biggest plot theme is that these hybrids were there to replenish the Earth to its original state before the consciousness of money and power were a thing. The Last Men exterminated everything good about the Earth, the hybrids, the beautiful flowers, everything and all in the sake of power and the government. A group called ‘The Last Man’, hunts down the remaining hybrid children to be used as experiments in making a vaccine from the virus.
Each episode leads to a new adventure. It’s a very different twist on a post- apocalyptic world at a time when we are beginning to wonder if the current pandemic will ever end. Its such a heart warming story with beautiful picturization, the way the story unfolds with each character’s past gradually shown towards the end is very interesting.
This series is part fantasy, part sci-fi, part whimsy, part cold-eyed realism and most points in between. It is either warmly eccentric or hysterically crazy, a perfect entertainment or a horrifying attempt to parlay the pandemic into a commercially palatable mashup.
The costumes of the Hybrid protectors (the Bear herd team; Stevania Lavia Owen) also added a nice knick-knacks to this film. It was great to see how the designers blended animal furs, animal skull masks, and various other attributes into an eccentric and extraordinary Halloween costumes. Showing 3 perspectives of post-pandemic life that are packaged in a storytelling manner really enriches the plot of the story about how several characters with different professions and backgrounds react to a end of the world situation.
This show deserves the rave reviews its been getting since release. It is extremely uplifting, hopeful, and optimistic as it tells the stories of unlikely heroes navigating a destroyed world and being drawn together in coincidental fate. It is a story of good where dark character learn to accept redemption and protect the innocent against overwhelming evil. Nothing about this show felt cheap as Gus and Jepperds’s journey together felt real and authentic as they struggled against each other and against themselves. For a post-apocalyptic show, it’s strangely warm and has a feel good factor to it.
Our Score: (8,5/10)
Title : Sweet Tooth
Production : DC Entertainment, Netflix, Team Downey, Warner Bros.
Director : Jim Mickle, Alexis Ostrander, Toa Fraser, Robyn Grace
Screenwriter : Beth Schwartz, Christina Ham, Jeff Lemire, Jim Mickle
Casts : Christian Convery, Will Forte, Nonso Anozie, Stefania LaVie Owen, Dania Ramirez, Adeel Akhtar, Aliza Vellani, Sarah Peirse, Naledi Murray.
Komang ‘Cei’ Santya
ig : exceii