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Sweet Tooth Review: Ambitious Adaptation Pays Off

Sweet Tooth is Netflix’s next big hit, and if it’s not, it should be. The series, which lands on the streaming service June 4th, is adapted from a comic series of the same name. The story takes place ten years after a deadly virus outbreak. The world is in shambles and the majority of the human population has died off. Coincidentally, a strange phenomenon is occurring at the same time of the virus outbreak; nearly all children are being born as animal-human hybrids. This is where our hero, Gus, comes in. Born as a human-deer hybrid, he must fight to survive in a world wrought with danger. Ten years after “the sick” first occurred, the surviving humans hunt hybrids, blaming them for the virus that destroyed the world as they knew it.

In a time when comic book adaptations dominate the television and cinemas, it’s refreshing to see one like “Sweet Tooth.” It’s unique, ambitious and, most importantly of all, endlessly entertaining. There are no super heroes in sight. And despite featuring a cast of animal-human hybrids, the story feels grounded in reality; to an extent, anyway.

The characters are developed and fleshed out in a manner that feels natural. It’s never rushed. With each episode we learn something new about our heroes that makes us love them even more. It’s these characters, and their relationships, that drive the series. As an audience, we genuinely care for and root for them. Their success is our success and their failure is our failure. Gus is the young, naïve hybrid on a journey. Jepperd is the hulking loner who reluctantly agrees to help him. The bond and the friendship that they form allows each of them to grow and confront the demons from their past, and the uncertainty of their future.

The story of a young child in need and a reluctant loner forming a friendship through a perilous journey is nothing new. It’s been seen throughout all forms of entertainment for years. The film “Logan” and the video game “The Last of Us” come to mind as perfect examples. But “Sweet Tooth” crafts this genre cliché into a story that is so great, it feels new. And it manages to do so without venturing into “R” or “Mature” rated territory. There are a slew of supporting characters, as well. Each of them with their own motivations and unique journeys.

Visually “Sweet Tooth” is a masterpiece. Each shot and movement of the camera is done with a purpose. It is a graphic novel brought to life with vibrant color. The majority of the special effects look great for a Netflix original series; although there is one character who looks undeniably… fake and goofy (you’ll know them when you see them). While it is jarring to see at first, as the series continues this only seems to add to the show’s charm.

This show is not to be missed. Filled with heart, adventure, drama and suspense, it stands out among the endless catalogue of shows and movies available to audiences. While the MCU is pumping out several series a year to Disney+ (good as they may be), audiences should be grateful there are still unique and ambitious comic book stories to be told. And you’d be hard pressed to find one better than “Sweet Tooth.”  9/10

Written by Joshua Ryan