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Sweet Tooth: What Netflix’s Other Comic Book Shows Must Learn From This Masterpiece

Netflix has just released Sweet Tooth and the show is getting rave reviews. The show, which has Robert Downey Junior aka Iron-man of the MCU as a co-producer, has hit all the right chords with the audience. Set in a post apocalyptic world with a doomsday plot eerily similar to a real world scenario, the show is based on the DC Comics’ Vertigo Imprint limited series of the same name.

Netflix has had a sudden fascination with comic book adaptations. What started with Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Punisher soon expanded. The Umbrella Academy, Warrior Nun, Locke & Key, and Jupiter’s Legacy are some prime examples of Netflix diversifying their comic book focus to other publications. But only Sweet Tooth managed to get to a position that demanded respect and awe.

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Why did Sweet Tooth succeed where the other Netflix comic book shows faltered? There is a reason why the former is being heralded as a masterpiece while the latter shows are not even getting enough viewership for a second season.netf

Uses Not One But Multiple Tones

Netflix has a tendency to turn all their comic book shows dark and gritty. We do not know why they do it. The recent obsession platforms have with the de-construction of comic book characters as flawed beings is getting to the fans now. Some of us just want to sit back and enjoy the show for what it is rather than it making us think. Sweet Tooth does that and much more. It not only gives us moments of sheer joy and light-hearted humor, it takes us to the deepest and darkest of places. And to top it off, it still remains family friendly. The tone of the show was changed from the comic books, which was very, very dark. And that was a good choice.

Correct Production Value

We would not go so far as to say Sweet tooth has great production value. But it uses what it has at its disposal better than most other Netflix comic book shows. Umbrella Academy had a higher budget and more star power. It had better locations and sets. It still managed to falter at places by the time the second season hit Netflix. Sweet Tooth had most of its scenes shot in New Zealand. The visuals and sets are not of an exaggerated quality. They fall within the confines of the genre and story of the show. And the most important aspect is that they are consistent. When you look at Jupiter’s Legacy and Warrior Nun, the drop in quality in production is prominent as the season neared their ends.

The Lead Actor

Christian Convery is a gift from the heavens. The little dude can act. And boy does he do it well. In many comic book shows, we see the onus of carrying the show falls on the lead characters. And sometimes, the lead character fails to deliver. Case in point Jupiter’s Legacy and I Am Not Okay With This. Both Netflix shows received heavy criticism for having a lack-luster lead and core cast. Fortunately, Convery’s Sweet Tooth aka Gus supported by a powerful ensemble of supporting characters like Nonso Anonzie and James Brolin make for a killer combo. Whoever did the casting choices should be given an award.

Parallels To The Real World Are Scarily Believable

The post apocalyptic world of Sweet Tooth falls into eerily familiar territory. The world was taken over by a global viral pandemic. The H5G9 virus destroyed all of humanity. the world descended into chaos as the survivors quarantined themselves, waiting for the sickness to die out. Sound familiar? There are other scary propositions in sweet tooth when a pandemic leads to a new world order. The world is now Mad Max territory. Though there are plenty of resources, there are too little people harness them. The world of Sweet Tooth is indeed bizarre but it makes you feel like it’s waiting for you in your near future.

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Finds A Balance Between Suspense & Certainty

Sweet Tooth has one major advantage over the other Netflix comic book shows. It has a very good script writing team that have made a story perfect for live action. the first half of the show does not reveal too much about the characters. We know what they are doing and where they are. but nobody knows why they are doing it in the first place. The second half of the show focuses on mainly establishing a world and character backstories. It’s not a new formula for making a killer story. But Netflix seemed to have forgotten it with shows like Jupiter’s Legacy and Warrior Nun. The element of suspense and the perfect timing needed to reveal it were missing in those shows. Sweet tooth does not suffer the same problem (thankfully).

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

You do not wanna know. I could be a psychopath.