Netflix’s Sweet Tooth surprised me, and I rarely feel that way when it comes to television shows I already plan to watch (although what drew me to it was its terrific first trailer and the DC Comics logo adorning that trailer’s credits). I’m glad my instincts propelled me into this particular comic book-inspired post-apocalyptic universe, because while certain end-of-the-world tropes define most of this show’s initial trappings, what lies at the heart of Sweet Tooth is a uniquely heartwarming drama-adventure that basks upon an aesthetically kaleidoscopic canvas which is far from the dour, murky entrails that fuel modern dystopian storytelling.
Witnessing a viral plague tearing the civilised world apart in Sweet Tooth felt suitably surreal, and this event duly served as a stimulating launch pad for our doe-eyed and antler-bearing child protagonist, Gus. While some might glance at Gus and dismiss the entire show as mere kid-friendly entertainment, the show daringly wrestles its fair share of darker, emotional moments. However, Sweet Tooth never dwells too heavily on these aspects and instead balances bleaker moments with levity and hope abound, which I find refreshingly poignant amidst the glut of gloomy familiarity that most post-apocalyptic shows lean on.
The series congruently intertwines the seemingly disparate stories of characters we’ve met.
I especially admire how Gus’ naiveté plays well into his endlessly flowing optimism that not only eventually spreads to his world-weary travelling comrades, but also becomes a wider thematic reciprocation in the show which inspires impetus amidst the internal strife that other secondary characters experience throughout the show.
Driving towards the show’s finale (in particular the final episode), the series congruently intertwines the seemingly disparate stories of characters we’ve met, teeing up a near-perfect narrative runaway that a second season could flawlessly kick it into high gear.
With grade-A cinematography that engenders quality cinematic lighting (occasionally let down by some jarring CGI-laden sequences) and great cast performances all round, Sweet Tooth ultimately seeks to edify us about holding fast to life’s sweetening bliss that often gets lost amongst our fears and dreams.