CRITICAL / REVIEWS SERIES – Netflix is targeting young audiences with “Sweet Tooth”, a series adapted from the eponymous comics. A half-human, half-stag boy roams a post-apocalyptic world to find his mother. While cute, this Netflix creation isn’t free from flaws.
Sweet tooth : a production of Robert Downey Jr.
Netflix has teamed up with Robert Downey Jr. and his wife, Susan Downey, and Warner for this adaptation of Sweet tooth. Jeff Lemire’s comics were released under the Vertigo banner (subsidiary of DC) and have a pretty reputation in the industry. There is reason to believe feed good hopes for this passage on the small screen.
The plot is set ten years after a disaster called the Great Collapse. The world has sunk in a post-apocalyptic era when a terrible virus ravaged the population. It is also at this time that hybrid beings have mysteriously appeared. Half-human, half-animal babies are born. Are they linked to this virus? Some people think so and want to get their hands on it. We then meet Gus, a child crossed with a deer. His life changes the day his father dies. The little guy decides to embark on a trip across the United States to hope to find his mother in Colorado. He’ll be able to count on the help of a mysterious man, Tommy (Nonso Anozie), during his journey.
A post-apocalyptic tale that resonates with our times
From its introductory sequence, Sweet tooth gets in tune with our times by evoking a devastating pandemic. The images of panic and excesses take on a particular taste after the onset of Covid-19. If the series contains other reminders of the health crisis, it is not in its echoes of reality that it is most interesting. She expresses all her potential when she unboxes her futuristic universe in which nature takes back its rights. Netflix has not skimped on the means and offers us a show that takes shape. Wild sets and special effects work together to build a compelling ensemble that we believe in. Sweet tooth does not revolutionize post-apocalyptic imagery but has a solid universe, which holds together, without lack of taste.
Two endearing heroes
We also appreciate a lot the relationship between Gus and Tommy. Their complementarity is felt right down to the image. One is tall and strong, while the other is small and innocent. An immense tenderness emerges from Sweet tooth thanks to them. The series is moreover more a fable full of good intentions rather than a ruthless road movie. Despite the presence of a little violence, the program is suitable for a family audience and will even speak more to the youngest than to the usual teenage audience targeted by Netflix. Young Gus will undoubtedly be a hero that children his age will love to follow. In this sense, we must salute the performance of young Christian Convery, brilliant from the top of his 11 years. We can also do the same for the imposing Nonso Anozie, who gives Tommy human depth. Both are impeccable but the series often leaves them to the side from the second episode. After the pilot, the promises start to evaporate when the narrative introduces too many characters and subplots.
A narrative too scattered
We regret not having, instead, a simpler adventure with only two protagonists who share part of their existence together in order to rally point A to point B. When you walk away from them, everything that happens follows with polite boredom. The other characters don’t cause us as much as Gus and Tommy. Then, above all, it feels like the series throws too many tracks and treats them separately rather than having a harmonious whole. We suspect that a potential second season can fix everything by making everything cross. For now, our opinion is based only on what exists and we cannot be too severe with Sweet tooth. His intentions are laudable and not too badly executed. She talks about racism and nature conservation with a sensitivity far from unpleasant. Then, we challenge you not to fall under the spell of the endearing Gus!
Sweet tooth created by Jim Mickle and Beth Schwartz, available on Netflix from the June 4, 2021. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.