Creator: Jeff Lemire
Director: Jim Mickle
Starring: Christian Convery, Will Forte, Adeel Akhtar and Nonso Anozie
Netflix has just released a new show called Sweet Tooth and here is our review of Season 1, Episode 1.
Inspired by the comics of the same name, Sweet Tooth follows the story of a young boy named Gus. Just like today, there is a deadly virus causing chaos to the world. Alongside this, a new generation of babies are being born with strange features – known as hybrids – part human part animal.
The world we are dealing with is introduced to us through Doctor Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar). We see how this virus affected the world and the first discovery of the hybrids through this doctor’s eyes. It is done really well as two stories are set up side by side and we aren’t sure how they are connected until the last moment. The two stories are the doctor dealing with the virus and a dad taking his baby son into the wilderness to escape from society and civilisation. This mini prologue sets up the world and Gus’s beginnings quite nicely.
THIS IS GUS’S STORY – A HALF-HUMAN, HALF DEER HYBRID
Gus (Christian Convery) is a hybrid who is part human and part deer; his father (Will Forte) makes the decision to escape with his son to find a safe place to bring him up. Unfortunately, as Gus grows up his curiosity of the world and outside the fence grows which brings more danger into his life. Gus has had a quite sheltered life so far with it just being him and his dad as they live off the land.
In this first episode, we watch Gus grow up and we end the episode with him being 10 years old ready to take on the world. I really liked the moment where Gus finally managed to cross the river by jumping across the rocks without falling in. That felt like a huge character development moment for that character as we watch him attempt that crossing many times and failing. It also foreshadowed the beginning of Gus growing up and doing things for himself, which is a very bittersweet moment. I felt almost proud of Gus for finally crossing the river yet now he is alone with no one to turn to.
Christian Convery does a great job to introducing us to Gus who will we will be following on his journey. We get to really understand this character and we can empathise with him. We feel bad for him when he is left utterly alone only with his imagination to keep him company, which is really quite sad.
GUS IS LEFT ALONE BUT WHAT WILL HE CHOOSE TO DO
What this first episode does well is show us a father teaching his son how to survive by themself. Gus’s father is also known as ‘Pubba’ (Will Forte) and he is terrified about the idea of the outside world coming in and sneaking into their home; he is completely focused on survival and keeping his boy safe because that is all he has left. The chemistry between Convery and Forte felt so real that it is a shame it had to be cut so short.
We aren’t told much about Gus’s mother; we know her name is Birdie and her last known whereabouts is Colorado. Pubba tells Gus that he and his mother were separated when the world fell apart but we can’t be certain at this point about the actual status of Birdie; whether she is alive or not but we discover that the driving force of this season is Gus finding her.
GUS IS READY TO SEE THE WORLD BUT WILL WE MEET THE DOCTOR AGAIN?
Now Gus is alone he will need help to find his mother and this help will come in the form of Tommy. We are introduced to Tommy Jepperd (Nonso Anozie) near the end of this episode. Tommy is the one who gives Gus the name ‘Sweet Tooth’ but I’m not sure what to make of this character yet. I liked how he semes to care for Gus, wants him to stay safe and out of the way. Is this hinting that Tommy may have had or has a family? However, we can assume that Tommy is going to take on the parental responsibilities of looking after Gus as they make their way to Colorado and the sanctuary.
I do wonder if we will meet Doctor Aditya Singh again and if his part in this story is bigger than we may first expect. Only because he is the first character we are introduced to and he sees some of the first hybrid babies. I feel like he must be more involved and especially as this character has been given a name too.
WHAT CAME FIRST, THE VIRUS OR THE HYBRIDS?
It feels weird watching another show that involves a deadly virus as it is so similar to the world we are living in right now. However, we have no hybrids and we still have order and laws. Also, the name for their disaster is a lot better than ours, theirs is named as ‘The Great Crumble’, referring to the crumble to society as everything they once knew is destroyed, which I quite like.
Gus is only being 10 years old yet he has dealt with a lot already yet being so young. He and his father, ‘Pubba’ living in the woods just trying to survive and stay unnoticed. As Gus grows up, he obviously has questions about the world and Pubba tells him that the world is greedy and that nature made everyone sick. Now what I think is interesting is that in this first episode a question is asked and repeated which I feel we will hear more about during the rest of this season. We are asked what came first the virus or the hybrids? We don’t know yet how these hybrids came about but we also don’t know how this virus was caused. All we do know is that the virus caused pure chaos, especially once the internet went down it was all over. Tribes formed, fighting over what is left and laws have been forgotten. I found it quite humorous how the internet failing was the final straw considering we are all so dependent on the internet today. I think this question will be a recurring theme as we search for the answer to it.
Some dialogue does feel a bit too drawn out and I do wish at times it was a bit snappier and to the point. At times it feels like the same lines are being repeated by putting the words in different order yet nothing really comes out it. Overall, the performances are strong and I have high expectations for the rest of the season but I do wish some of the dialogue was snappier.
WHAT IS SO SPECIAL ABOUT GUS?
The hybrids are feared as no one knows where they came from or how they happened. Lots have been hunted and killed or taken to have experiments done to them. Now it isn’t surprising why Pubba took Gus so far away from society. We are yet to meet any other hybrids but from trailers and promotional pictures, we can see that we and Gus won’t have to wait too long to meet other hybrids. Yet I thought it was curious that when the poachers came for Gus, they found it fascinating that he could talk and it has been said that Gus is special, but what is so special about him?
Sweet Tooth episode one is a fantastic introduction to this world and our main character Gus/Sweet Tooth. We learn about his origins and the world he inhabits. We end this episode with Gus doubting what his father has told him about the world and wants to see it for himself and to find his mother. We’ve now been introduced to the world so now the real story can begin, to which I am excited for to see what is to come next.
What do you make of this review of Sweet Tooth Episode 1?
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