Sweet Tooth Review

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, Sweet Tooth is an original Netflix series about the journey of a half-human half-deer boy exploring his identity and the world around him.

Given that the series takes place in a world moving towards post-pandemic normalcy, Sweet Tooth is especially more compelling and relatable. Naturally, this raises questions about the losses and changes in our world, which Sweet Tooth is able to package in the series. Specifically, the story deals with people’s reactions to hybrids—children born differently with animal characteristics. With people believing that such characteristics were contagious, hunters went around the city to kill hybrids to prevent the spread of this ‘disease.’ However, as the series comes to an end, people soon realise that it was not true.


The main character, Gus, is a human child but with the ears and antlers of a deer, distinguishing him from a typical human child. Concerned with his son’s safety, Gus’ father raises him deep in the forest where both of them can not be seen and are safe from the hunters. Years go by and, one day, Gus’ father is shot by one of the hunters, leaving Gus to survive all by himself. Despite Gus breaking his promise with his father to stay away from the city and fences, he, fortunately, meets a hunter named Big Man, who acts as a father figure. The two of them start a journey together to find new beginnings and explanations of their lost family members.


Notably, the film had a plot strand that can not only interest environmental activists or those who work in this field but also individuals like us into a world of sci-fi and realism. In other words, what makes this film unique is that it is able to reach a wide range of audiences compared to other films dealing with post-pandemic worlds. While the presence of Gus helps establish a sense of relatability to a younger audience, the show also appeals to adults with its extensive critique on pressing social matters like discrimination. The unconventional characteristics that this character has, such as his physical appearance and personality traits like curiosity, loyalty, and courage, provide the audience with an opportunity to compare the similarities between the film and the current situation with COVID-19. 


Jim Mickle, the director and producer of Sweet Tooth, mentioned how he wanted to critique the destruction of this world in hopes to provoke an emotional response from society. On this basis, Mickle was very successful in achieving his initial objective of provoking an emotional response as I myself was able to come to a realisation of our current devastating reality with COVID-19 too. This naturally leads us to be afraid and biased towards the unknown as it can bring unpredictable consequences. I was also able to see the connection and similarity with the Asian hate that was prevalent.