As bad as 2020 was, 2021 has been pretty good … at least at delivering solid comic book adaptations. Following on the heels of INVINCIBLE and JUPITER’S LEGACY, Netflix’s SWEET TOOTH is based on the Vertigo comic of the same name from writer and artist Jeff Lemire. It’s a good thing the series came out now, as we seem to be coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic because otherwise it might feel a little bit close to home. The series starts out with a harrowing pandemic that seems all too believable thanks to 2020.
Where a comic like INVINCIBLE seems to beg to be given the movie/TV treatment, SWEET TOOTH didn’t strike me that way when I was reading it. The comic told a great story, but it seemed almost impossible to adapt. It’s weird (in a great way), complex, and it lacks the type of action sequences that scream for CGI. Thankfully, Netflix proved me wrong in a big way. If the pilot is any indication, this show exceeds what I thought is possible.
The main character of SWEET TOOTH is a boy named Gus (eventually he earns the name Sweet Tooth) who lives with his father isolated in the woods, away from the havoc the pandemic wrought on society. Surprisingly, Gus’ father is played by Will Forte (of Saturday Night Live fame). He turns in a surprisingly sweet performance, with the perfect blend of earnestness and goofy dad-ness. For a post-apocalyptic story based on a comic book, the pilot episode has a ton of emotional heft. Thanks to the solid acting, the story really lands because you care about the characters.
While there aren’t any superhero fight scenes, SWEET TOOTH has amazing makeup (I’m not sure if it is CGI or practical, it’s that good). Readers of the comic will know what I am referring to, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone else (there’s a really cool reveal in the first half).
The pilot sets up everything you need to know if you aren’t familiar with the source material. If you are like me and read the comic, sit back and marvel at how they managed to turn the book into a series. If the pilot is any indication, SWEET TOOTH is in good hands.
All episodes of the first season of SWEET TOOTH will be available on Netflix on June 4th.
Have you watched the series? What are your thoughts on the show? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!