Sweet Tooth

Deer-boy in Sweet Tooth





Emily Clark

TV Series Review

They called it the Great Crumble.

With no cure or treatments for the deadly H5G9 virus, the Sick only had a couple of days from the time the first symptoms began (their pinky fingers shaking) to the time they died.

Panic set in. Mandatory quarantines were enforced. Violators were shot on sight. Hospitals flooded with patients they couldn’t offer relief to. And the world burned.

But as the world slipped into chaos, something extraordinary happened …

Hybrids—half human, half animal—were born.

Perhaps the greatest mystery is whether these children caused the virus or the virus caused the children. But since they can’t contract (or spread) the disease, one thing is for sure: Hybrids are the future.

A Very Special Boy

Of these hybrid children, we meet Gus (nicknamed “Sweet Tooth” for his love of chocolate). Half-deer, half-human, Gus was one of the first hybrids born 10 years ago.

His father, whom he calls “Pubba,” raised him deep in the woods of Yellowstone National Park—far away from any humans who might wish Gus harm.

He instructed Gus: “If I hear a growl, I will duck. If I hear a voice, I will run. If see a human, I will hide.”

And hide Gus should. Because despite proof that the hybrid children couldn’t get them sick, people still feared them.

The “critters,” as they’re sometimes called, replaced human children completely. And with so much still unknown about them, humans hunt the kids down to study them, experiment on them and sometimes, even kill them.

Wanting to protect his son and ensure Gus lives a long and happy life, Pubba told him the world was on fire outside the confines of the national park’s fence and that he should never leave.

But after Pubba dies of the mysterious illness that wiped out half the planet, Gus decides to break his father’s rules.

He ventures outside the fence to discover that the world is not, in fact, on fire. And soon, his story entwines with those of others, some of whom want to help him and others who want to hurt him.

Sweet Truth

Though it’s based on a comic book series that started its run in 2009, Sweet Tooth could be seen as a commentary on the coronavirus pandemic.

Much like we witnessed last year, characters wear face masks and quarantine in place. Hospitals are swarmed with the Sick, and there is no cure.

But what sets this story apart is that “normal” human children no longer exist—or rather, those who do were born before the Great Crumble.

The hybrid children are hunted down and murdered—often brutally. At one point, Gus is targeted by poachers for his antlers. And with few adults to raise, teach and love them, most of these children give in to their animal instincts and become feral, unable to speak or act coherently.

But if the hybrid children in the show are imperiled, the show itself contains a few pitfalls, as well. There’s some language to watch out for and evidence of cultists. And Pubba teaches Gus that the Great Crumble was Mother Nature’s way of fixing the planet that humans had destroyed.

Many people probably won’t want to watch a show where kids—hybrid or not—are literally hunted down for sport. But especially in a post-pandemic world, Sweet Tooth isn’t necessarily a story you want to hear.

Episode Reviews

Jun. 4, 2021: “Out of the Deep Woods”

We watch chaos ensue as millions of people contract a deadly disease. We see them rapidly deteriorate until they die, as well as sobbing family members and swarmed hospitals. Quarantines and curfews are enforced. Police officers and military personnel literally pull children away from their parents. And cars and helicopters crash and burn.

An official on TV advises people to pray. Pubba teaches Gus about “Mother Nature” and tells him that she used the virus to wipe out all the humans who had hurt her and each other. We see apparitions of this story (through Gus’ imagination) in smoke and flames.

Poachers shoot arrows at Gus (they miss) and pick him up by his antlers. Two men are shot with guns. Pubba kills a man offscreen (we hear screaming), and he later returns to Gus with blood on his hands. A man holds a broom like a gun to trick someone. Gus hits several people with rocks from a slingshot.

A couple kisses a few times. We see a boy from the shoulders up as he takes a bath. A man tells his son that it’s OK to lie if it helps someone you love. We hear uses of the s-word, “d–mit” and “a–hole.” We also hear misuses of God’s name (including a pairing with “d–mit”).

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Emily Clark
Emily Clark

Emily studied film and writing when she was in college. And when she isn’t being way too competitive while playing board games, she enjoys food, sleep, and indulging in her “nerdom,” which is the collective fan cultures of everything she loves, such as Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

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