All these are shows less like"Stranger Things," which is built to have a broad, near-universally-understandable appeal, than like"The Umbrella Academy," unapologetically niche.
Within this realm,"Sweet Tooth" is a relatively prosperous outing. Netflix's new show assays a world a decade following the so-called"Great Crumble," a society-restructuring pandemic that coincided with a change in the species. No one knows to what degree, if at all, this shift is related, however all new babies born because the Crumble are hybridized with critters, giving rise to infants with creature attributes that society is ill-prepared to manage, despite their cuteness. Young Gus (Christian Convery), a boy with components of deer including large antlers, were hiding in the woods with his father (Will Forte); suddenly left his own, he enters the company of a solo rambler (Nonso Anozie, excellent and gruff) and sets out on an experience across a destroyed, recovered America.
The show's vision of a landscape at the energetic process of giving itself back to character is as persuasive as its depiction, in flashback, of this societal order collapsing can sense rote. And its visual plot is designed with a cautious eye towards keeping us participated, meaning that every hybrid is lovably cute in a way that is unchallenging but easy on the eyes. The series isn't completely kids' stuff, though: A subplot about a planned community of survivors who view paranoiacally for new viral instances was unbelievably chewy, especially coming as it does towards what seems to be the conclusion of a pandemic encounter that left Religious scars in our real world. ("Sweet Tooth," based on a comic book series that started in 2009, filmed its pilot in 2019; its own writers' room took place in role over Zoom post-March 2020.)
This series is certainly not perfect: Narration by James Brolin tends to lean heavily on truisms that tell little worth understanding. The episodes may feel baggily paced. And to get a solo adult viewer, Gus' journey may feel a little predictable in moments. But for the right kind of kid,"Sweet Tooth" may make for good family viewing; yet there is enough in the way of complication here in order to keep parents intrigued without sending the series turning into pure absurdity for its own sake. The depiction of young individuals as literally a different species from their mothers, fighting for their right to exist in a world that doesn't understand them, is a somewhat simple metaphor, but it would be churlish to deny its own elemental power.
Throughout, the series is made with a surprising level of curiosity about what changes in society would look like across varying types of communities, and with a capacious imagination to boot. And while it envisions a world changed by pain and illness,"Sweet Tooth" feels basically light of touch and, well, candy of intention. Its pandemic-riven world was torn apart, to be sure, and at the aftermath stems dissension -- but connection and kindness, also. Change provides the chance for grand-scale reimagining of what life may look like be, in addition to little opportunities to come into the own -- to locate one's humanity, even if sporting deer antlers.