Have you ever been at a loss about what to watch on Netflix? You know, that rabbit hole in which you spend an hour looking for something good—or at least mildly interesting—to watch, only to fall asleep in the process of searching.
Been there, done that.
Sometimes, recommendations from friends and family helps in the search, but not always, making it necessary to watch something you’ve a) seen a hundred times before, or b) doesn’t align with your standards or tastes.
This dilemma makes it especially helpful when Netflix itself hits the sweet spot of your TV-viewing universe with a recommendation that’s actually, well, good. And by “good,” I mean really good. Such was the case when the streaming giant recommended one of its originals, “Sweet Tooth,” upon its release on June 4.
Based on a DC comic book series of the same name, “Sweet Tooth” is set in an all-too-close-to-home apocalyptic world in which a virus has swept the earth, wiping out a sizable chunk of humanity.
Amidst the chaos, new types of beings that are part human, part animal are being born to human parents. Some survivors in this world think the hybrids caused the virus while others think the opposite to be true. Whatever the cause, some of humanity’s ugliness surfaces in regard to the hybrids in the forms of unethical medical research and a violent militia, to name a couple.
Central to the story is Gus (Christian Convery of “Beautiful Boy”), a hybrid boy who lives in the woods with his father, affectionately dubbed Pubba by toddler Gus early in the premiere episode. Played by “Last Man on Earth” star Will Forte, Pubba is a nurturing father who does all he can to protect Gus from a militia that’s sworn to hunt down hybrids and capture them in the name of science.
As you can imagine, things don’t go as planned in Pubba and Gus’s off-the-grid woodsy oasis. If it did go well, the show would be pretty boring, right?
Enter Tommy Jepperd, who, following less-than-ideal circumstances, becomes Gus’s parental figure. (You’ll have to tune in to see what becomes of Pubba in this setting.) Portrayed by Nonso Anozie (“Zoo”), Jepperd is a former pro football player who enters the story while wandering through the Yellowstone National Park region of the United States, apparently trying to escape his past.
Big Man, as Jepperd’s nicknamed by the boy, and Gus become an unlikely pair headed to Colorado in search of Gus’s mom.
Along the way, they come across people who are struggling to survive in the fallout of the pandemic, including a teenage girl named Bear who leads a pro-hybrid counterforce named the Animal Army.
Parallel storylines include a likeable doctor named Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar of “Enola Holmes”) whose main purpose in the apocalypse is to keep his wife alive, even if that includes despicable medical research.
Another storyline involves Aimee Eden (Dania Ramirez of “Once Upon a Time”), a psychiatrist who’s struggling to establish a refuge for hybrid children.
James Brolin provides voice-over narration that sets up and concludes each episode.
Though steep in mature thematic elements (it’s about a dystopian world, after all), “Sweet Tooth” is a Netflix Original that’s well-written and acted. Rated TV-14, the show lacks sexual content, nudity, and excessive profanity, though several characters do drop occasional profanities, but not a lot considering what’s on TV these days.
Comprising eight episodes, all of which are streaming now on Netflix, “Sweet Tooth” is a series that belongs on your summer watchlist. (Martinez is a Serve Daily contiributor.)