|Based on||Sweet Tooth|
by Jeff Lemire
|Developed by||Jim Mickle|
|Music by||Jeff Grace|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Production location||New Zealand|
|Running time||37–53 minutes|
|Original release||June 4, 2021|
Sweet Tooth is an American fantasy drama streaming television series developed by Jim Mickle. It is based on the comic book of the same name by Jeff Lemire and premiered on Netflix on June 4, 2021.
Ten years ago "The Great Crumble", a virus, killed many people in the world and led to the mysterious emergence of hybrid babies born part human, part animal.
Unsure if hybrids are the cause or result of the virus, many humans fear and hunt them. Gus, a half-deer hybrid, lives in the wilderness with his father – who dies of the virus when Gus is nine years old. Gus discovers a box with what he believes is a picture of his mother in it buried by his father beneath a tree with the word Colorado written on it. A year after his father's death, Gus sets a fire before deciding to leave to find his mother. The fire alerts nearby hunters to his location who try to murder Gus for sport. The hunters are visibly surprised Gus can speak and are soon killed by Tommy Jepperd, a lone traveller, who tries to leave Gus behind. Instead, Gus follows Jepperd, insisting he escort him to his mother in Colorado. Jepperd resists, but still protects Gus as he won't leave him alone.
Together, they set out on an extraordinary adventure across what is left of America in search of answers—about Gus' origins, Jepperd's past, and the true meaning of home. But their story is full of unexpected allies and enemies, and Gus quickly learns the lush, dangerous world outside the forest is more complex than he ever could have imagined.
This section's plot summaries may be too long or excessively detailed. (June 2021)
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||Prod.|
|1||"Out of the Deep Woods"||Jim Mickle||Jim Mickle||June 4, 2021||T15.10153|
|A doctor, Aditya Singh, goes to work one day and discovers a deadly virus is taking over the world. At the same time, hybrid children start being born that are half-human and half-animal, with no one agreeing which came first. Meanwhile, before the collapse of society known as the Great Crumble, a father runs away into Yellowstone National Park with his deer hybrid baby, Gus. Dr. Singh discovers the symptom of the Sick is an uncontrollable shaking pinky finger and rushes to the hospital save his wife Rani who has the Sick. The father, over many years, built a secure base in the deep woods and as Gus grows up he refers to him as "Pubba". Pubba is constantly afraid of the outside world, but as Gus grows so does his curiosity about the outside world. One day, he steps outside the fence to venture after the deer he believes is his "mother" despite Pubba's warnings about the outside world being fire and says that his mother is gone. Later, a man claiming to be looking for his sister arrives at the fence and tells Pubba that everyone in the outside world thinks the hybrids are responsible for the Sick which still exists after 10 years. After hiding Gus, Pubba kills the man but also contracts the Sick which quickly kills him. In his frustration, Gus starts a day time fire which attracts the attention of poachers who lay a candy trap which Gus easily falls for. Gus, however, is quickly saved by Tommy Jeppard who Gus calls "Big Man". While distrusting of Big Man at first, Gus eventually lays out a plan with a map and a picture to find his mother in Colorado and chases after Big Man to help him on his adventure.|
|2||"Sorry About All the Dead People"||Jim Mickle||Jim Mickle & Beth Schwartz||June 4, 2021||T13.22302|
|The narrator introduces Aimee, who was a therapist before the Great Crumble and barricaded herself in her office for weeks during the fall out. When she eventually emerges into the deserted city, she is passed by a stampede of elephants and is inspired to go to the Zoo which she makes her home. Gus persistently follows Big Man and insists he take him to Colorado. Big Man gets angry when Gus eats all of his food and his medicine which he thought was horrible candy. Gus leads them to a Visitor's Center where he smells food, but they also find a couple and their human son not much older than Gus living there. Big Man insists they only want to stay one night to wait out the storm and they don't want trouble, despite being recognized as a pro football player by the father and a former Last Man by the mother by the branding on his chest. Dr. Singh treats the Sick in Rani through experimental medicine provided by Dr. Bell and when he goes for a refill he discovers she wants him to take over his work as she is dying from terminal cancer. She provides all of her findings in a book, but her gruesome work goes against everything Dr. Singh believes in. Big Man begins to think the family may be a better place for Gus, but after the Visitor's Center is attacked by Last Men who Big Man kills with a bear trap, they ask them to leave for the sake of protecting their family. Big Man and Gus continue on to the next town. Aimee discovers a hybrid pig baby outside the Zoo.|
|3||"Weird Deer S**t"||Alexis Ostrander||Michael R. Perry||June 4, 2021||T13.22303|
|Gus and Big Man continue on foot to the Market which has a train which will take Gus to Colorado. Big Man disguises Gus as a human so they can get him on the train, but while purchasing him a ticket Gus wanders off and meets a young girl in the Market who comforts him when he panics. Dr. Singh takes over for Dr. Bell and starts working with the Last Men who provide him with supplies. He and Rani reluctantly attend a party where the host Doug is discovered to be infected and thus the house with him inside it is set on fire to prevent spread of the Sick. Gus smells Big Man's medicine as he is about to board the train, so they steal the supplies but are caught and Gus is exposed as a hybrid. The Last Men while transporting them through the forest are ambushed by teenagers dressed as animals who kill the Last Men and rescue Gus and Big Man. The leader dressed as a Bear reveals herself as the girl from the Market. General Abbott is informed that "she has been found".|
|4||"Secret Sauce"||Toa Fraser||Justin Boyd & Haley Harris||June 4, 2021||T13.22304|
|Bear instructs the group to shoot Big Man, but Gus protests and shocks the group by his ability to speak. Bear changes her mind about killing Jeppard, much to the displeasure of Tiger. Bear introduces Gus to their home in an abandoned theme park and tells him about how she is the leader of the Animal Army which vows to protect hybrids at all costs. The group give Gus many things like candy and allows him to drive go karts, while Tiger continues to pressure Bear as to why they haven't killed Jepperd yet. Bear wants to understand why Gus is protecting a poacher. The doctor continues to try to make medicine for his wife who has the illness, but is unsuccessful as he needs a live hybrid. Their nosey neighbor Nancie tells the Singhs she wants to hold a citizen's vote on mandatory virus testing every week, worrying Dr. Singh who fears Rani will be exposed. Aimee raises the hybrid baby "Pigtail" as her own in the city Zoo, scavenging and avoiding Last Men. In the night, Aimee fears an intruder but Pigtail reveals it is her friend Bobby, an animal who can speak, and asks if they can keep him. Bear reveals to Gus that Big Man was once a Last Man and has hurt hybrids, but Gus doesn't care as he is his friend and says the Animal Army has hurt people as well. At the execution of Big Man, Bear reveals she will not carry out the execution as it would hurt Gus. This leads to a coup led by Tiger who tries to execute Jepperd anyway. Big Man and Gus escape with Bear following as she abandons the Animal Army. Nancie discovers Rina has the Sick and plans to expose her but as they argue in front of the house she is kicked to death by their horse. The Singhs hide her body.|
|5||"What's in the Freezer?"||Robyn Grace||Christina Ham||June 4, 2021||T13.22305|
|General Abbott confronts Dr. Bell about faking her terminal illness and demands to know the location of the book. She tells him she has left it with her replacement Dr. Singh and that the hybrids are just children who will be here long after the human race. General Abbott then has Dr. Bell executed. Jepperd thanks Gus for having his back with the Animal Army and says he will accompany him to Colorado. Bear finds Gus and Big Man and gives them a last known address for Birdie. Bear also shows them a path to the train to Colorado through the Valley of Sorrows which is populated by the purple flowers that accompany the Sick. Gus, fed up with their continuous bickering throughout the journey, ventures out onto and falls from a rickety bridge into the purple flowers. Aimee and Pig Tail continue to build the Preserve for hybrids, but Pig Tail is discouraged she isn't as animal as the rest of the hybrids. The Last Men find and tag the Preserve. While unconscious, Gus encounters Pubba who tells him to be brave and that other hybrids are counting on him and the whole world will see him soon. Then, in the mirror where Pubba was, he encounters General Abbott. Pubba warns him that he is coming but says Gus is ready now. Big Man and Bear rescue Gus from the flowers and Gus forces them to stop arguing. The Singhs continue to cover up Nancie's disappearance despite people in the neighborhood declaring her missing. Dr. Singh expects a hybrid delivery in order to save Rani who is deteriorating, but the Last Men deliver a note saying they are out of hybrids. The town discovers Nancie in the freezer, but Dr. Singh convinces them Nancie was Sick but then Rani starts showing symptoms so the town binds them in their home and sets it aflame. The Last Men and General Abbott saves the Singhs.|
|6||"Stranger Danger on a Train"||Jim Mickle||Noah Griffith & Daniel Stewart||June 4, 2021||T13.22306|
|Big Man, Bear, and Gus manage to board the moving train to Colorado but discover it is not a passenger train. The Singhs bluff that Dr. Singh is working on a cure that is not detailed in the book in order to convice General Abbott to spare both of their lives. On the train, Big Man encounters a friend and former pro ball player Jimmy "Fat Man" Jacobs who he initially fights in order to protect Gus before recognizing him. Gus is distraught over the loss of his stuffed animal Dog that his Pubba made him and wanders off from the group. Aimee realizes they have been found by the Last Men and that the Preserve is no longer safe. While looking for Gus, Jimmy asks about Jepperd's wife, unborn child, and other friends who have all passed from the Sick. Jimmy also provides information about the location of Gus' mother Birdie, but neglects to mention Last Men are aboard the train. Big Man saves Dog for Gus by pretending to be a Last Man but blows his cover, so Jimmy holds the door for the group and fights the Last Men so they can escape off the train and is presumably killed for his efforts. Aimee, Wendy aka Pig Tail, and the other Preserve hybrids pack and escape through the tunnels but Aimee remains behind. Big Man, Gus, and Bear reach Essex County with Big Man offering Bear that she can stay with them if she wants.|
|7||"When Pubba Met Birdie"||Toa Fraser||Beth Schwartz||June 4, 2021||T13.22307|
|A flashback to an expedition to Alaska reveals something discovered in the ice rods which is packed up and shipped to Fort Smith Science Research where Pubba is shown to have worked as a janitor. Pubba one day encounters Birdie in a bar where he reveals his name is Richard and apologizes for eavesdropping on her earlier conversation with Judy. Birdie reveals she is a genecist and is upset because she was working on an important project but is now being transferred to a different department. Birdie tells Richard that she found a unique microbe for a vaccine that they have been testing on chicken eggs which could save the world or go disastrously wrong depending on the execution. Richard walks Birdie home where she invites him in and they grow close and almost kiss. Suddenly, she gets a call that the military is taking over her lab and Richard offers to assist her in breaking in to rescue her project. Gus, Bear, and Big Man get to Birdie's address only to discover that only Judy, Birdie's former coworker, lives there and that Birdie left 10 years ago to look for Gus. In a flashback, Birdie shows Richard the unexpected outcome from their project which is a baby Gus, which stands for Genetic Unit Series. Richard distracts the military long enough for Birdie to escape with Gus, but Birdie later asks Richard to take Gus so she can return to the lab to destroy her research. In the present, Gus goes through Birdie's files and is confused until Big Man finally tells him based off the files that he was created by the scientists in a lab. Gus is devastated he doesn't have any real parents and angrily runs into the woods.|
|8||"Big Man"||Jim Mickle||Jim Mickle||June 4, 2021||T13.22308|
On November 16, 2018, it was announced that streaming service Hulu had given a pilot order to a potential television series adaptation of the comic book series. The pilot was expected to be written and directed by Jim Mickle who was also set to executive produce alongside Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell and Linda Moran. Production companies involved with the pilot were slated to consist of Team Downey and Warner Bros. Television. On April 9, 2020, it was announced that the series had been moved from Hulu to Netflix. On May 12, 2020, Netflix had given the production a series order that consists of eight episodes with Evan Moore attached to the series as a producer and Beth Schwartz served as a writer, an executive producer, and co-showrun alongside Mickle. The series was released on June 4, 2021.
On May 12, 2020, Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, Adeel Akhtar, and Will Forte were cast in starring roles while James Brolin is set to narrate the series. On July 30, 2020, Dania Ramirez joined the main cast. On August 19, 2020, Neil Sandilands was cast in an undisclosed capacity. On September 30, 2020, Stefania LaVie Owen joined the cast in a starring role. On November 2, 2020, Aliza Vellani was promoted to series regular ahead of the series premiere.
In July 2020, New Zealand granted the series permission to film, despite the recent travel restrictions due to the Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on television. On October 1, 2020, it was reported that the series had resumed filming after the COVID-19 pandemic halted production months earlier, with filming expected to continue until mid-December 2020.
For the series, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 98% based on 49 critic reviews, with an average rating of 7.96/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Emotionally engaging, superbly acted, and incredibly entertaining, Sweet Tooth will satisfy fantasy fans of all ages." Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 78 out of 100 based on 18 critic reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Reviewing the series for Rolling Stone, Alan Sepinwall gave a rating of 3.5/5 and said, "Whether Gus and friends are having scary adventures or fun ones, those parts of Sweet Tooth are full of life, and as exciting or tense as needed. The show can be hit or miss, though, when it moves away from Gus."
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