REVIEW: ‘Sweet Tooth’ Season 2 Maintains Its Heart

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Sweet Tooth Season 2 — But Why Tho (1)

What I loved about Sweet Tooth Season 1 was its ability to capture strife and struggle while still prioritizing innocence. Not only is the story strongly pushed through the eyes of a child, meaning that we experience pain and trauma through him, but we also experience joy, love, and connections in all of the heaviness too. That blend of honoring found familial bonds with the heartbreak of them shattering is what made Season 1 great, and Sweet Tooth Season 2 keeps that heart.

If you’re unfamiliar, Sweet Tooth is a Netflix series that adapts the comic series of the same name, published by DC Comics’ now-defunct imprint Vertigo Comics, written by Jeff Lemire. Jim Mickle and Beth Schwartz serve as the series showrunners and take audiences into a post-apocalyptic world that embraces practical effects work while exploring the best and worse parts of human nature. While the series revolves around themes of resiliency and family, it also deals heavily with how loss and prejudice intersect.

Taking place after “The Great Crumble,” the world of Sweet Tooth is held hostage by the “Sick,” a disease that wiped out many of the people on earth and caused mutations in births that produced children who were part human and part animal. Last Season Gus (Christian Convery), the little boy known as the titular Sweet Tooth, met Jepperd (Nonso Anozie) and began on a journey of survival. At the same time, we saw Wendy and her mother living in a zoo, attempting to save the hybrid children who are hunted. But in Season 2, Wendy and Gus are captured after Jep is left for dead. Now, there is a deadly new wave of the Sick bearing down on the world, and Gus and a band of fellow hybrids are held prisoner by General Abbot (Neil Sandilands) and the Last Men. Looking to consolidate power by finding a cure, Abbot uses the children as fodder for the experiments of captive Dr. Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar), who’s racing to save his infected wife Rani (Aliza Vellani).

Survival is paramount for the children, but they are without any and all power. Not only are they children who are different, but they’re children with no avenue out. As their friends are taken and surely killed, Gus and Wendy try to protect their friends with the help of Dr. Singh.  While this part of the story could have been endlessly reassuring, as we explore Gus’s past we begin a dark journey into his origins and his mother Birdie’s (Amy Seimetz) role in the events leading up to “The Great Crumble.” In these moments, Christian Convery shines as Gus. He’s vulnerable and scared but resilient in a way that only children can be. He has faith in people even though he knows everything is stacked against him.

Sweet Tooth Season 2 — But Why Tho (1)

Gus’s exchanges with Dr. Singh hurt to watch. Dr. Singh is crumbling under the weight of his choices and actions, but does it undo the pain that he’s inflicted on children? Or does he only care about how it all relates to his wife? The question about Dr. Singh’s motivations and promises creates a sense of urgency every time Gus is put into a situation to explore the past. Does doing good count if it’s doing it’s being done for the wrong reasons? Dr. Singh as a character is complex and lonely —  scared in a way that allows him to relate to Gus, but not scared enough to keep him from exploiting Gus and the hybrids. The delineation of Gus and the hybrids as animals, down to feeding them kibble, allows The Last Men and even Singh to ignore their humanity and use them as they see fit.

Outside the Preserve, Jepperd and Aimee (Dania Ramirez) team up to free the hybrids, but when Jep’s past comes to light, they’re put to the test, and the result is emotionally explored instead of just presented. Instead of an easy redemption, Jep’s past is a burden that has hurt him since he began to bond with Gus, and in Sweet Tooth Season 2, he’s still healing. Redemption is a process that doesn’t just involve repenting for the past, learning why it was wrong, and healing from the trauma that got you there. It’s similar to Dr. Singh in some ways. However, the series never allows the two to fully escape the weight of their sins. Heal yes, learn yes, but also carry the guilt from it all as well.

Read Our Review For Sweet Tooth Season 1 Here.

Jep’s progression and growth in the series, as we are told through flashbacks, comes from his paternal bond with Gus, tapping into what got him where he was at the beginning of the series. But because of that, he cares about this found son. He cares about saving Gus. In order to balance Jep’s dedication to his child, Aimee is a fierce mother of the other hybrids and has all of them at the front of her mind and heart. Where a sense of fatherhood and guilt powers Jep, Aimee is singled-minded and driven by her children. She is here to save them and help them when no one else will.

Sweet Tooth Season 2 unfolds from multiple perspectives, similarly to the first season, with a narrator holding the audience’s hand for some of the larger explanatory moments. As the same time, the kids are the axis that the narrative moves around and ultimately ground and make the story whole. The core of Sweet Tooth Season 2 is watching Gus and his friends attempt to keep moving forward while in terrifying circumstances. That resiliency and push forward is also what the adults who love them must do too, moving past their mistakes and grief. While the series unfolds emotionally, each storyline hurdles toward Abbott and his violence. In doing so, the series maintains an intensity physically as well. Sure, characters go through the emotional wringer, but physically, the danger is all too real too.

Sweet Tooth Season 2 — But Why Tho (1)

As a season, the eight episodes bring together relationships formed across Gus and Jep’s journey. Bringing together old friends with new allies, the war with Abbott and the Last Men isn’t just entertaining but dynamic. As we see alliances form and expand, we can also see how important it is to protect those who are vulnerable, no matter what you’re told is correct. Sweet Tooth Season 2 does this by introducing new characters along the way as well.

Sweet Tooth Season 2 doubles down on its use of practical effects as it expands its hybrid cast. The young actors each act in full costume, sometimes with prosthetics on their faces, delivering striking moments. While it is clear that some elements are computer generated, the costuming, landscapes, and elements of the hybrids all shine beautifully and make the series feel real. When to generate something and when to build it makes the series immersive in just about every way, especially when the children are involved. There is a charm to them interacting with puppets characters that can’t be replicated if everything had been greenscreen.

Thematically, Sweet Tooth Season 2 is stellar and honors the strongest elements of the comic series on which it is based. By building dynamic characters with pasts, the audience can see futures forming for them, especially as relationships expand. There is joy in Sweet Tooth, but there is also a somber approach to the past that makes this sci-fi dystopian series manage to do so much more than the tropes and genres that it embodies well. Sweet Tooth Season 2 delivers on the promises of the first season and expands the world, but keeps its storytelling intimate enough for each choice to have meaning. Heartfelt and exciting, the series remains one the best adaptations that Netflix has produced.

Sweet Tooth is streaming now, exclusively on Netflix.

Sweet Tooth Season 2
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10


Sweet Tooth Season 2 delivers on the promises of the first series, and expands the world, but keeps its storytelling intimate enough for each choice to have meaning. Heartfelt and exciting, the series remains one the best adaptations that Netflix has produced.

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