Granger on Film: 'Sweet Tooth' is an intriguing stream that tugs at your heart

An image from the Netflix series "Sweet Tooth." (Netflix/TNS)

An image from the Netflix series "Sweet Tooth." (Netflix/TNS)

NETFLIX / TNS

If you’re looking for a Netflix series to stream, I highly recommend “Sweet Tooth.” As you might guess from the improbable title, it’s an unusual, post-apocalyptic tale, one that tugs at your heart.

As the narrator (James Brolin) explains, in the decade after the “Great Crumble,” when much of humanity succumbed to the deadly H5G9 virus, human mothers began to give birth to half-animal infants.

In Episode 1, Pubba (Will Forte) trudges off into the wilderness with adorable baby Gus, who has the twitchy, furry ears of a deer and budding antlers. Settling into a cabin, Pubba teaches Gus how to survive within their idyllic compound, cautioning him to never, ever venture beyond the fence that separates them from the perils of the outside world.

Years pass and Gus (Christian Convery) is left alone. Then he encounters Tommy Jepperd (Nonso Anozie), a formidable ex-football player/nomad whom he calls “Big Man.” Initially reluctant to befriend Gus, Big Man can’t help feeling protective of the kindhearted, naively curious, ever-optimistic boy.

Desperate to find his mother, Gus is determined to travel to a bleak place in Colorado where she was last seen. But along the way, he and often-exasperated Big Man must evade the menacing “Last Man” vigilantes who hunt hybrid children, blaming them for the pandemic.

Subplots abound. There’s the orphaned cult leader Bear (Stefania LaVie Owen), along with reclusive Aimee (Dania Ramiriez), who lives in an abandoned zoo. Plus Dr. Singh (Adeel Akhtar), working on a cure for the virus, and despotic Gen. Abbott (Neil Sandilands) of the Last Men militia.

Filmed in New Zealand, combining sci-fi with fantasy, it’s adapted by director Jim Mickle from Jeff Lemire’s DC/Vertigo comics, concluding with a compelling cliffhanger involving Gus’ origin.

As for its prophetic timing, Lemire notes, “I wrote the book over a decade ago, so obviously that has no connection with what’s been happening with COVID-19.”

On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, “Sweet Tooth” is an intriguing 8. All eight episodes are streaming on Netflix, and a second season seems inevitable.

Susan Granger has been an on-air television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for more than 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.