The second season of Netflix’s hit post-apocalyptic adventure comic book adaptation is bigger, bolder, and even better.
Plot: Gus and his fellow hybrids are held captive by the Last Men in order to find a cure for the Sick. To save his friends, Gus must find new strength as he uncovers the origins of The Great Crumble.
Review: When the first season of Sweet Tooth premiered back in 2021, I called it the show of the summer. The epic adaptation of Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed comic book series managed to take a dark, violent, and mature comic and transform it into an all-ages adventure without sacrificing the quality of the source material. The second season of Sweet Tooth improves upon the first by expanding the characters we have met, allowing them to interact with new counterparts and locations and still keeping the adventure, intensity, and originality on display. Sweet Tooth‘s second season is a wonderful tale that grows as the child actors do and earns a spot alongside series like Harry Potter that captures adolescence in a way that we rarely see done well on screen.
This sophomore season picks up where the first left off: Tommy Jepperd (Nonso Anozie) is recovering from his injury and preparing to find a way to save Gus (Christian Convery) from his entrapment by the Last Men. Jepperd is building a plan alongside Aimee (Dania Ramirez), who desperately wants to save Wendy (Naledi Murray) and all of the other hybrid children she has rescued who are now prisoners of General Abbott (Neil Sandilands). Bear (Stefania LaVie Owen) is also still trying to track down things left behind by Gus’ “mother,” Birdie (Amy Seimetz), whose research could be the way to cure the sickness that began The Great Crumble. To that effect, Dr. Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar) is still begrudgingly working for Abbott to find the cure, which he knows comes at the cost of the lives of hybrid children.
Through the eight episodes this season, the characters are paired in ways we did not see last time around. Creator Jim Mickle spent season one of Sweet Tooth introducing the characters and building the trust between Gus and Jepperd. Here, we get to see the growing chemistry between Jepperd and Aimee and between Gus, Wendy, and the other hybrid kids. The larger youth cast means many more make-up effects and CGI are needed to realize the various types of animal attributes the various kids have, and they all look very cool. A couple are surprisingly creepy, but you must watch the series to see what I mean. Overall, Christian Convery and Naledi Murray work very well together as leaders of the hybrid kids, as this season forces them to band together, something we did not see in the first season. It sets up a really cool path for this season and future seasons.
While Nonso Anozie and Dania Ramirez work well in their scenes together, I also appreciated Adeel Akhtar’s more developed character compared to the comics. Portrayed as a mad scientist on the page, Akhtar makes his role much more sympathetic as he searches for a way to save his wife, Rani (Aliza Vellani), who has The Sick. Vellani is fantastic here as she investigates the fallout of what her husband’s work means for the fate of hybrid kids. The adult cast has much dramatic tension to support this series, which you rarely see in an all-ages series. Sweet Tooth has been as big of a hit because the screen time for the kids and adults is treated as equals in terms of writing and focus, which makes this series approachable for kids, teens, and adults in equal measure. You almost never see that type of balance achieved these days.
There is also substantially more material for Neil Sandilands to dig into as General Abbott, including a lot of world-building about the power hierarchy in this post-pandemic America. Much of this is not included in Sweet Tooth‘s comic book source material, but Mickle and his team of writers do a great job handling the added narrative structure. Abbott is one hell of a villain, and this series does the comic book character justice. It also helps that the deeper dive into The Last Men is faithful to the book while not as disturbing. Make no mistake, this series does not pull any punches, but it is a far cry from the sexual and visceral tone of the comic. All of this is wrapped by the legendary James Brolin’s soothing narration. This magical element imbues this series with a storybook quality and teases the epic end point this story will someday reach.
Sweet Tooth returns with a surprising opening scene that sets the tone and pace for how ambitious this second season is. There is clearly a bigger step that is taken this year by Jim Mickle and his creative team that seeks to keep the fanciful feel of the first season but elevate everything else. The action is bigger, the stakes are higher, and every new character introduced is a worthy addition to the ensemble. I was impressed by how strong the child actors are here, especially Convery and Murray, but even more so by how consistent this season is in relation to the first. It isn’t quite summer yet, but Sweet Tooth‘s second season has already become one of my favorite series of the year and proves that real magic can happen when you get the right cast, writers, and directors.
The second season of Sweet Tooth premieres April 27th on Netflix.
Originally published at https://www.joblo.com/sweet-tooth-season-2-tv-review/