Readers of Jeff Lemire's comic Sweet Tooth will recall that the series is set entirely after a virus has reduced society to rubble and factions, but with the Netflix TV series they're able to expand the scope of the story and show just how that happened. In any other year this might not seem like a potential deal breaker, but with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging around the world and the previous year of lockdown restrictions, the opening five minutes of the new series might be too much for some. We spoke with the creators and executive producers of Netflix's Sweet Tooth about this very thing during a recent press junket, and yes, they're worried you might not keep watching because it's so real.
"It was always the plan (to begin the show that way) because we shot that in 2019, so the pilot was all done well before COVID," series showrunner Jim Mickle tells ComicBook.com. "I think there's always that concern that people might skip the tiny little piece of the show and miss everything that comes after, because really that's just the diving board to launch into much richer show about many other things. So, hopefully they don't. I think we always wanted to look at it as, this could easily be a horror movie. We tried to do it with a way that had a little bit more of a fairytale feel, even before COVID. So yeah, if anything, COVID just allowed us to just shorthand a little bit more and not do as much exposition."
The first few minutes might be a lot for some, but very quickly the show gives you a reason to remember that this is fiction. As executive producer Beth Schwartz put it: "Hopefully when they get to the part with the hybrid babies, they'll see that this is a very different kind of show."
Those worried about too much crossover in reality and Sweet Tooth's depiction of a world ravaged by a virus can sleep easy, besides a few references to things like social distancing and mask use, it's very much the coming-of-age story of a young deer-boy hybrid and his place in the world.
Sweet Tooth stars Christian Convery as Gus, Nonso Anozie as Tommy Jepperd, Adeel Akhtar as Dr. Aditya Singh, Aliza Vellani as Rani Singh, Stefania LaVie Owen as Bear, Dania Ramirez as Aimee Eden, Neil Sandilands as General Abbot, Will Forte as Father, and James Brolin as Narrator.
The first season of Sweet Tooth will be released on Netflix on June 4th.