Sweet Tooth released on June 4, and so far, reception has been positive for the Netflix original series. But for those who haven’t yet seen it, there are a few misconceptions about its intended audience.
One of those misconceptions is the fact that the title and main character may steer folks into believing that it’s strictly a children’s show. Those without kids might feel like the series wouldn’t be something they’d enjoy, so they ignore it. The trailer shows a small boy gearing up for an adventure while lighthearted music plays in the background, so I can understand why it may seem like a live-action Disney movie.
But those with small children might feel like it’s something that their kids would enjoy unattended. It’s a deceptively cute movie, that’s for sure. As a father myself, I was ready to sit down and let my two youngest children watch the whole series with me, but something told me that I should check out that first episode by myself first.
I’m here to tell you why I’m glad I did.
First off, let me preface this article by saying that I firmly believe that parents can let their children watch whatever they want. Parental ratings are there as a suggestion, and only you know your child’s maturity level and how they will handle the imagery on screen. So go nuts and feel free to ignore the advice in this article. But for those with young children (10 and younger), you might want to at least take a few of these points into consideration.
5. TV-14 Rating (in the U.S.)
This rating basically means that a group of experts (the FCC) decided that the foul language and fear content of the series is too much for children under the age of 14 to handle properly. “Parents are cautioned to exercise some care in monitoring this program and are cautioned against letting children under the age of 14 watch unattended,” the FCC warns.
4. Not on Netflix Kids
Going hand-in-hand with the television content rating system of TV-14, Netflix does not include Sweet Tooth on its separate Netflix Kids section of the service. This means that Netflix itself doesn’t even consider Sweet Tooth to be a kids movie.
3. Foul Language
It’s nearly impossible to shelter your kids from the more colorful corners of the English language, but if you’re concerned about them learning these words outside of your morning commute to school, be aware that there are a few bad words in this show.
2. Scary Situations
One of the main plot points of this series is the main character’s constant escape from hunters. When those hunters are on screen, it’s scary, dark stuff. When they’re firing their rifles and screaming at Gus, it’s scary, dark stuff. For adults, it’s called entertainment, but for a young child, that might create more than a few nightmares.
1. Depictions of death
Without giving away any spoilers, there are a few deaths (and killings) that happen on screen — some gruesomely. This alone would be pretty harsh for younger kids to swallow, hence its spot as number one on my list.
Overall, I really enjoyed Sweet Tooth and I highly recommend it to anyone over the 14 or 15 years old who likes intense action mixed with a vast fantasy world. Again, that’s not a hard and fast age rule, but I feel like it wasn’t really made for children to begin with.
But with Sweet Tooth, the initial marketing was a tad confusing and I feel like the target audience distinction needed to be made.
Sweet Tooth is now available exclusively on Netflix.