SWEET HOME (2020, streaming on Netflix) is a Korean apocalyptic drama based on a popular webtoon. I tried it on a lark and found it an extremely surprising and ultimately satisfying kitchen sink of apocalyptic tropes made fresh with likeable, complex characters.
The trailer does not do the series justice. Watching it, I expected an over-the-top comedy similar to ZOMBIELAND with a little Z NATION thrown in, only with monsters instead of zombies. It certain has its comedic moments, though it isn’t so comedic as it is charming. The show gets pretty dark and grim at times, and it doesn’t mind punching you in the feels.
So SWEET HOME begins in a high-rise multifamily building that is on the run-down side. Initially, we’re introduced to various people who live there, focusing on a troubled teen who wants to kill himself. He’s not very likeable at the start, and it’s uncertain where this thing is going. As the episode and subsequent episodes progress, we’re introduced to a pretty large cast, whom we get to know in both the present and via short-and-sweet flashbacks, and even the minor characters are given their moments of development and depth.
Pretty quickly, we find out that people are turning into monsters. The special effects are hit or miss, and at first the monsters are a little corny, but they’re cool in their variety, what powers they have, and their origin. A few are downright creepy. The survivors of the initial onslaught find themselves trapped in the building, where they develop into a community and try to survive. Their biggest struggle is to hold on to their humanity as things get worse and worse, while a few who are infected must literally fight to stay human. The result is a story about humanity under stress, survival, community, and occasionally sacrifice and heroism.
So I highly recommend this one–for its fun monster element, likeable and complex characters, usually realistic choices and challenges, multitude of themes, and dramatic punch.