Moving to New York is a dream shared by millions of people. It’s The Big Apple – the hub of everything cosmopolitan and trendy and chic and it’s the city that doesn’t sleep. It’s buzzing 24/7 with wheeler-dealers out to hustle their way to the top of every business. Except in Sweetbitter, it’s not exactly a dream come true for Tess (Ella Purnell), who lands a waitressing job at a famous restaurant, only to see her life get thrown in the tumble drier that is New York. Gone are her morals and clean, sober living habits, replaced with sex, drugs, booze and everything debaucherously in-between. Sweet… she’s followed her dream to NYC. Bitter… it’s not all she dreamed it would be.
The show is gritty and pacey and much like the city it’s set and filmed in, always buzzing from one spot to another. The characters are engaging, and you’ll bond with them off the bat, whether it’s bright-eyed Tess, her friends or some of the unsavoury people who lead her astray. That’s largely thanks to the cast of relative unknowns who’re breathing life into characters that might’ve gone under the radar if they’d been played by well-known actors we’ve bonded with elsewhere.
Season 1 is only six episodes but they’re well worth the watch. It’s well shot (in a grimy kind of way) and has big bucks backing it in the form of Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt. Importantly, the production team is being headed up by Stephanie Danler, the author of the novel the show is based on. She’s keeping an eye on her beloved characters while allowing the writers and team creative licence here and there.
It’s not an epic series that you’ll need to follow intently or you’ll miss a huge plot hole. Instead, it’s one of those light dramedy vibes that you can “watch” while working or playing on your cellphone or tablet – it’s there to entertain but you’re not going to die if you don’t get a new episode right away. Give it a bash if you’re an angsty teen or looking for light entertainment to chat about with your gal pals before heading out to paint the town red.