What’s it about?
Sweet/Vicious follows two young woman vigilantes, tired of sexual assailants in their campus. Smart, witty and tough, like Kick-Ass meets Veronica Mars.
Eliza Bennett, Taylor Dearden, Brandon Mychal Smith, Nick Fink
An Introduction to Sweet/Vicious
Sweet/Vicious is set primarily on a college campus. Right now it’s evening, and a fraternity student is absorbed in writing an essay on his computer. So absorbed, in fact, that he has failed to notice the masked intruder climbing in through his window. Surprise! The intruder pounces, beating him into submission and demanding that he pays full attention.
Turns out this fratboy is also an unconvicted rapist and our intruder announces that no, he hasn’t gotten away with his crime. It’s time to teach a brutal lesson in consent and consequences – and how it feels to have his pleas for mercy ignored. Payback’s a bitch.
“I’m sorry, I thought ‘no’ meant ‘yes’… my bad.”
Message delivered in punishing style, leaving perp in need of medical attention. The intruder exits into the night.
Jules Thomas (Eliza Bennett) is a model student and sorority team player. Quiet, pleasant and unassuming, nobody would imagine that she is a veritable vengeance machine. By night she dons a black ninja-esque outfit and slips out into the campus. This is a young woman who is sick of entitled sexual predators getting away with ruining the lives of others. In classic vigilante style, Jules dishes out physical punishment in the absence of any legal redress.
Ophelia Mayer (Taylor Dearden) is a laid-back student of the common stoner variety. Currently doing the absolute minimum to get through school, Ophelia spends her free time computer hacking and getting tastefully high. One evening, she is alnost busted for drug possession… on making her escape, she darts down a side alley to find a known sleaze-bag being roughed up by a slick-fighting, black-costumed figure. Wow, is there a superhero on campus? Things just got interesting around here!
Over the following days, Ophelia can’t get this fascinating creature out of her head. Using her computer skills and a new sense of purpose, she commits to finding out the identity of the vigilante. Who knows where this could lead!
Sweet/Vicious is an enjoyable gem of a show written by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. While the subject matter of sexual assault could easily lend itself to a dark, brooding, Daredevil or Punisher-type approach, instead the show chooses a more teen drama flavor to better reflect the characteristics of its main protagonists: as well as righteous and heroic, they are likeable, fallible, occasionally daffy and regularly funny.
Jules: “People are just getting away with awful things. I’m trying to make some of that right.”
Ophelia: “That’s the plot of Batman.”
Jules and Ophelia are a brilliant team – two fabulous souls you can’t help but warm to right away. There’s an easy flow to their smart dialogue, reminiscent of Veronica Mars’ wisecracking or Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s Scooby Gang at their peak. These are young women who didn’t ask to be ‘vagilantes’, but something clearly needed to be done in the absence of justice for the campus’ victims and to serve as a warning to potential offenders – DON’T!
Credit must go to MTV for making such a great and enjoyable show – the tragedy is that they decided not to renew it after its first season (announced during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, bizarrely). Any other network would do well to continue Sweet/Vicious – in spite of minimal marketing its fan base is still increasing as people discover the show, because TV quality of this standard creates loyalty (see also: Firefly). Add publicity and everyone will be talking about Jules and Ophelia and by association, helping to raise awareness of the issues they are tackling.
Sweet/Vicious season one ends in the perfect way with the most immediate events addressed, but leaves scope for much, much more in the future. This is a great binge-watch – tell your friends!
Check out the Series Trailer here: