While many television series will take the time to tackle a sensitive topic in one episode here and there it is rare that a television series will base an entire series around such a topic. MTV’s Sweet Vicious has stepped forward in tackling the issue of sexual assault.
This dark comedy is focused on two characters: Ophelia (played by Taylor Dearden) is a smart girl who is both tech savvy and lazy, while Jules (played by Elizan Bennett) is a typical sorority girl. They are two characters who would be unlikely to become friends during their normal college life. However, when Ophelia finds herself running from the campus police for smoking weed she turns the corner to find Jules dressed in all black, kicking the ass of some dude. Ophelia is instantly intrigued by this vigilante and wants to find out more.
Jules’ character has more depth than TV shows tend to give to sorority girls. Her character was sexually assaulted in the past by the captain of the football team, who just happens to be her best friend’s boyfriend. After getting a rape kit she was sent to school counselor to determine her options’ unfortunately this counselor was more concerned about the school’s image and not what actually happened. Jules realized that the school was not going to help protect women on campus and took matters into her own hands. She spends her nights attacking the men on campus who have sexually assaulted women.
Ophelia instantly warms to the idea of taking justice into her own hands. She immediately sets out to find this vigilante, yet when she does, Jules turns her down. As a result, Ophelia starts stalking Jules. This turns out to be a good thing for Jules, because when a mission almost gets her killed, Ophelia saves her. This is the turning point for their friendship, because whether Jules likes it or not, this one attack has bound them both for life.
This show opens the dialogue for sexaul assualt on college campuses, yet does not exploit the issue. Sweet Vicious is diligent in making sure that the assaults are not glamorized, and the viewer can see how horrific sexual assault truly is. The show also reveals how women in recovery from a sexual assault struggle to find security in their lives and how it affects not only their future relationships but their relationships with the people around them. Talking about being sexually assaulted is not an easy thing to do and this show makes that apparent.
While these girls definitely have the kickass vibe, that doesn’t stop the show from making you question whether or not are they handling this right. At what point are the girls being heroes and at what point are they going too far? To help address these issues,we have Ophelia’s friend and boss Harris (played by Brandon Mychal Smith) who happens to be a law student. His character looks at the girls’ behavior from an entirely different perspective and he is the show’s moral compass. Some may consider him to be a stick-in-the-mud, but he is definitely one of my favorite characters on the show.
In my opinion, this dark comedy has successfully shown us that there is a way to base your series around an uncomfortable subject and still be successful. Unfortunately, sexual assault is something that occurs in our society and hopefully this show will bring about a necessary dialogue. I hope that in the future of the series they will also tackle the issue of men who are sexually assaulted.
This show isn’t just about entertainment, it is also about being informative and thought-provoking. If you haven’t been watching this series, I would suggest adding it to your list. Sweet Vicious has aired all 10 episodes and they are now available on MTV’s Website
There is no word on whether Sweet Vicious will be renewed for a season two. My fingers are crossed MTV will decide to continue the show.