I will admit: I am normally pretty bad about remembering to (and making time to) watch television shows. Even ones I really, really like. This, however, is not the case with MTV’s Sweet/Vicious. I know some of you may have already rolled your eyes at the fact that it is an MTV show, but stick with me on this one because it’s actually pretty great.
The show follows the two vigilantes pictured above, Jules (left) and Ophelia (right).
We all know about the alarming rate of sexual assaults and rape reported on college campuses and how they oftentimes either go completely ignored, or the person who forced themselves on another is merely slapped on the wrist with an insultingly light sentence. This show tackles this issue. Like, they literally tackle it and beat the ever living hell out of it, with Jules and Ophelia taking the law into their own hands and going all Batman and Robin on their targets.
So, what is it I love so much about this show? Why, dear reader, let me tell you:
The Writing: this show is like a roller coaster at times, but in a good way. It manages to be funny and witty but still shine a light on some of our darkest moments we may have to endure as humans living among other humans: things like rape, racial prejudice, living with PTSD, and how hard it can be to open up to those you care about most. Another thing I like about the writing is that it doesn’t come across like one of those preachy after school specials.
The Characters: I don’t even just mean the main characters, either. All of them. Each character has flaws and strengths. Their relationships (platonic and romantic alike) have highs and lows and confusing middle grounds. There are also several likeable characters (Ophelia, Jules, and Harris being my favorites).
How Relevant It Is: One of the main reasons I felt compelled to write this review is that I was shocked to discover that not a lot of people seem to know about this show despite how totally relevant it is. Last Saturday’s protests all over the globe in support of women’s rights and equality only serve to prove just how relevant. We’re standing up together and fighting back as a society against oppression and injustice in the many forms it continues to rear its ugly head. Granted Jules and Ophelia are literally fighting back, but we’ll touch on that subject in just a moment. 😉
So, now that I’ve gushed about the reasons I enjoy the show, I suppose it’s only fair to discuss some of the negative things I’ve heard others say about it. I’ve read a few complaints online that this show glorifies the dangerous and oftentimes morally questionable act of vigilantism. I have a few issues with this complaint. My counter-argument would be that the show does look at this stance from multiple viewpoints, even having Jules and Ophelia struggle with what they are and are not willing to do in their quest for justice. It isn’t all happy-g0-lucky-scumbag-beatdowns I’ll have you know. Jules especially grapples with this, a rape survivor herself. For her, this is personal.
The other complaint I’ve read more than just a couple times is that the show “depicts all men in a negative light”. NOPE. Try again. This show depicts RAPISTS and people who sexually assault and shame others in an accurately negative light that they deserve. And it does so in a way that is not solely directed toward males, with an episode devoted specifically to taking down girls who take their sorority hazing of hopeful pledges too far. Not to mention, the great male characters also included in the cast, I fail to see how they contribute to the show’s unearned reputation of treating “ALL guys” in a negative way. Exhibit A: I’m looking at you again, Harris. 😉