The Vigilantes of MTV’s Sweet/Vicious Need Another Kickass Season

In an earlier article for this site, I documented how MTV's Sweet/Vicious—a show about two female college students who become vigilantes to take down the sexual predators stalking their school—was a cathartic, socially relevant, crime fan's cocktail that mixed together great characters with elements of shows like Veronica Mars, Breaking Bad, and early seasons of superhero shows like Netflix's Daredevil and the CW's Arrow.

So I was hooked early on, and with the show having recently wrapped it's 10-episode 1st season, I'm happy to report that my interest in the show has not waned. In fact, Sweet/Vicious has only one real problem in my book, but it's the best kind of problem to have: they have so many more great stories to tell! MTV definitely needs to give the series a second season.

While the series had two main leads and lots of fascinating supporting characters, the bulk of Sweet Vicious's 1st season was about Jules Thomas, a rape survivor who turns vigilante after her college campus tries to silence what happened to her. We see her wrestle with both her dual life as a college student and vigilante and the intense and overwhelming emotions that come from surviving a traumatic experience.

We also see her finally confront what happened to her by telling her best friend Kennedy that she was raped and that her attacker was Kennedy's boyfriend, Nate. That led to an emotionally cathartic finale where Jules once again tried to hold Nate accountable via the system, but when that failed, she and Ophelia provided the school and their peers with irrefutable proof that the big man on campus is a monster.

Ophelia, Kennedy, Nate, and Tyler—an artist that Jules meets and tries to have a romantic relationship with—play major roles in her story. It’s a powerful and poignant story that had me cheering and moved me to tears, especially in the flashback episode where we see exactly what happened to Jules the night she was attacked. Eliza Bennett, who plays Jules, was outstanding in that episode. The other actors all were really great, too. I gave Taylor Dearden props for her role as Ophelia in my last piece, and I also think Aisha Dee's Kennedy deserves a shoutout as well. So does Dylan McTee, who really made Nate a villain you love to hate by playing up the vile sense of anger and entitlement that drive people like him.

As Jules's story unfolds we get to meet a lot of other interesting characters who deserve more of the spotlight—especially Ophelia's friend, law student Harris. He ended up being my favorite supporting character on the show. I love the fact that by the end of the season he had gone from trying to expose Jules and Ophelia's vigilante crusade to being their ally and informant in the D.A.'s office. I hope we get to see more of him assisting the girls on their quest for justice.

Other interesting characters that need more focus and spotlight include: Harris's sorority sister girlfriend Fiona, who is a lot smarter than anyone gives her credit for; Westport police officer Mike Leach (I'd love to get more of a cop's perspective on the Darlington Vigilantes); and Darlington College's most intrepid and under-appreciated security guard, Barton.

On top of that, this season raised a lot of questions about Sweet Vicious's setting of Darlington College and the town of Wesport. Who are the powerful people in town that are overlooking and covering up the epidemic of sexual violence at Darlington? And when will the girls get a chance to take them down?

Taking their opponents down often involves sudden and violent action—like in the pilot episode Ophelia killed Carter, a monstrous rapist who was about to kill Jules—but violence (especially taking a life) against even an awful person can weigh on somebody, and I'd like to see more of how they process that. Plus, Carter was the stepbrother of Jules's boyfriend Tyler. In the season finale, Jules and Ophelia frame a wealthy pedophile for Carter's murder, but what might happen if Tyler ever discovers the truth?

There are plenty of other relevant topics that creator/showrunner Jenn Kaytin Robinson, her production staff, and the actors are dying to tackle that would make for powerful and important hours of television—like male rape and the harassment and violence that LGBTQ students often have to contend with.

With it's first 10 episodes, MTV's Sweet/Vicious told a highly satisfying, powerful, and poignant crime story of surviving violence and finding justice. They also planted the seeds for a lot more interesting stories to tell, especially now that Jules and Ophelia's vigilantes have gone from being urban legends to a secret power on their campus that students can turn to for justice. So MTV, the balls in your court! You've got a great crime show with many more promising stories that deserve to and need to be told. Renew Sweet/Vicious now!

See also: Sweet/Vicious: A Socially Relevant Crime Fan's Cocktail

 


Dave Richards covers all things Marvel Comics for the Eisner Award-winning website Comic Book Resources and his book reviews and other musings can be found at his blog Pop Culture Vulture.

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