Review: 'Sweet/Vicious' - Season 1 Episode 01 - 'The Blueprint'

MTV has been going through a re-defining phase lately. They've had some shake-ups at the top of the network. Many of their recent shows like Awkward, Faking It, and Teen Wolf are either over or on their last season. They've been taking a few chances while trying to redefine what exactly the channel should be. We're seeing the roll out of some of those shows over this year and Sweet Vicious is  a part of this new puzzle.

One thing I like about this show is that it has grit and really big ideas. It's tackling a tough subject and it's doing it in a pretty bold way. This show tackles the tough subject of rape culture on a college campus. The show basically focuses on college student Jules who is in a sorority and spends her nights taking on a flawed system that allows males in college to take advantage of female students. In the first episode we're introduced to the character of Ophelia who will become Jule's partner. Ophelia is the super-smart slacker type. She has the quasi "punk rock/hipster" look and she spends her days rebelling, wise cracking, dealing drugs out of a record store, and being a computer wiz.

We're introduced to a few secondary characters in this episode that will probably become more of a focus as the series progresses, but this first episode really sticks to introducing you to the main characters.  I will note Brandon Mychal Smith, from You're The Worst, is in this series and his performance in the first episode is a great addition of comedy and intelligence as Ophelia's friend. I think he will, no doubt, be an important part of this series. Taylor Dearden as Ophelia is the main highlight of the first episode. Her dialogue is great and her acting is spot on.

The only real question I have about the show is if it can maintain its balance in doing all the things it wants to do without losing the things I like about this debut episode. It's tough to maintain a lighthearted series while dealing with the extremely serious content that the show is tackling. There are moments when it almost goes too far in either direction in this episode, but luckily the writers are able to strike that balance. I'm hoping that they can continue to keep it up for the remainder of the season. It is a concern of mine that I'll keep as I continue to watch this first season.

I think the writing of this show is above average. The dialogue is witty and I think both female leads come across as very interesting, deep characters. I'd compare the vibe and feel of the story to something like Veronica Mars meets The Heathers meets Dexter. It initially seems like it could be too dark for MTV, but it's a good, bold choice that carries a message that needs to be talked about more. Without giving that many spoilers let's just say that these two are brought together in a violent situation and their partnership gets cemented in a brutal situation. The show isn't afraid to go to extremes and that could pay off big as we run down this twisted path.  Overall, I think this show is off to a good start and worth checking out. It airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c on MTV. Watch the trailer for the first season and the show's PSA below.

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