11:45 pm EST, November 15, 2016

‘Sweet/Vicious’ series premiere recap: Defying gravity

The Sweet/Vicious series premiere has finally aired on MTV, and we’re more than ready to dive into our review of the first episode, “Blueprint.”

The warning at the top of the episode should not be taken lightly. Sweet/Vicious does contain a scene detailing a sexual assault, and the show can be quite violent at times. If this is something that may trigger you, use your discretion before you sit down to watch the show.

Sweet/Vicious certainly doesn’t pull any punches. “I thought no meant yes,” Jules says to an alleged sexual offender. This is balanced quite brilliantly with the comedy of our heroine forgetting to unlock her screen in order to bring up a picture of the boy’s victim. You can expect the show to continue walking this fine line with ease for the remainder of the episode.

Jules may be the center of this story, but Ophelia quickly becomes just as important. We quickly learn that she has some pretty rich parents, but despite her perfect GPA, she still can’t find her way into their good graces. Maybe it’s the never-going-to-class thing. Or the whole dealing weed thing.

Still, Ophelia’s confidence is reassuring, as is her sexual empowerment. She takes a much more casual approach about her most recent adventure under the sheets than her bedmate, and it reminds me so much of Lydia from Teen Wolf. Sweet/Vicious is actively trying to dispel tropes about female sexuality on multiple fronts, and it already feels like they’re one step ahead of so many people in the game.

Another great aspect to this show is that it’s not one-dimensional. Jules is at the very forefront of the story, but we also meet Harris, who points out the discrepancies between what happens when a minority gets jumped on campus versus when a white kid does. You can expect this to come back later in a much bigger and more gratifying way.

While Ophelia is literally running from her problems, she stumbles across Jules kicking someone else’s ass. She picks up her sorority necklace and begins following the trail back to Jules.

Meanwhile, we also learn that Jules’ best friend Kennedy, who’s also the president of their sorority, is dating the boy who raped Jules. So often we see women keep the details of their assault to themselves, even withholding that information from the people closest to them, and Jules’ actions unfortunately fall right in line with reality.

Despite her hesitance with her friends, Jules has decided to take matters into her own hands. I have a feeling some viewers won’t appreciate the level of violence in this show, but if you’re unsure about following Jules on her journey, keep in mind that creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson says they’ll speak to the fact that violence doesn’t fix violence.

All 10 episodes of Sweet/Vicious are a journey, and the lessons won’t be learned until that story has come to a close.

One lesson Ophelia hasn’t learned just yet is when to give up. But maybe that’s a good thing. Ophelia confronts Jules at the party, returning her necklace, and Jules pretends to be drunk in order to separate them from the group. Then she shoves O down the stairs and holds a dull blade to her throat. Jules doesn’t want her secret identity discovered. Vigilantes are weird about that sort of thing.

Ophelia — again not learning her lesson — puts tracking software on Jules’ phone. This is for the best, though, as Jules decides to go up against Carter, another sexual offender, but finds he’s too strong for her. We get parallels between this moment and what Nate did to Jules, and it’s heartbreaking to watch.

But Ophelia comes to the rescue, bashing Carter over the head before he can hurt Jules. It’s important to remember here that Carter did say he was going to kill Jules, and although Ophelia never intended to hurt anyone, she does kill him in self-defense.

This really wouldn’t be an issue except for Jules’ insistence that they don’t go to the police. This might seem like a dumb decision to make on the surface, but it’s obvious Jules is mistrustful of the cops and how they handle alleged assault cases. It’s obvious her doubts are coming from personal experience, so Ophelia doesn’t argue.

The “Defying Gravity” montage after such a heavy and violent scene really brings the show back to a more comfortable place and raises spirits after witnessing something so drastic. It is, without a doubt, the exact moment I fell in love with the show.

Despite Jules sort of embodying the very essence of Batman, and Ophelia not feeling like Robin in the slightest, the pair make a good point about wanting to help the helpless. “With great power comes great responsibility” may be a Spider-Man construct, but it applies here as well.

Tyler, the boy Jules was smitten with at the sorority party, finds her at the bar. It feels bad enough that someone spotted her outside her usual hangouts, #suspiciousmuch, but we also learn that Carter is his step-brother.

And to make matters worse, their car — you know, the one with the dead body in it — has been towed. Yep, it’s time to panic. And puke.

What did you think of the ‘Sweet/Vicious’ series premiere?

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