Sweet/Vicious: Finally a show that addresses Rape Culture
Sweet/Vicious is a fairly new show on Music Television(MTV) that addresses the issue of rape on college campuses. It features a sorority girl(Jules Thomas) and a carefree hacker(Ophelia Mayer) fighting in order to gain justice for rape victims on their college campus which doesn’t bat an eye when these sexual assaults take place.
Although the show has a great deal of dark humor, the message that the show sends is quite remarkable. Sweet/Vicious only has one season and has already educated its audience on the importance of consent and put emphasis on going to get help if this is to ever happen to viewers at home. The two main characters, Jules(Eliza Bennet) and Ophelia(Taylor Dearden), cross paths after Ophelia catches Jules attacking a frat boy known to sexually assault girls at parties. Despite Ophelia letting Jules get away, Ophelia picks up Jules’s necklace at the scene and uses it as an excuse to see her again. Jules warns Ophelia to stay away from her but Ophelia ignores her request and hacks into her phone to find her next victim. Ophelia arrives at Jules’s next attack to see that she is losing and saves her life by killing the target. They bury the body together and Jules decides to quit until Ophelia shows her a display in the women’s restroom that reads “Stay away from Kappa Alpha Omega” and lists rapists. Jules adds her rapist to the wall and the wall is used as their hit list.
Not only does the show address the issue of rape but if also addresses body shaming and hazing in sororities. In one episode that duo infiltrates a sorority from the inside out after they release a viral video of a freshman college student with insults and profanities written on her body while she shouts degrading things about herself. Ophelia goes undercover as a pledge and finds the system in which the sorority has the house under surveillance 24/7 and hiding their hazing website. Jules and Ophelia capture and tie up the sorority girls and make them promise to turn themselves in and take down the website.
This show tackles many other issues including acceptance from family members and the process in which victims of sexual assault have to go in order to get help. The inspiration behind Ophelia becoming a vigilante wasn’t only seeing Jules. After Ophelia spoke with a rape victim who dropped her claim after the college was so hesitant with filing her case Ophelia was determined to keep Jules’s work going. The show discusses family acceptance when Ophelia is deemed by her mother as a mistake until she finds out that Ophelia is going to pledge to a sorority but as soon as the mission is over and Ophelia goes back to her original self, her mother disowns her once again.
Unfortunately, the show doesn’t bring in enough money and MTV is contemplating shutting it down before it gets its second season. There have been many questions as to why Tumblr, the site that is usually all over this type of stuff, hasn’t brought the show the attention that it deserves. Hopefully, the show is renewed for its second season and we get to see more of this revolutionary duo.