If you’re anything like us, you’re probably a tad obsessed with MTV’s Sweet/Vicious and have been missing your Tuesday night fix of female badassery these past couple weeks. Thankfully the show, which revolves around Jules (Eliza Bennett) and Ophelia (Taylor Dearden), two college students acting as secret vigilantes, returns from its midseason break on Tuesday night at 10 p.m. The duo’s vigilante status will be in danger of being exposed after fellow students witnessed, and captured on video, Ophelia’s takedown of their latest attacker.
Elsewhere, Kennedy (Aisha Dee) and Ophelia bonded, but will Kennedy soon find out what she and Jules have been really up to? It’s certainly a possibility now more than ever, and these videos seem to be the proof Harris (Brandon Mychal Smith) needs to expose the Darlington vigilante. Also, if Jules’ breakdown after her latest confrontation with Nate (Dylan McTee) was any indication, she’s still got a long way to go in her recovery process.
To get some insight into where Sweet/Vicious is headed over the last five episodes of Season 1, The TV Junkies recently spoke exclusively with creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. She previews what happens when Jules’ secret about her assault is revealed and the journey the show takes Nate on as he becomes a full blown villain. She also discusses topics she’d like to tackle if the show gets renewed for Season 2 and how fans can help make that happen.
The TV Junkies: The many different kinds of female friendship represented on the show is so great to see. What challenges will those friendships have in the second half of the season? Jennifer Kaytin Robinson: We explore in the second half of the season what happens when Jules’ secret that she was assaulted is revealed. How do these friendships begin to splinter once that comes to light? We spent a lot of time on this and really wanted to make it feel authentic. It is not perfect from the beginning. It is rocky and we really dig into it. We really dig into how does it make Kennedy feel and what is that journey? How does it make Jules feel and what is that journey? How does it make Ophelia feel and what is that journey? We dig into how does it affect the sorority? How does it affect the campus when it becomes bigger than just our core characters knowing about it?
We really wanted to make sure we told this story, and it’s not reflective of any one thing we read or any one story we read about best friends finding out about this. We did what felt most organic to our characters and what felt most organic to the way these people that we’ve created would handle this situation, without it being convenient or tied up in a nice bow. We made it messy because I think the conversation is messy and what’s happening is messy. We wanted to put that on screen so people could see it’s so much more than the trauma, and there’s so much more that happens after and continues on after the act of the sexual assault.
TTVJ: You have some pretty interesting male characters on the show as well, even main bad guy Nate. What areas are you going to explore with regards to that character?
JKR: After Episode 6 ends you’re left in a place where everything is coming to light and in Episode 7 we do a flashback and show you everything that happened. We show you Nate before the assault, we show you the relationship between Nate and Jules before the assault, the assault and what happened after. In 8, 9, 10 we build out what is going to happen from here, where do go from here once we’ve seen everything and know where we’re at with our characters now that everything has come to light? That’s when Nate really shifts and turns into a villain. He chooses that path instead of taking the path of ‘I was wrong. I am so sorry.’ He does not go down that road.
TTVJ: Because there have definitely been moments where you start to feel a bit for Nate, but sounds like there will be no wavering and we’ll soon be hating him hardcore. JKR: But you’re supposed to and that’s a testament to Dylan because he plays that character so well. Even in that scene in Episode 3 where he says ‘sorry’ to Kennedy, it makes you think ‘do I like you? What is happening?’ There’s a scene in Episode 8 where he comes to Kennedy and does something and honestly, it’s like in this one scene you really like this guy, even after you’ve seen everything that he’s done. You’re like ‘what is going on?’ That’s what we want, we want those emotions and to take the audience on this roller coaster in telling this story. We want to tell this story objectively, all the different sides of it and all the different emotions and perspectives.
TTVJ: Last episode ended with Ophelia’s vigilante activities being caught by others and filmed. How will that complicate things for the girls’ mission in the second half? JKR: It pushes us into overdrive. The first half of the season was very much learning about the characters, getting used to the world and there were a lot of case of the weeks. In the second half we really pivot and go into overdrive on Jules’ journey. It becomes about telling that story fully because you never know if you’re going to have that second season, and we wanted to make sure that the audience would be satisfied and we’d get Jules’ whole story this season.
Because of the vigilante stuff being caught they have to lay low, so we have more time to build out the fun of Harris looking into them, and now knowing he’s 100 percent right and there’s a vigilante on campus. What does that mean and how does that complicate things? We really had a lot of fun building out the second half of the season because we really crank it up to a 12. By the end of the season maybe the whole school knows about the vigilantes? We were really able to have fun with it and I think the audience will be surprised, but also really satisfied.
TTVJ: I’ve also seen you mention wanting to do a LGBT survivor story. So do you have ideas of topics you’d like to tackle in Season 2? JKR: Absolutely! There were so many things that were conversations in our writers’ room that when we got down to it, broke the story and realized how much screen time it’d actually have, we realized we couldn’t do it. You need to give time to these stories and give them the screen time they deserve. By the end of Season 1 and these 10 episodes, Jules’ story, it’s still evolving, but we’ve told her story and we are able to move into and give more space to stories that really deserve to be told and seen.
That’s LGBT stories and we’d love to do more stories about bullying or race issues. There are so many things that are happening in the college ecosystem that mirror issues that are happening everywhere. There is no issue that we want to shy away from and we see the fans. We are seeing what the fans are wanting.
I personally keep a little list and go through the hashtag and look at what people want. We are making this show for the fans. I made this show so that people felt less alone and so people felt heard. So what I say to the fans is ‘what do you want? What is happening and what do you want to see? What do you feel like is misrepresented or not represented?’ If we are lucky enough to get Season 2 we definitely want to use that time to explore so many more issues–inside the world of sexual assault and outside of it.
TTVJ: Is there anything fans can do to help you guys get that Season 2? JKR: Get people to watch the show. It’s hard because no one watches live TV. Our reviews are great, the social response has been great, but you have to cut through the noise and get people to watch it. Live tweet too because all those things help. I know it feels like ‘if I live tweet the show how is this going to help?’ It helps. It really helps. Every single person that contributes to that live experience is helping us. We see you and we appreciate you and we love you. Keep doing it because we need it.
Are you enjoying Sweet/Vicious? Add your thoughts about what’s to come in the comments below!
Sweet/Vicious airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on MTV and MTV Canada.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.