MTV’s “Teen Wolf” is coming to an end, but “Sweet/Vicious” might just inherit its network crown. The series follows Jules, a survivor of sexual assault, as she reluctantly teams up with Ophelia to bring justice to their university campus.

That opening sequence

The show opens with a ninja-like young woman scaling a building and entering a guy’s bedroom, only to threaten him with a knife, beat him up, and remind him of the woman he sexually assaulted. It’s a powerful opening to the series and it sets the tone for what’s to come.

The scene itself is brutal and incredibly serious, but there are moments of levity as Jules forgets to unlock her phone, or utilizes sarcastic quips to get her point across.

That’s the show in a nutshell - highlighting a very serious subject in sexual assault while still allowing for the humor that comes with the rest of life. The show could easily get bogged down in drama and sadness as the result of its subject, but instead, it strikes a balance that is truer to life with the bonus of heightened action sequences.

Harris is the best friend Ophelia could ask for

A law student running a record store, Harris doesn’t actually seem like he would be the first person in the corner of a routine real breaker, but he’s got Ophelia’s back no matter how much she stresses him out, which is great. Their interactions here hint at some fantastic things to come. Let's take a second and imagine just how Harris will react when he finds out that Ophelia wants to team up with the campus vigilante!

Harris also adds a much needed layer of inclusion to the show. While the series focuses on women surviving sexual assault and how that’s handled on a college campus, Harris brings up another issue facing university students - racial disparities. It’s Harris who brings up the point that the white guys that have been targeted by this “robber” are getting plenty of attention, but other minorities who have been jumped and robbed?

Those bits of news get swept under the rug. It’s a topic I look forward to the show revisiting.

Layered women

When we first meet Jules and Ophelia, it’s easy to classify them under the usual teen drama character types, but they both prove to be layered and more than what you see at first glance. Ophelia isn’t just a slacker smoking her way through school.

Jules isn’t some brooding vigilante.

Jules is someone working through a trauma, as revealed during her flashbacks to her own sexual assault. She’s dealing with the pain and the fear the best way she knows how - by fighting back on behalf of those who can’t or those who were ignored when they spoke up. Ophelia is actually extremely intelligent and persistent, relentless in her quest to find out who Jules in and help her.

Ophelia with the wrench in the garage

Despite being an accomplished fighter, Jules is pretty much done for until Ophelia steps in to save her - after cloning her phone and following her. Ophelia takes a wrench to Carter’s head, then proceeds to vomit in her nervousness because killing people isn’t exactly the norm for her.

Jules is horrified, of course. She might put rapists in the hospital, but she doesn’t kill them. The two can’t go to the police, so they decide to cart Carter’s body around until they can make a plan, and they blow off a little steam by belting “Defying Gravity” in the car, which might actually be one of the best moments in the entire episode. These two women couldn’t be more different, but a song about rising up bonds them enough to calm the situation down.

Of course, there’s a twist or two in the end as Jules discovers her latest crush happens to know Carter and Ophelia’s car is stolen. Way to end the premiere on a cliffhanger, writers!

The verdict

Probably one of the most promising shows of the new television season and likely to be a hit for MTV, I loved the premiere.

4 out of 5 stars

What’s next

Jules and Ophelia are going to have to track down their missing body and find a way to work together in next week’s “Sweet/Vicious.”

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