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Moonlight won Best Kiss at the MTV Movie and TV Awards! In their acceptance speech, actors Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome said:

“I really have to start with saying thank you to my parents,” said Jerome. “I love y’all so much. But on a real note I think it is safe to say that it is okay for us young performers, especially us minority performers, to step out of the box. It’s okay for us to step out of the box and do whatever it take to tell the story and whatever it takes to make the change.”

“This award is for that,” he added. “It’s for us artists who are out there, who need to do whatever it takes to get people to wake up.”

Sanders also took a moment to reflect on the importance of the honor.

“This award is bigger than Jharrel and I,” he said. “This represents more than a kiss. This is for those who feel like the unders, the misfits — this represents us. We love y’all and thank y’all.”

Well deserved. Congratulations. (via People)

10 Reasons Why Sweet/Vicious Should Be Watched and Renewed From A Fan

Sweet/Vicious is an hour long drama/dark comedy series on MTV. The series follows Jules, a sorority sister and survivor of sexual assault, and Ophelia, the university pot dealer and skilled hacker, as they become vigilantes on their college campus taking down rapists. 

Or, at least that’s the general description of the show but really it’s so much more than that. And yet, people have been sleeping on this amazing show so here’s my attempt – a fan’s attempt – at getting you to watch Sweet/Vicious and hopefully, getting MTV to renew Sweet/Vicious for a second season. 

1. The most accurate portrayal of rape on television to date. 

Sure, sexual assault has been a popular beat in television dramas for years, but no one portrays it as real as Sweet/Vicious. Through the course of the ten episode season, the audience is exposed to several different and unique sexual assault cases. Our protagonist, Jules, finds herself a victim of sexual assault after her best friend’s boyfriend, whom is also her friend, rapes her at his frat’s party.  In another episode, we see that sometimes sexual assault is a two person job when two friends team up to drug unsuspecting girls at a bar only to usher them into an ride share and drive them to a dark ally where the driver sexually assaults the incoherent victim. 

Through the course of the season we see rapists who show no remorse. We see enablers, who through their silence or willingness to turn their heads, let rapes happen. We see that sometimes rape isn’t violent, that sometimes the victims don’t fight back or stop fighting back because they can’t win. 

Plus, there are multiple scenes in which Jules and other victims attend group therapy – including, a male victim! 

Through ten episodes we see the most accurate portal of the types of sexual assault cases that take place on college campuses around the world.  

Oh yeah, and they never victim blame or sympathize with the rapist. 

2. Explores sexual assault as it relates to hazing practices

In addition to the sexual assault cases talked about above, Sweet/Vicious does something no television show in modern television has done. It addresses the fact that hazing can be and usually is a form of assault. In fact this happens in the fourth episode of the show when Jules and Ophelia discover that the most popular sorority on campus has their recruits drinking in excess only to publicly shame them in a video when they don’t complete their tasks or disobey the president sorority sister. 

In my opinion, this was one of the most important sexual assault cases that Sweet/Vicious explored because it showed a different side of it. It showed females taking advantage of other females. Because, yes, females are just as capable at being the aggressor as men are. 

3. Hello, complexed female characters who double as vigilantes! What more could you want? 

Jules Thomas the bubbly sorority girl who, after being sexually assaulted by someone she considered a friend, doubles as a kick-ass vigilante providing victims of sexual assault the justice they deserve when the Title IX does nothing. But Jules is more than a just a girl fueled by her confusion and guilt over what happened. Sure, there are moments when she completely shuts down and is consumed by the nightmares of what she’s dealing with. But she’s also this fun loving girl who will do anything to make sure what happened to her doesn’t happen to any one else. She is a supportive friend who makes sure everyone around her knows she loves them. She likes belting out"Defying Gravity” and hanging out with her sorority sisters and Ophelia. Most importantly, she’s a girl who is more than just a victim of sexual assault.

And then there’s Ophelia Mayer a trust fun daughter, the campus weed dealer, and savvy hacker. Ophelia has problems of her own. A complexed relationship with her mother, a best friend who expects more from her than just dealing weed out of the college town’s record store, and a habit of finding herself in the campus police office. And yet, when she stumbles upon the vigilante she later learns is Jules she’s all hands in. Ophelia is unapologetically herself and she is the voice of some of the show’s best one liners. She is the first to learn of Jules’s sexual assault and never once shies away from supporting her and being their for her. But it’s not just Jules she supports and encourages but also Harris, her best friend. In addition, Ophelia struggle with love and commitment. And oh yeah, creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson confirmed that Ophelia is bi – something she hopes to explore more in the second season. 

4. Amazing Friendships

Jules and Ophelia aren’t the only ones that are #bffgoals. Before Jules meets Ophelia, her best friend is Kennedy. Though their relationship is a rollercoaster there is no denying that these two girls love and support each other. Then you have Ophelia and her best friend Harris, a law student and co-worker at the record store. Harris is Ophelia’s cheerleader in the same way Ophelia is Jules. He encourages her to do better and in turn Ophelia supports him and his endeavors whole hardily. But even their relationship gets rocky because, well, that’s life. Even Kennedy and Ophelia become friends over their shared need to protect and empower Jules. 

That’s not all though, the relationship Jules and Ophelia have with their significant others also shows that your S.O. should also double as your best friends. Not to mention, the show portrays positive male friendships too like the ones Harris forms with Jules’s S.O. Tyler and Ophelia’s S.O. Evan. 

5. Shows that life doesn’t have to end after sexual assault. It’s possible to find love for yourself and others. 

Often in television and films, sexual assault completely ruins the victim turning them off from love completely. That’s not the case at all with Sweet/Vicious. Sure, Jules has moments where she is consumed by the nightmares of her assault but for the most part, she doesn’t let what happened to her ruin her chance at love. Through the course of the series she finds herself in a relationship with Tyler who treats Jules as she, and any girl, deserves to be treated. They have their ups and downs but one thing that stays constant is their ability to support each other blindly. In my opinion, this is an integral part of the series and could have the biggest impact on survivors of sexual assault. 

6. It’s not all dark. There’s comedic moments too

Sure, the series in rooted in two girls hunting down rapists and teaching them a “lesson,” but that’s not all it is. It simple terms, its a dark comedy. There are serious moments but there are also moments where you’re doubled over in laughter. Not to mention, Ophelia Mayer is the queen of comedic one liners like, “Robin is a bitch.” 

7. What about Carter?

Oh yeah, did I forgot to mention the pilot ends with the girls burying a dead body. Did that catch your attention? As if that wasn’t dramatic enough, Carter is the brother of Tyler, Jules’s on and off again boyfriend. And the series ends with a shot of a garage with a piece of evidence left behind. That alone is reason enough to get the show renewed. Come on MTV we need to know what happens there. 

8. Diverse Characters 

Diversity comes in many forms with Sweet/Vicious. For one, both Jules and Ophelia’s are African American. Unlike some shows where race becomes the only defining feature of a character and their story line, Sweet/Vicious takes a different road. Both Kennedy and Harris are more than just the color of their skin and both have dynamic characterization through the 10 episode series. In addition, they are their own characters whose scenes don’t always revolve around their friendship with our protagonists. 

And though, Ophelia never says she is bi, and Jennifer Kaytin Robinsons says she probably will never have a “coming out” reveal, the hints are there with promises for more exposure in a season 2. 

9. Shows men standing up against sexual assault and not making excuses

Sure, there are men who are absolute scum on the show – aka the rapists. But, the Sweet/Vicious also makes a point to bring attention to positive males who don’t excuse the actions of their peers. Without giving too much away, Jules and Ophelia find an unexpected ally while trying to take down Nate, Jules’s rapist. In addition, later in the season Ophelia’s boyfriend, Evan, steps in as a watchdog for a girl in his dorm who was sexual assaulted to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself. 

Plus, Harris and Tyler have their own disdain for sexual assault. Especially, Tyler who’s brother, Carter, sexual assaulted a girl before “disappearing.” Though he misses his brother, he makes sure it is clear that he does not agree with his brother’s actions what so ever. 

10. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, the show’s creator, promises that she has even more issues to tackle in a season 2.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Jennifer Kaytin Robinson discusses the story lines she hopes to explore in the second season. Including, LGBT+ victims, male victims, bullying, and even race issues. Come on MTV, take a step into the 21st century and let these stories be told! 

If you haven’t watched Sweet/Vicious yet I implore you to give it a chance. The full series is streaming now on MTV.com. And don’t forget to keep tweet #RenewSweetVicious

He’s a superb actor, and I’m not saying that just ‘cause he’s in my film. I think he’s brilliant. He’s a very talented guy, a thoroughbred really. He’s a bit of a Mary Poppins — he can pull anything out of the bag. The casting director said, 'You should meet this guy, he’s underestimated by people.’ He came in the room [and was] superb. I cast him and that was it. I hope he can get stuff that shows his talent 'cause he’s really very special.
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