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“Empowering, inclusive, and important.” That’s how MTV’s Sweet/Vicious creator, Jenn Kaytin Robinson, describes her inspiring show.
OMFGTV was lucky enough to chat with Jenn recently about all things Sweet/Vicious, including her inspiration for the show, the casting of ‘Juphelia’, and Jules’ turning point in episode 8.
“I always knew they were going to be vigilantes,” Jenn tells us about her original idea for the show. Sweet/Vicious is a dark comedy that deals with sexual assault through humor and all around badassery, and was a very important story that Jenn wanted told.
“I wanted to write a show that would be different and feel new and fresh,” she says, “but at its core be for and about empowered women, and feel really inclusive and really open.”
Jenn stressed several times that it was very important to her and her team that the show be inclusive to all, and that they were able to send a message. She wanted to make sure she was educating people in a fun way “without beating people over the head with the message.” And we think the show has succeed in that, delivering important messages to viewers through witty one-liners and bad ass take downs of sexual assailants.
The show is led by two college girls, Jules (Eliza Bennett) and Ophelia (Taylor Dearden), who couldn’t be more different, yet they form an incredible bond stronger than most seen on television.
When asked about the casting of ‘Juphelia’, as fans dubbed the pair, Jenn describes the audition process and how she knew she found her Jules and Ophelia. Because Eliza is from England, Jenn actually skyped her before flying her to the States to test.
“The first time we brought Eliza in to test, none of the Ophelia’s that tested worked. So we had to bring Eliza back a second time, and that’s when she read with Taylor.” Jenn describes their test together as “magic.” “It was so instant,” she continues. “I immediately saw the show [in them], they understood what the show was.” Sounds like the pair’s undeniable chemistry was a perfect match made in heaven!
In the most recent episode, ‘Back to Black,’ Jules finally hits her lowest point, resulting in her lashing out at the only person she has left, Ophelia. Jenn felt this was a very important interaction for the pair to have, because it’s the point where Ophelia finally realizes that Jules is not okay.
“Ophelia, for the first time, is coming to terms with the fact that she’s enabled it [the violence]. So I think she feels guilty that she didn’t recognize the fact that Jules doing this was actually a cry for help.” Later in the episode, Jules has a major turning point when Kennedy (Aisha Dee) finds her and tells her she believes her.
Kennedy encourages Jules to report her rape, and tells her “You deserve to be heard,” and that is the biggest message Jenn and her team want survivors to take away from the show. “We believe you, and we support you, and your voice matters. That is absolutely the biggest message that we hope people take away.”
Sweet/Vicious’ epic saga continues with its two-hour season finale Tuesday at 10pm on MTV!