Bryan Cranston’s Daughter Breaks Good In MTV’s ‘Sweet/Vicious’

(In the era of Peak TV, there’s not time to review everything, or even to give the shows I write about a full essay, so from time to time I’ll try to introduce you to an interesting new series — or talk about changes to a returning one — with a few key details and opinions.)

Three things you should know about Sweet/Vicious, a new MTV drama premiering tonight at 10:

1. It’s Veronica Mars by way of Batman, with a dash of Buffy.

A mysterious figure in ninja gear is waging a solo war on crime on a college campus: specifically targeting rapists and other abusers of women. Only the ninja is demure sorority girl Jules (Eliza Bennett), who’s about to acquire an unwanted sidekick in Ophelia (Taylor Dearden), a pot-dealing hacker badly in need of a purpose that Jules’ crusade provides.

2. It has more than a little Breaking Bad DNA, as well.

In one way, it’s literal DNA, as Dearden is the daughter of Bryan Cranston. This isn’t a nepotism hire; she has a sly delivery and ability to switch between comedy and drama that may remind you of her dad, even if she’s more in the Jesse Pinkman role here. Beyond Dearden, Sweet/Vicious also somewhat resembles BB because it has a seemingly comic (bordering on ridiculous) premise that the show takes very seriously, with an unexpected level of darkness and consequences. (There’s a story development in the second episode that seems preordained to involve the daughter of Heisenberg.) It weaves in a lot of black comedy, particularly in the interaction between the two mismatched partners, but it’s not a joke.

3. It’s not at the level of its inspirations just yet.

This is a very cheap looking show: a glorified web series with a few recognizable actors (notably Brandon Mychal Smith from You’re the Worst as a friend of Ophelia’s) that’s still not entirely in command of the many tones it’s trying to squeeze into its low-fi superhero origin story. (The sorority material in particular feels too broad in contrast with Jules’ vigilante work.) There’s promising — and incredibly timely — material here, and Dearden is worth the price of admission, but it still needs some fine tuning from creator Jennifer Kaytin Robinson and company.

Alan Sepinwall may be reached at