Surge City is the home for the battle between the super-powered Sweet and Martin sisters. On the side of evil are the Martins, better known by their codenames Bitter Pain (Yue Xu), Bitter Evil (Catherine Edwards) and Bitter Pill (Jessica Howell). Bitter Evil is the evil super genius of the trio, Bitter Pill the chemical weapons expert and the adopted Bitter Pain the ninja assassin. Standing in the way of Bitter world domination are Sweet Burden (Natalie Laspina), Sweet Burn (Tara Lee), Sweet Frost (Caitlin Ross-Poteet) and Sweet Tart (Stephanie Houghton). Sweet Burden is the leader with the power to control gravity, Sweet Burn controls heat and fire, Sweet Frost controls freezing and ice and Sweet Tart… fights with a giant candy cane.
The collected first season of Rob Longo’s Vixens of Virtue Vixens of Vice is made up of a total of 10 episodes, running roughly between 5-10 minutes each. While each episode is standalone to an extent (except episode 9, which is a recap of the first 8), they all introduce and/or expand upon the different characters while offering different mini-conflicts, all while advancing an overall narrative of the Bitter crew’s latest master plot to finish off the Sweets for good. And yes, of course, Season One ends on a cliffhanger.
The sound mix isn’t always the greatest, the writing and special effects often err on the side of cheesey and the editing sometimes leaves a bit to be desired… but it all works for what it is. This is a mini-episodic show, in a similar vein as the old Adam West Batman TV series, operating as comic book geek fantasy realized; it hits on all the fantasy elements with attractive women in costume, geek references, robot minions and super powers. At the same time, there is a fun and innocence to the entire project.
I mean, while this could easily turn into a real naughty, fetishistic affair, it doesn’t really go there. Sure, there are hot women in costume fighting each other, but it isn’t played to a lascivious extent. These are live-action comic book characters, and they live in that pop culture, hyper-realistic world that has been straddling fantasy and innocence for years.
Overall, Vixens of Virtue Vixens of Vice is an entertaining series that embodies that zone where the comic book spirit and geek fantasy collide. It doesn’t always have to make sense, and it doesn’t always look or sound great, but it does manage to stay fun throughout.
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