Have you ever wondered how awkward it would be to have been best friends with a kid who “randomly” killed his aunt when you were kids, who then went to juvenile detention for five years, only to be released back into the high school where you’re currently going?
Thanks to ABC Family’s Twisted (Twiƨted, to add the fancy stylization), you don’t have to!
Twisted, formerly Socio (a title that is shoved down your throat in the pilot, making it kind of weird to know it is no longer called that), is the story of two (ex-)best friends dealing with the fact that the old member of their childhood trio is being released into society after spending five short years in juvenile detention for killing his aunt when he was eleven.
Twisted‘s ‘main’ character is technically Danny Desai (Avan Jogia), the boy who killed his aunt and only got five years in juvenile detention. Danny is given the moniker ‘The Socio” by his old friend Lacie Porter (Kylie Bunbury) in an interview. This title is (as previously mentioned) shoved down the viewer’s throat for the rest of the pilot most likely to show why the show was originally called Socio, but, without the title justification, it just feels awkward and annoying. Not to mention the awkward Psychology class (I didn’t have Psychology in high school!) that Danny attends where sociopaths are heavily discussed in front of him to make sure the viewer understands the reference.
While the show may be about Danny, the pilot is mostly explored through the viewpoints of Jo Masterson (Maddie Hasson) and the previously mentioned Lacie Porter–Danny’s childhood friends. At the start of the pilot, Jo and Lacie have dealt with their childhood traumas in different ways and have strayed apart because of it, but Danny’s return pulls them back together. Hurray. The two of them struggle with Danny’s return and the fact that he wants to leave the past behind–especially since Danny has never stated why he killed his aunt and states that he can never tell anyone why.
The only other character that seems to be of note is Karen Desai (Denise Richards), Danny’s weird mom. It’s possible that it’s just because Denise Richards is the only recognizable face in a seemingly random ABC Family show starring mostly unknown actors, but the character of Karen Desai is really odd to me. I’m ninety percent certain that Danny either killed his aunt for his mom or that he is just covering for her. She’s got some weird Johnny-Depp-Willy-Wonka vibe to her.
The pilot episode is jam-packed with more awkward teen drama than you can shake a stick at. Are there high school girls throwing parties and getting plastered? Yup. Are there high school kids talking about banging eachother? You bet! Is there awkward sexual tension as the dark, brooding, underage, boy-murderer talks late into the night with popular, underage girl? Of course. Despite all of that, I did leave the pilot thinking “Hey, that wasn’t all that bad”.
- Rating: “Hey, that wasn’t all that bad.”
- Comment: Twisted might not have impressed me, but it didn’t feel like a waste of my time. I’ll tune in to the next few episodes and see how it strikes me after it’s had a few episodes to develop. Hopefully it’s not as predictable as it seems!
- You might like Twisted if you like: teen drama, murder mysteries, not-so-suspenseful suspense