Teen drama ‘Twisted’ headed to success

Posted April 13, 2013


It’s hard to find a teen drama that can appeal to more than just girls between 12 and 16 years old. But it seems like ABC Family has gotten the formula right recently.

“Pretty Little Liars” and “The Lying Game” have both become explosive hits and – based on the sneak peak ABC Family premiered March 19 – the network’s latest series “Twisted” is headed for the same success.

The teen mystery-thriller TV series, which officially premieres June 11, tells the story of 16-year-old Danny Desai (played by Avan Jogia from Nickelodeon’s “Victorious”). Danny is released from prison after killing his aunt five years earlier; his motive is one of his many secrets. His hometown rejects him despite his attempts to fit in and rekindle friendships with childhood friends Jo Masterson (Madie Hasson) and Lacey Porter (Kylie Bunbury). Though he manages to win Jo over, Danny insists that he can’t tell her why he killed his aunt, which frustrates Jo.

After less than week back in town, one of the most popular girls from the local high school is beaten to death and Danny becomes the prime suspect as a result of his juvenile record. Needless to say, this makes fitting in harder than ever.

Of course, considering it is an ABC Family original series, plot holes and some cheesiness must be expected. But overall, “Twisted” seems like it could be the network’s next big hit. It follows the same structure as its sister series like “Pretty Little Liars,” including above-average actors, an intriguing plot and great marketing. It’s definitely not a coincidence that the network decided to premiere its sneak peak of the show after the season finale of “Pretty Little Liars.”

The acting isn’t the best, but the cast works with what it’s given. Unlike the cast of “The Secret Life of an American Teenager,” these actors definitely have potential. Plus, the network made sure to include a known name into the cast, as it always seems to do: Denise Richards takes on her first big TV role as Danny’s mother, Karen.

If the pilot is any indication of what’s to come, “Twisted” will bring romance, mystery and an addicting complex plot to its viewers. And it’s almost certain that the murder in the pilot won’t be the only death on the show, if “Pretty Little Liars” is any indication.

Although it will most likely attract the same audience that “Pretty Little Liars” draws in, this new series puts a twist – pun intended – on the typical ABC Family TV drama. Rather than focusing on lead female characters, “Twisted” revolves around a lead male character, which is new for a ABC Family original series.

“Twisted” is sure to be one of this summer’s guilty pleasures.

  • “Twisted”
  • Premiere date: June 11
  • Channel and time: ABC Family on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
  • Program length: 60 minutes
  • Leading actors, actresses: Kylie Bunbury, Maddie Hasson, Avan Jogia, Denise Richards
  • Content category: Teen drama-thriller series
  • Summary of content: Sixteen-year-old Danny Desai returns to his hometown after serving five years in prison for killing his aunt. Although he tries to rekindle friendships and fit in at school, the town refuses to welcome him back. Less than a week after returning, Desai becomes the prime suspect in a murder case involving a popular classmate.
  • Producers: John Ziffren, Adam Milch, Gavin Polone, Kat Landsberg