Twisted Season 1 Review “Pilot”

Twisted (ABC Family) Episode 1 Pilot (8)

Premiering a few months ago after Pretty Little Liars, this week let us have a second look at ABC Family’s latest dark teen drama, Twisted with a repeat of the ‘Pilot’. This was the first time I watched it, doubtful that it could capture my interest in the way other ABC Family’s shows have done in the past, but I have to say that my low expectations were immediately blown away. This should take the crown of interesting and darker-than-it-has-any-right-to-be dramas on the channel, and I hope it’s a big success.

The story is that of young Danny, with the episode opening moments after he has killed his aunt for unknown reasons. His two best friends, Lacey and Jo, were in the house at the time and, while Danny went to prison for five years, the girls were left to deal with the harshness of high school life. When he returns to their classes, apparently rehabilitated, his peers aren’t particularly understanding or forgiving. He does his best to make amends with Lacey and Jo, and catches a few intrigued eyes in the process.

If the prospect of a murderer as our main protagonist isn’t enough to peak your interest, then another killing should do the trick. We don’t yet know whether Danny is responsible for this second incident and, until the last few moments, that assumption is discouraged. The hour aligns us with Danny and makes us sympathize with his plight, believing that he had good reason to kill his aunt all those years ago, but the final scene leads the show down an entirely different path. It’s intriguing, and I honestly don’t know where they’re going with it.

Supporting this great central performance are the two girls, now at opposite ends of the social hierarchy and both drawn back into Danny’s circle across the episode. It’s fascinating to see him manipulate them, convincing Jo to accompany him to a party thrown by the popular crowd and actually getting Lacey to sleep over at his house. Both characters are strong, with Jo standing out for me as the more interesting one, but the trio together have great chemistry. With something so strong pushing and pulling them together and apart, there’s a unique spin on our main friendship group.

What did you think of the episode? Could Danny be innocent? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.