The series premiere of Twisted aired immediately after Pretty Little Liars, presumably as part of ABC Family's ongoing campaign to prove that teenagers everywhere are out to murder everyone.
Danny Desai (Avan Jogia) mysteriously killed his Aunt Tara at age 11. He strangled her with a jump rope while she was babysitting him and his best friends Lacey Porter (Kylie Bunbury) and Jo Masterson (Madelaine Hasson). In the five years that followed, Lacey has blossomed into a Queen Bee with a hunky boyfriend; Jo is a studious latter-day Daria. Though the two are no longer close, they find themselves drawn together when Danny returns to their hometown — and their high school.
Prison has apparently been kind to our hero (villain?). Now 16, Danny's pretty cute for a murderer — pretty cute for anyone, really. He's incredibly charming in a way that has me convinced that a) he is totally a killer and b) at least one of the other two main characters should make out with him. But do take this with a grain of salt, because I'm someone who's at least as attracted to Hannibal's Mads Mikkelsen as I am to Hugh Dancy.
Danny's first day of high school has mixed results. He earns the unfortunate nickname Socio (as in -path), as well as an invite to popular girl Regina's house party (and her pants party ). Both Lacey and Jo still feel a lot of anger towards their former friend for the trauma he introduced to their childhoods, but it's clear that all three long for the bond they once shared.
Danny claims he can't tell his "actual reason" for murder to anyone, because this is TV, so of course. But the plot thickens when unabashed horn-dog Regina's booty call texts reveal that she knows something about the motive for his aunt's murder — and it certainly doesn't look good for Danny when she's found dead the next morning.
For reasons beyond my understanding, Denise Richards co-stars as Danny's widowed mother. This is a glorious casting decision, as is the choice of Kathy "Peggy Hill" Najimy as teacher Mrs. Fiske.
Best way to introduce oneself to a murderer: “Hi, I’m Rico, I’m extraordinarily uncomfortable right now.”
Classic Denise Richards line of the week: "Oh, Jo, you're so big — not in a fat way, in a grown-up way."