“Twisted”: ABC Family adds another killer mystery for summer

Tuesday, June 11
ABC Family, 9pm ET

In Twisted, Danny Desai has the worst of both worlds. He’s the new kid in school, but everyone also already knows about his troubled past, making him an instant outcast.

Before you feel too sorry for him, though, keep in mind that when he was 11 Danny strangled his aunt with a jump rope and has spent the last five years in juvenile detention. His crime scandalized his community of Green Grove and traumatized his childhood friends Lacey (Kylie Bunbury, The Sitter) and Jo (Maddie Hasson, The Finder), who both discovered the body. The newly freed Danny (Avan Jogia, Victorious) tries to reconnect with his pals, who have tried to not only move on from that horrible day, but from each other. Lacey has tried to mask her trauma by becoming the most popular girl in school, while Jo remains a brooding loner. While the two aren’t outright hostile toward each other, they clearly run in different crowd, even though deep down they know they will always be connected. Danny’s return makes them face their pasts, and his efforts to fit in are thrown into chaos when a Green Grove student is found beaten to death and Danny emerges as the prime suspect.

Fans of Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game should find Twisted’s mix of high-school drama and dark mystery irresistible, and the fresh-faced cast seems up to the task. Hasson especially bears most of the emotional weight, and she handles it with aplomb. Denise Richards shows up in the unlikely role of Danny’s mom, who is also trying to rebuild her life.

What’s a little maddening is the show’s insistence — at least through the pilot — that Danny just can’t reveal why he did what he did. Not even to Maddie, and apparently not even in the face of a new murder investigation. Whatever the reason, it better be a doozy.

Twisted Kylie Bunbury Avan Jogia Maddie Hasson ABC Family
Photo: © 2012 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved. Credit: ABC FAMILY/Andrew Eccles