Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.
The Pedigree: Twisted was created by Adam Milch (Greek), who also wrote the pilot. He executive produces with Gavin Polone (Gilmore Girls) and David Babcock (Sabrina). Jon Amiel (The Borgias) directed the pilot.
The Cast & How You Know Them: The central trio is played by Avan Jogia (Victorious), Maddie Hasson (The Finder), and Kylie Bunbury (Prom). The show also stars Denise Richards (Blue Mountain State), Kimberly Quinn (Terriers), and Sam Robards (Gossip Girl).
The Premise: Twisted is about a teenager with a mysterious, troubled past who returns to his hometown. He tries to reconnect with his former best friends, but is immediately suspected when a girl is found dead.
What Works: I really enjoyed this pilot – the mystery immediately pulled me in, but so did the characters, who were engaging and remarkably realistic, at least by the standards of TV teenagers. The dialogue, especially, jumped out at me as refreshingly similar to things actual people might say. So far, at least, it seems like Twisted will have a nice balance of ridiculous soapy intrigue and genuine emotional arcs.
What Doesn’t: Ongoing mystery shows like this always run the risk of becoming way too complicated because of the open-ended nature of the mystery, and Pretty Little Liars does not set the best precedent here, so I’m a little concerned about that. Things were a little confusing right from the beginning, and it’s hard to tell is deliberate intrigue vs. sloppiness. But I’m definitely looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Our Favorite Line: “I feel like I’m in an episode of Glee and everyone’s about to break out into song.” “They let you watch Glee in prison?” “It was part of my punishment.”
You Might Like This if you like teen mystery shows like Pretty Little Liars, or coming of age stories that involve questions of identity and confronting the past.
If You’re Interested: Twisted premieres tonight (Tuesday, June 11) at 9/8c on ABC Family and ABC Spark.
(Photo courtesy of ABC Family.)