7.11.2013

ABC's "Twisted"

Disclaimer: This is for the young Blasians.

Has anybody been watching ABC's Twisted?


*rubs temples*

A commenter on the Black Girls Club mentioned it and I did a little research.  Personally, I'm not in the teen/tween thriller drama; I'm a grown pygmy.

But the lead character is Asian American* and there is an alleged Blasian romance so...duty calls.
..."Twisted," which premieres Tuesday on ABC Family, attempts to discover what might happen if a young man who murdered his aunt returns to his idyllic hometown after five years in juvenile detention.

Say it like that and "Twisted" sounds complex, gritty, possibly deeply disturbing. Relax, it's summer and "Twisted" isn't just any ABC Family show, it debuts right after the premiere of the networks' preternaturally popular "Pretty Little Liars."


So while there may be some tween/teen envelope-pushing and an alarmingly high body count, it's nothing that a solid BFF bond can't handle. The biggest twist in "Twisted" is that one of those Fs is a guy.

Avan Jogia
And what a guy. Doe-eyed dreamy with boho hair and a smile that can part a high school crowd at 100 paces. Indeed, the moment Danny Desai (Avan Jogia, late of "Victorious") shows up it's difficult not to wonder why everyone doesn't spend five years in juvenile detention. In adolescent makeover terms, it's better than a year abroad.

Not that it isn't tough being, you know, troubled. Or, as the envious masses hiss in derision behind Danny's back: the "socio." Danny didn't want to come back to Green Grove (Any relation to Hemlock Grove? Or "Bates Motel's" White Pine Bay?).

But his now-widowed mom (Denise Richards) was once the town's queen bee, a difficult title to surrender, and apparently she couldn't sell the house. Now that he's here, all Danny wants to do is reconnect with his two besties — Jo (Maddie Hasson) and Lacey (Kylie Bunbury). They, of course, want nothing to do with him.

Kylie Bunbury
Do you know how hard it was to be the known friends of the local pre-teen murderer? Danny, now 16, got to go to fabulous day-spa juvie while they were stuck in the Green Grove bully zone. Jo and Lacey aren't even speaking anymore; while Jo remained her sweet 'n' goofy self, Lacey did what she had to do to survive — she got pretty and she got popular. (Which, within the confines of the genre, is almost as deadly a sin as murdering your aunt.)

So there you have it: the Mean Girl, the Dweeb and the Socio, all circling each other for five solid minutes before deciding to be friends again. Just in time for one of Lacey's friends to turn up dead. With Danny's number last dialed on her cellphone.

Yes, we're going there. So is Danny truly a sociopath? If he isn't, then who is? And do we honestly care?

There is something queasy, but also ingenious about tagging the "hero" with such a blatant past. Still, "Twisted" isn't "Bates Motel," or even "Pretty Little Liars," though in many ways it wants to be. A cynic might think "Twisted" is a bald attempt to capitalize on the success of "Pretty Little Liars" while possibly adding a Y chromosome to the mix. The non-cynic might see in Danny yet another metaphor for the alienation and "otherness" many teens feel."


~ LA Times, "Review: ABC Family's 'Twisted' might be a killer teen drama"
*speaks to the old people in the audience* Raise your hand if you're glad you're not a fucking kid anymore.

*raises hand*

I don't really want to have to watch this on a regular basis; there's only so much I'm willing to take for the team.  That being said, I can't help but notice a few things.

Danny Desai (did an Anoop fan write this?) is brown, but not "too brown".  God forbid his mother be also Asian.  Can't have that.  Lawd forbid we get to see a young Asian protagonist and single his mother try to tough things out together.

Lacey is brown...but not too brown.  And she appears to be the only one chatting about their "special connection".  If there is truly a one-sided an AMBW romance going on here, good for them, but come on...how long can such a show last on ABC?

Hell, Scandal had to cast a thousand white characters to compensate for a black one being in the lead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*Yes, I'm aware the actor - Avan Jogia - is a Canadian.

41 comments:

  1. I've been watching the show and I actually enjoy it so far. Surprisingly the romance is not one sided on Lacey's part. The romance is one sided for the white girl, Jo. Everytime the white girl (Jo) is talking with Danny he brings up (Lacey) the black girl. The white girls in the fandom are not happy. Of course Lacey/Kylie has received tons of hate already from the fans. I'm loving Lacey's characterization (so far). We've seen her mother, she has a room, friends that care about her, and a boyfriend (the most popular boy in school ... white jock) Both Avan Jogia and Kylie Bubury are bi-racial in real life. I'm not sure if Lacey is being coded as Black or mixed yet. Although her mother is played by Robin Givens.

    *SPOILER* In the latest episode Lacey and Danny kiss.

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    1. Somebody gave Robin Givens a job?

      Both Avan Jogia and Kylie Bunbury are bi-racial in real life.

      Like I said...brown, but not too brown.

      We'll just add Kylie to the every growing list of "acceptable Black girl love interests" - Katerina Graham, Meghan Markle, Angel Coulby, Lenora Crichlow, etc.

      No offense to the actress, btw. Kylie is a stunning young woman and I wish her all the success.

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    2. It never occurred to me that Kylie was anything other than black. She looks like any other black girl, not "ambiguous". But for me it's not a big deal that she's bi-racial. Of the women you mentioned Lenora initially came as a surprise to me b/c she could pass for white.

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    3. *SPOILER* In the latest episode Lacey and Danny kiss.

      Funny story...so I went to ABC's website to watch this episode and found myself snoring through most of it. The dialogue was flat, the plot seemed a bit weak (remember, I still need to watch it from the beginning), the acting had the soapy feel of a cheap opera...but the kiss...the kiss convinced.

      It was like the actors said, "Fuck it...we might not be writing this bullshit, and we may get canceled next week, but if there's one thing we can do right, it's nail this kiss."

      If I were Kylie's real-life boyfriend, I'd be keeping stricter tabs on these two.

      Lawd. I had an "Oh, my" moment and had to switch to something more wholesome during the second kiss. I know, I know...me, of all people.

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    4. From what I've heard, Lacey's father will also be Black. I vaguely remember checking on the actor after reading spoilers.

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  2. I have been watching it, at there is certainly NOT a "one-sided" relationship between Danny and Lacey. If anything, Danny has been the one to..."pursue" (for lack of a better word) Lacey. A few points..

    If I'm not mistaken, I think Avan Jogia is Canadian...

    Someone on tumblr made a funny post:

    "brown boy ignores white girl to be with black girl
    black girl cheats on white boyfriend to be with brown boy
    this ship is built on a pile of white sadness"

    This is basically it in a few sentences. The white fangirls are N-O-T happy. The only thing I am not liking is the overplayed "love triangle" that is happening; I can do without it.

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    1. "brown boy ignores white girl to be with black girl
      black girl cheats on white boyfriend to be with brown boy
      this ship is built on a pile of white sadness"


      *dead*

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    2. Hiya,

      I'm with you on the love triangle issue. It's like they have to decide who they guy should like..like Black women are should be a questionable choice to be anybody's love interest.

      So predicable with those White girls on that site. It hurts their feelings that the character left his White girlfriend for a Black girl. This post kind of remind of a story that I read for a couple of months about a now Detroit basketball player (former UNL), Peyton Siva.There was a story about him cheating with an escort behind his back but instead of the girlfriend dropping him, they're engaged to get married.

      In the natural, I wouldnt want to get married to a cheater if that was the case, but with this chick that the Peyton supposedly screwed she mentioned this soon as he thanked his girlfriend during the championship win. I could be wrong but I just see as an only White women are supposed to marry (in his case Samoan) famous/well to do/wealthy POCs and that women like his girlfriend (She could be Samoan, but being from Kentucky her appearance and her last name, I think that she's Black/Biracial) are supposed to be in her shoes..the escort that is. I also noticed the same crap when Janet married her Arab husband only he did cheat on her.

      It seems that when Black women marry popular /famous and /or wealthy men who aren't Black someone always come out of the woodwork to question their love, convince them that the man is no good. If that was the other way around ,you wouldn't hear anything about it. They really need to accept reality as it is and will be.

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  3. The show is quite good so far. Even if you only saw the pilot you would know from the minute Lacey and Danny reunited there was palpable romantic tension. It was very obvious. Danny even had a scene where he said "I want" but couldn't finish the sentence. And he later told Lacey's boyfriend that he and Lacey could never be friends again. Of course the obvious reason is b/c he really likes Lacey. Or so we're led to believe. You need to watch the show b/c part of the fun is trying to figure out character motivations, esp from Danny who for unknown reasons killed his aunt when he was 11 years old. The writing is pretty good as are the characterizations, esp for Lacey. Lacey is the most reasonable of the two female protagonists. She rightfully was suspicious of Danny and until procuring significant evidence regarding his innocence she was not on board for Jo's crusade to help Danny. And of course being in her position as a "popular girl" Lacey had much more to lose than Jo who has a cop for a father and doesn't really invest in having a high social profile, even for self-protection as in Lacey's case. Jo's motivations seem to amount to guilt for the most part. And of course her attraction to Danny which thus far does not appear to be mutual. I can't see Danny and Jo as a couple. He is much too friendly with her and Jo comes off as being too naive and trusting, somewhat the opposite of Lacey. And of course Lacey is prettier than Jo in my opinion, but that's my only superficial remark.

    So if you take a chance I promise you the episodes thus far are worth it.

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  4. And Kylie is dating co-star Ashton Moio, who plays Rico (Jo's bf and study buddy) on Twisted. I don't think he's as cute as Avan but girlie is getting it on this show.

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    1. Same here I don't think he's as cute as Avan but I'm happy for her

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  5. I have been enjoying the show so far. It's progressive given the network it's under. As long as your expectations remain realistic, you should be fine with the show (from what I can see so far).

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  6. I'm loving all the "so fars". That's how you know its (typically) POC reviewing a show: they like it..."so far".

    Personally, I prefer shows with characters who are, ahem, my age or older, but if this show is how what you all are saying, I hope it stays on for more then 1-3 seasons and I hope it develops into something more.

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    Replies
    1. It's not everyday you get anything remotely decent. I'm not hoping to be disappointed but you better believe I'm prepared for it.

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    2. Truth. This industry has a recipe for how it treats men and women of color. I find myself watching any new show (regardless of age range) casually until it proves to be progressive, well-planned and fair :-/

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  7. It's pretty good. I just started watching it today.

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  8. I've been looking for a decent POC show on ABC Family since Lincoln Heights had its run, so I'll give Twisted a look if the first season's good.

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  9. I will check out Twisted.

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  10. I love this show! It's pretty decent and the plot is starting to get somewhere. Plus, Avan is Canadian

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  11. Also...why do people keep mentioning that Avan is Canadian?

    Kylie Bunbury is American. So is Jay Tavare. And James Kyson Lee. And Sendhil Ramamurthy.

    Natasha Reid is Korean. Vanessa James is French. Rizwan Ahmed is British. Yityish Titi Aynaw is Israeli.

    See where I'm going with this?

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    1. I honestly don't...you said the lead character is Asian American when Avan was born and raised in Canada...were you not talking about Avan?

      Not unless there is another lead Asian that we are missing...

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    2. The lead character - as in Danny Desai - is Asian American...unless the locale and all the characters also Canadian? If so, my bad.

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    3. From Wikipedia:

      Twisted (stylized as twiƨted) is an American teen drama mystery-thriller television series...The series focuses on charming sixteen-year-old Danny Desai (Avan Jogia), who killed his aunt when he was eleven. Having spent five years in juvenile detention, he is released and returns to his hometown of Green Grove, New York.

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    4. Now it makes more sense. People were saying that Avan was Canadian because (I'm assuming) you made it seem like "Avan" was the Asian American, not the character. Glad it got cleared up.

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    5. To be honest, I thought people were bringing up the Canadian issue in response to "Asian" and not "American (I know...I'm an idiot). I kept thinking, "Both his character's father and his father in real life are East Indian!"

      And I take back what I said about his character's mom being white. After the Cheerios commercial fiasco, I think it's great the actor got to play a character whose parents match his in real life.

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    6. I'm not sure what context the posters above meant, (being Canadian opposed to American, or Canadian opposed to Asian,) but I've noticed many people elsewhere seem to think "Canadian" is Avans race for some bizarre reason. Or at least whenever I've seen him described as Indian/Asian, the statement is usually countered with "he's Canadian." There was nothing wrong with what you said, you did specify you were talking about the character, and I guess I'll throw out there that Kylie is Canadian as well. And she is gorgeous! :)

      And great write up. I like the show, though kind of feel like she hasn't gotten enough screen time as a lead, but hopefully things will change as the season progresses.

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    7. Yes. I mentioned that Avan was Canadian because I thought he was being described as American. But to Anonymous, I have also seen some people say he is Canadian like it is his race. I have also seen it from the EXO fandom concerning one of the members Kris. He's described as Canadian-Chinese (I think he grew up there) but some fans have focused in on the "Canadian" part like that was his race. Interesting point you brought up...

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    8. I forgot Kylie was Canadian as well (got my actors mixed up here).

      But yeah...here are the Narrative, we obviously view Avan Jogia as an actor of East Indian descent. So every time people bring up the "Canadian" thing, I'm like, um..."Canadian" is not a racial category.

      @ Anonymous

      Use a name please!

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  12. THAT BOY IS MY IDEAL !!!!!! ....and Google tells me he is 3 yrs younger than me :-(

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    1. It's always lovely to be present at the birth of a new obsession.

      Here at the Narrative, it's my favorite occupational hazard. :-)

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  13. I'm an oldie and I'm not afraid to say that young man is pretty, but I really zoned out on the recap of this show, until the end when you rounded out the commentary.

    This:

    "Hell, Scandal had to cast a thousand white characters to compensate for a black one being in the lead."

    Only you would have the guts to say this, Ank. Thanks.

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    1. I'm an oldie and I'm not afraid to say that young man is pretty

      I know, right? LOL - I'm old too, but he's 21, so I feel less weird.

      Only you would have the guts to say this, Ank. Thanks.

      Any time, boo-boo.

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  14. Oddly, it was Kylie who attracted me to Twisted, not Avan. Despite all the pretty, he didn't impress me on Victorious with either his acting or his hair. He seems like a nice enough kid, but he's a kid... not Rain.

    Kylie's name is first in the credits and I'm worried that she'll have to shoulder the blame if the show fails, which it should since it's not that interesting. At this point, I hope Danny killed Regina or at least is an actual sociopath who only manages to care for Lacey (blistering hot) and Jo (ugh).

    @Ankhesen,
    We'll just add Kylie to the every growing list of "acceptable Black girl love interests" - Katerina Graham, Meghan Markle, Angel Coulby, Lenora Crichlow, etc.


    Such casting has never made much sense to me because the "one-drop" rule is always in effect with American "whites." No matter the ethnic background of the actress, as long as she has sub-Saharan Black African ancestry, she's black-black. They only see her blackness and nothing else. If an actress plays it ambiguous, then she's safe for a while. Spotlight her blackness and that's it. Besides, look at what happens to their characters... it's disgusting.

    The men around me seem to prefer women who look like Nicole Beharie or Yaya DaCosta or a variety of very dark and very slender models. Big doe eyes must play a part, too. Then again, when we do the American movie thing, I only show them dark girls anyway.

    Lenora Crichlow can pass for white? That thought has never ever crossed my mind. No way.

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    1. I said "could." As in conditional passing. Race perception is not the same around the world. So yeah, in one community she could pass in another white people could tell the difference. At about 21 years old I could not tell by LOOKING at her. She did not scream "token minority" outside of her female-ness. Though when she had a black love interest for a brief minute I kinda got a clue. So it threw me for a loop when I saw her father. My race perception has matured a bit over the past three years. But the discovery has never been a big deal for me. I still consider someone black unless they state otherwise.

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    2. @Marona,

      I said the thought never crossed my mind. I was not passing judgment upon your perception.

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    3. @ Hateya: Oh ok. No harm done.

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  15. I've been following the show from the beginning..So my opinion of everything might be different from others, but I don't like Lacey much. She totally screwed Jo over by becoming that popular person and kicking Jo to the curve. And I don't like how she can act so hateful towards Danny, but kiss him like that. She just seems cowardly and two-faced.

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