ABC Family’s “Twisted” introduces an awesome queer character


ABC Family once again lived up to its reputation for being the most inclusive major television network, with the addition of a new queer character to the show, Twisted. The show is produced by one of AfterEllen’s favorite fellows, Andy Reaser. (Reaser is a former writer for Pretty Little Liars and is the best damn #BooRadleyVanCullen’er around.) Twisted centers on a teenager named Danny Desai, who was recently released from juvie, where he spent the last few years serving time for a murder that his father actually committed. He reconnects with his two childhood best friends, Jo, the police chief’s daughter, and Lacey (played by Kylie Bunbury), who will eventually become Danny’s girlfriend. The rest of the plot is, well, twisted.

Recently the show introduced the character of Whitney Taylor (Brianne Howey). Whitney is the daughter of Jack Taylor, the rugged boat builder and sometimes lover of Danny’s mother Karen. Whitney shows up on her father’s doorstep after getting kicked out of boarding school. Whitney has known Danny since they were little so she adjusts quickly to life back in Green Grove, NY.  When Whitney arrives at the high school to enroll for the year, she meets Lacey. Something about the glimmer in Whitney’s eye when she looked at Lacey made me pause. In other words, she pings louder than a nuclear submarine. Lacey is heartbroken at the moment because she and Danny have recently broken up, and Whitney offers her leather jacketed, high ponytailed shoulder to cry on.


This week’s episode takes place on Whitney’s first day of school, where she makes a beeline to Lacey, and wins her over with her whipsmart sense of humor and bad girl demeanor. Whitney suggests that she and Lacey should go to a club in the city (as in New York) and blow off some post break up steam. Lacey is skeptical about getting into any New York nightclub considering they are minors, but Whitney’s got the hook up. Of course she’d know the bouncers. Once they get to the club, Whitney finds some easy mark to buy them drinks. They half-heartedly listen to the Wall Street toolbox as he tries to woo them with his game. Once Lacey reveals that she is underage, he doesn’t run for the hills, and instead suggests getting a hotel room. Whitney shuts that shit down like a teenage Olivia Pope, and the two girls run to the bathroom. While there, Whitney reveals Mr. Wall Street’s phone, which she managed to swipe, and calls his wife to let her know of her hubby’s nauseating nature.


On the walk back from the train, Lacey worries that they were too cruel to the Wall Street guy and his wife. Whitney says she was doing the poor woman a favor, and that divorce sucks, but it’s better than a life married to an asshole. Talk then turns to Lacey’s break up with Danny. Lacey finally has a chance to vent, and so she takes it.  She goes off on relationships, and says the speech that all straight girls say at least once in their lives. She’s over boys. Whitney takes this opportunity to show Lacey what it’s really like to be over them, and kisses her square on the mouth.


Lacey, is completely surprised, but doesn’t freak out or push her away. Whitney doesn’t stammer or apologize. She just smiles like a total teenage badass.



Unfortunately, their encounter is interrupted by a call from Whitney’s dad who’s just been arrested. Lacey accompanies Whitney to the police station to offer her support. If there is to be any awkwardness, it will have to wait until next week’s episode. I hope that Whitney sticks around, even if she’s not a love interest for Lacey. While you can never be too sure of anyone’s intentions on the show, Whitney seems genuine in her attraction to Lacey.  Also, she injects a fun loving spirit into a show that is, by all accounts, quite dark. It would be interesting to see how Lacey and Whitney navigate their new friendship and the possible complications that arise.

What do you think about Whitney Taylor?

You can follow Dana on Twitter @danapiccoli 

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