ABC Family has a new show, so, duh, I'm watching it. It has the same plot as basically all of their other shows, which should surprise no one.
If something can be criticized as "formulaic," I can almost guarantee you that I will like it. (File this under Reasons I'm Not a Hipster.) This is how I see it: We reuse formulas because those formulas are awesome. They work every time.
The Backstreet Boys, for example, change keys two-thirds of the way through practically every song. And that is always, ALWAYS, the best part of the song. No need to tamper with a formula that works. (Coca-Cola tried once, and we all know how that turned out.)
Twisted, like Pretty Little Liars and The Lying Game before it, centers around teenagers who
- are ridiculously beautiful,
- are played by adults, and
- make terrible decisions
as they try to solve murders/mysteries involving
- false accusations,
- potential framing, and
- corrupt/misguided law enforcement
all while navigating typical high school drama such as
- relationships/love triangles,
- pesky principals, and
- parents' marital problems.
And, of course, the amazing hair/wardrobes and the unrealistically articulate and intuitive "teenage" boys are, respectively, the whipped cream and the cherry on top of this delicious dramatic recipe.
Only one ABC Family formula has started to bug me, and that is the characters' proclivity for late-night visits to cemeteries/wooded areas/seedy hotels.
Seriously, Pretty Little Liars, will you ever learn to quit going to sketchy places at night alone in four-inch heels?
This bell curve basically posits that bulking up—pumping iron, getting cut, what have you—will only make you more attractive to a certain point. Pass this point, and it will begin to have the opposite effect. (I'm pretty sure bell curves are usually for averages, but if the graph fits...)