July 17, 2013 | 11:34 am
Posted by Zan Romanoff
It's weird how hard it is to work technology into stories. We spend all day texting and tweeting, getting updates, making calls, but for some reason it looks awkward on-screen, both when teens text do u want 2 go out l8er and when adults send the same. It just always feels forced and awkward, like product placement even when it isn't. Apparently this happened when telephones first became common, too. It only took like a hundred years for them to work their way from our homes into our narratives.
There's also the matter of how boring it can make things-- think of how many classic plots are obviated by the existence of the cell phone. (Romeo and Juliet, I am looking at you.) I'm pretty sure the Sex and the City movie was one of the first to just take a character's mobile out of the equation (a little girl puts Carrie's in her purse, preventing Big from reaching her for reassurance on their wedding day so that he ends up abandonding her at the altar) but it's now become industry standard: the phone can be stolen or lost or running out of battery just as long as characters can't use them for anything. It's how we're dealing in the mean time.
What was puzzling about last night's Twisted is that no one ever suggested using Google instead of taking a long road trip that all three characters had to lie to their parents about, that took Danny across state lines in violation of his parole, and that had a really extraordinarily scant chance of working in the first place. They trio head to Connecticut, following the trail of a return address on an envelope sent to the murdered Regina just before she died. It contained hundreds of dollars in exchange for a promise that Regina keep her mouth shut about something; it's not a hard leap to take to imagine that the kids are now on the trail of her killer. They seem pretty blithetly unconcerned about that, though, about what they'll say when they meet him, whether he might put them in danger.
Instead the episode is mostly about working out the tensions between Lacey and Jo, whose once-strong friendship fell apart after Danny killed his aunt when they were twelve. On the one hand, of course it's believable that two truamatized middle schoolers wouldn't be able to stick together; on the other, it's a tired version of the same old girlight: one got goth, the other went popular, they stabbed one another in the back. The trailer for next week's episode promises more romantic entanglements, and I'm sure their tentative truce will fall apart again when they realize they're both pining after handsome, mysterious, still-possibly-a-killer Danny. My kingdom for two teenage girls who have real, strong on-screen friendships, who choose one another over boys, who don't even have to make that choice because they have different taste in men-- however unimaginable that might seem.
Of course I'm sure it won't work out that way-- they're setting us up for Jo to realize at some point that she's always loved her geeky best-friend-in-the-interim, Rico, who's pretty obviously got a huge thing for her. But I can't help reading it like a consolation prize: just once it would be nice not to tell the dorky, awkward, sullen girl that she just doesn't know what she wants yet, that what she wants is the shy puppy love of someone who's never interested her before.
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