It’s finally here! I’ve been waiting for this show since the sneak peak. Never have I fallen so quickly for a show, but I fell for this one. I fell so hard that I watched the sneak peak twice when it was released, and I watched the premier tonight. So you can imagine how disappointed I’ll be if this show falls through the cracks. Don’t disappoint me, ABCFamily! Don’t disappoint me or ABCFamily, producers!
So we open up with two girly voices talking, right? And then I spot an afro, and right away I am happy. The children talking are Lacey and Jo, and a third child walks up to them, and his name is Danny but Lacey calls him Numbnuts, and no matter how many times I watch the pilot, I don’t get used to those words coming out of her mouth. Children talk to each other like this? I’m truly scandalized. And apparently so were ABCFamily because they changed everything about this opening scene :(. I’m in mourning ;(.
Instead of calling Danny Numbnuts, Little brand new!Lace calles him Dude. -___-.
Anyways, the point of the matter is Danny totally killed his auntie with a red rope. Maybe. Either way, he got sent to juvie for five years.
Cut to the present where Jo is waking up. She starts her morning with news that Danny is back in town and, even better, back in school. Her school. Her parents think this calls for a visit to the shrink. They bicker, and Jo decides that maybe they should go see the shrink. In the middle of this, a future supermodel is being interviewed, and she’s not happy about Danny being back either. She’s so unhappy that she calls him “Socio.”
Jo’s mom identifies the model as Lacey, and she thinks Jo and Lacey should cling to each other at this time, because they’re the only ones who have Danny in common. Jo passes, because grunge/rock has nothing in common with supermodel.
We also learn that Danny’s father, Vikram Desai (btw, I think Danny’s last name is very pretty) fell off a yacht and hasn’t been found. Mmm-hmm. I’m waiting for a surprise reappearance. We see the back of Danny’s head on the tv, because they don’t want us to know how good-looking he is yet.
So Jo’s dad drives her to school, and the music that’s playing is nice. Jo’s really not feeling Danny being at her school, and her dad offers to come get her if things get too rough. Jo gets out of her car and runs into the friend she’s made since she cut ties with Danny and Lacey: Rico. Rico’s ignoring all of the reporters and the news of the child killer who’s now attending their school and ends up making Jo laugh.
We head over to Lacey and the friends she’s made since letting Danny and Jo go. Their names are Sarita and Regina, and they tell Lacey that her “Socio” nickname is trending (is it just the student body who got the nickname to trend, or is the story of Danny killing his aunt a national thing?). Sarita and Regina are 100% ready to jump Danny if he gets too close. It warms my heart.
Inside the school, we meet Lacey’s boyfriend Archie. He’s alright. Not an asshole or a douche. They seem happy. She willingly pulls him back for a kiss, but they’re an established relationship, and tv tends to hate those, so I wonder when they’ll break up.
Regina spots Jo, who is the only person wearing a bonnett in the hallway. I think she’s wearing the bulkiest clothes in the hallway, actually. Anyways, her hair makes Regina sad, and Sarita is dumbfounded at the fact that Lacey used to be friends with Jo. She wonders what they used to talk about, and Lacey mumbles something about not remembering, and then….she goes over to talk to Jo.
Lacey asks her if she still gets “those dreams” about Danny, and Jo lies and says no but then gives herself away when Lacey gets the color of the rope wrong. It was red, not yellow. Lacey invites Jo to a party, and Jo’s ungrateful and calls Lacey and her friends superficial.
The hallway starts buzzing (I think this is the most attentive town on tv at the moment) because Danny’s walkin’. Lacey and Jo realize this and want to disappear into the wall, but Danny knows what they look like. Regina decides that she likes what Danny looks like.
Danny tries to joke and make conversation, but the principal’s like, “No,” and asks him to come to the office. He basically wants to let Danny know that his social life is going to be a nightmare. He also thinks Danny’s mom is hot.
Danny finds Jo, and Jo achieves her goal of yelling at an accused killer. She brings up her ruined childhood, her post-traumatic stress, and basically her rough life after what Danny did. Danny tries to defend his good name, but that’s hard to do when he can’t tell her the truth. He asks for help finding his class. It’s the same class Jo is in, and she’s just thrilled about that.
In class, Danny learns that his nickname on “the Twitter” is “Socio.” Archie is nagging Danny, and Jo asks how one can spot a sociopath. She just needs to look for clues of a person mimicking emotion. Easy!
In the cafeteria, Regina’s letting Lacey and Sarita know that she’s down to 40% as far as jumping Danny in Lacey’s defense goes. She just thinks he’s so hot. I love Regina :(. She says she and Lacey are like sisters :(. She also calls her sensitive twice in the episode, and I wonder if there’s anything to it. Anyways, she ends up inviting Danny to the party, despite Sarita’s protest. Sarita’s gorgeous, btw. Maybe she and Lacey will room together at the beginning of their supermodel careers. Also of import in the scene, Danny recognizes the necklace that Regina is wearing.
At a diner, Jo’s still thinking about Danny’s story vs the story she has of him in her head, and Rico’s appropriating AAVE. Stop it, Rico. No. And then he tries explaining “chillaxing” to Jo as if he’s more in the know than she is. Thankfully Danny walks in and cuts this short.
Danny walks over to talk to Jo. Jo was hoping that Danny hadn’t seen her even though he clearly waved at her. Rico’s very uncomfortable with the situation, and Danny lets him know that he is too. He also tells Jo that he’s feeling like he’s 11 again, something that Jo had said to her father earlier. He wants Jo to give him a chance.
Jo follows him outside, and tells him that he can’t keep trying to converse with her, because he’s an accused murderer, and everyone’s always staring at him. She doesn’t want that in her life. But she apologizes to him about his vanished father. And he invites her to Regina’s party. So they have plans!
So two social outcasts walk into a
bar party and talk about how they’re outcasts. Regina’s psyched that Danny came. She’s only 20% happy that Jo came too. She takes her aside to talk to her, and the scene goes better than I expected. Regina’s not mean to Jo at all. She even offers to share Danny with her, because sharing is caring. Such a good hostess!
The two supermodels are laughing and drinking, and they’re joined by future male model Danny. Sarita’s still 100% on jumping Danny, so Danny talks about the facial hair problem she used to have. Sarita remembers no such phase in her life, but Danny insists, so she leaves Lacey to fend for herself.
Lacey’s not impressed with Danny’s social skills, but he says his social skills are good enough that Lacey’s talking to him. Oop! Regina comes over and says the word “socio” like four times and the words “stud-off” like 6 times. Danny learns that Lacey started the socio trend and gives her a thumbs up about the idea even though he looks kind of hurt, and she looks kind of embarrassed that he found out. After he leaves, Lacey reams Regina about using the word Socio. And we have Regina calling Lacey sensitive for the second time.
Elsewhere, Jo bumps into Sarita, and Sarita does that super slow turn that lets everyone watching know that something physical or verbal is about to go down. Either way, Jo will never make the mistake of bumping into Sarita again. Sarita chooses the verbal option and congratulates Jo on not being the stereotypical outcast White girl who doesn’t care about fashion and hairstyles. I kept waiting for them to overdo it with Jo in the episode, but they didn’t, and I’m thankful for that.
Sarita is the first Green Grove resident to register in my Look at Your Life; Look at Your Choices class. Sarita, it’s cool that you wanted Jo to have more fun. I’m even happy that she obliged you. But when she’s putting up a struggle and saying that she does not want a strange guy sucking liquid off her stomach, you do not help said strange guy force Jo’s clothes off. You do not do that. Look at your choices. The show brought attention to the guy’s wrongdoing and Jo called him a potential rapist (kind of doing the most with that), but you were a culprit too.
Danny comes over and squashes the whole thing. He whispers in the dude’s ear, and it was kind of creepy. Even the music stopped. Like I said, this town has the most attentive residents.
Danny and Jo decide to walk home because Jo’s drunk (did they walk to the party?), but Lacey saves them the trek by offering them a ride. Jo is drunkenly happy about this.
Jo continues to be happy drunk when she gets home. She tells her mom about Regina offering to share Danny with her. This earns Danny a door slam in the face from Jo’s father.
Lacey drops Danny home, and he asks her to come inside. She hesitates, but he lures her in with potato chips. Inside, they reminisce about when they were younger.They share some laughs until Danny brings up Jo. Lacey’s like, “Tell me how she painted herself as the victim and me as the villain.” Danny’s like, “She ain’t said all that, but is that what happened?” Lacey tells him that middle school is hard enough without being known as the girls who are besties with the murderer. I totally feel Lacey. Middle school, 8th grade specifically, marked my hardest time in school. Ugh. Anyways, Lacey said she had to look out for herself and part of doing that was cutting Jo out.
Danny makes his plea to Lacey, telling her that he misses their OT3 status. There’s a part in the scene where Danny looks very sinister. Mmm-hmm. Anyways, he tells Lacey that the past is in the past, and he wants to focus on the present, and this involves looking at Lacey’s lips. Danny! Danny and I see eye to eye, because when I first watched this scene, I was like, “Lacey’s mouth is really pretty. Danny doesn’t notice?” And then he noticed! She seemed to notice his mouth too, but maybe it was just nervousness on her part. Danny kind of leans in, because what’s 5 years gone? Lacey leans in too….she leans in all the way to the bag of potato chips. Danny takes it in stride ’cause they got a whole school year.
Look at Your Life; Look at Your Choices. Thanks for registering, Lacey. Let’s talk about the fact that you don’t trust Danny, really think chances are good that he murdered his aunt, and yet…..you slept over at his house. You didn’t even hide a weapon under your pillow or anything. Just straight conked out on the floor. I don’t understand this version of self-preservation. Look at your choices.
While Lacey’s knocked out, Danny’s rejecting Regina by way of text. He pauses, however, when she tells him that she knows why he killed his aunt. Whoops.
The next day, Lacey wakes up looking pretty. Future supermodel, I tell you. She quickly leaves, but is spotted by Danny’s mom. Danny’s mom is looking like, “Good job, honey.” Smh.
Regina doesn’t wake up at all, though. Someone killed her ;_____;. I was so heartbroken. I liked her upbeat, devil-may-care attitude.
Jo shows up to Danny’s house, and he’s not looking too shabby for early in the morning. She comes in and finds out that Lacey spent the night. Oops. Danny assures her that nothing happened. Jo, Danny, and Danny’s mom find out that Regina died, and Jo and Karen look at Danny like, “My God, did he kill her?” Seriously. They stared at him.
At school, Regina’s friends are grieving. Sarita’s lap dog (seriously, he said hi to her the day before and pulled her into a hug and then he immediately took his shirt off when she told him too. I appreciate those things) says that he offered to bang Regina if all she wanted was to be banged. Archie suspects Danny as the killer, and his proof is Regina’s lap dog’s account of what Danny told him at the party: if he didn’t back off of Jo, Danny would kill him. I don’t fully believe that Danny said that, but maybe he capitalized on his reputation to get the guy away from Jo. Lacey doesn’t quite believe it.
There’s a school meeting to mourn Regina, and Sarita gets messy and names Danny as the killer. The police bust in to cart Danny away for questioning, but Jo watched Not Another Teen Movie the night before and realizes that this is the perfect moment for a big speech. She stands and does her best. Rico even starts a slow-clap in support, but Sarita’s, Lacey’s, Archie’s, Danny’s (even Danny!), and the rest of the student body’s combined side-eyes are too strong, the flop factor is too high, so Jo’s speech falls flat. Sadness.
After the students are let out, Jo wants to know why the heck Lacey didn’t join Rico in the slow-clap. She knows Lacey agrees with her, because she saw the slow-clap in Lacey’s eyes. She also says she knows Lacey slept over Danny’s house. She’s Danny’s alibi! Lacey’s like, “First of all, my best friend just died. Second of all, I was in the land of dreams, plenty of time for him to leave and kill, if he was so inclined.” Jo gives Lacey a little leeway and apologizes about Regina, but she insists that Lacey must stop being selfish and support Danny.
Let’s welcome Jo to Look at Your Life; Look at Your Choices. Joanna (I don’t know if her full name is Joanna), it is A-okay if you believe Danny. It’s okay if you want to be Captain Save a Socio. But just the day before you were skittish outside of the bakery. Why is it so hard now for you to get that Lacey’s still feeling the way you felt just the day before? Especially since she lost her best friend the day after Danny started attending the school? Your life choices are your own, and I recommend you look at them and realize that Lacey does not need to mimic them.
Jo ignores my advice and chooses instead to bump Lacey on her way out of the scene. Well then. She then starts losing her shit when Danny lets her know that he lied to the police. Oh. I guess she’s the only one who’s allowed to flip flop where belief in Danny is concerned.
Danny says, “I may have killed someone, but I never lied to you.” Ummm.
That night, Danny and his mom have a fight about her wanting to feel popular. She ends it by offering to take him out of town and make things more difficult for him on the legal front. Danny’s watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent, however, and knows that’s a bad idea.
After Karen leaves, we find out that the reason Danny recognized Regina’s necklace is because the aunt he allegedly murdered either had one that looked just like it or she had the same necklace. It’s definitely the same necklace. Why? Because Danny went through the trouble of taking it off of Regina’s dead body. Dun, Dun, Duuuun!
I don’t think Danny killed Regina. He probably killed his aunt, and if he did then why the heck is he so upbeat? But I don’t think we’re watching a show about an unrepentant killer. Someone was in that house with little Danny, and that someone is still alive, seeing as Danny still feels like he can’t tell anyone the truth. I wonder if the person is watching him.
I like all of the characters that were introduced. I’m looking forward to see how Danny, Jo, and Lacey rebuild their friendship. I hope the show plays it as them getting to know each other again. All they have right now is the past, but they’ve all grown since then. Lacey said that she hadn’t eaten those potato chips in years. They’re not the same people; they have different interests now. Sarita knows Lacey better than Jo and Danny do. Rico knows Jo better than Lacey and Danny do. From the promos, it seems like Rico’s going to stick around, so Sarita better stick around, too. I don’t want Lacey’s friend to disappear just because she’s getting close to Danny and Jo again, especially if they’re going to keep Jo’s friendship with Rico. Because that will annoy me a lot.
I’m looking forward to more of Lacey. I side-eyed the fact that we didn’t meet even one of her parents in the first episode. She’s the only one of the OT3 whose parent we didn’t meet and whose house we didn’t see. I don’t trust television with poc characters, Black female characters especially. If you’re naive, you’ll think they’re just saving details about their lives for later, but if you’re in the know, you realize that them “saving it” usually means they’re going to ignore it. But I heard some things about episode 4, so it’s all good.