Out executive producer Joni Lefkowitz and her best friend/writing partner Susanna Fogel are best known for their comical quips (like in their new feature film Life Partners), which is why it might seem a little strange that their new ABC Family show is about cancer. But just because Chasing Life follows 24-year-old April (Italia Ricci) as she deals with a critical health diagnosis, among many other things, doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments of lighthearted comic relief, sarcasm and overall enjoyability — which means Joni and Susanna have done their jobs well.
“Our favorite thing to do is bring comedy to drama, which we just haven’t had the opportunity to do before but we thought this would be great,” Joni said.
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.
The pinnacle of the whole episode, though, is when Adrian situates herself across from Grace on the couch in their apartment, donning a slinky bathrobe, and Grace asks her to kiss her, for curiosity’s sake. Pillow talk beforehand includes that what made Adrian really curious about kissing girls was the Katy Perry song (at this point I was fake gagging over the side of my couch) and that she’s thought about kissing Angelina Jolie (fair enough). She and Grace touch lips — once, twice —before Grace rears back, flips out, and runs from the apartment.