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I watched Twin Peaks as a young teenager back when it first aired in the UK on BBC2 (Tuesdays 9pm). I was mesmerized from the start and watched faithfully every week. It was the only time I can remember being allowed to have the TV to myself in return for "babysitting" my brothers. Later I bought the box set (more than once) and have watched Twin Peaks at least once a year from start to finish including the movie and then later "The Missing Pieces." Twin Peaks has remained, and I believe will continue to remain, my absolute favorite TV show. I really am holding on to hope that season 3 will air in time. I have waited 25 yrs and will keep waiting. I love the town, the characters, the story-lines, the music and the scenery. I'm still seeing little things that I never noticed before, pictures on walls, posters in the diner. If you're a fan of Lynch or you just love quirky, weird, addictive TV shows then Twin Peaks is the show for you.
I remember when Twin Peaks first aired in Belgium, I was 12 years old
and couldn't watch it yet because it was on too late, but I was always
listening to the music while I was in my bed and my dad was watching it
in the living room. (sometimes insomnia does pay off!) It enchanted me
already back then and when I finally got to watch it 3 years later, I
enjoyed it as much as I'd expected.
I love Lynch a lot, especially because everything he makes puts you in a different state of mind. His teamwork with Mark Frost and Angelo Badalamenti, who did the wonderful music, was fantastic, perfect for the time as there was nothing else on TV that was interesting.
This series takes you away: every time I watch it (and that's at least once a year) I feel like I'm there. The atmosphere in this little town surrounded by woods is something that is quite rare in TV and even cinema.
The characters have many dimensions, their good and bad sides are being shown. This is more common for series and movies nowadays, it wasn't back then. Still there is something about Twin Peaks that made it stand the test of time... 25 years old and as good as ever, probably because this show is a flawless mix of different styles: horror, parody, nostalgia, mystery, humour and more, which makes it completely original.
Of course, the storyline isn't perfect and maybe some of the character plots are a bit redundant, especially in the second season, but who cares? The quality of most of the story is excellent enough to transcend that! Not to mention the perfect casting, acting, directing, editing, costume design and so on.
And yes, it is really worth it to watch the second season. The final episode is the best and scariest episode of any series I've ever seen!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It all starts the way we remember the film, but we soon are going to be
lost in translation, we are going to lose our memory and we are bound
to loosen our minds into something that sounds like derangement. And we
find out in the final "Lost and Found" that some lines were dropped
along the way that would have made the surreal aspect even deeper,
darker and bleaker.
A long bloody series of killings one after the other brings a federal Special Agent, a certain Dale Cooper, into the picture of this panoramic and flabbergasting mountain-scape from upland Wasington at the very border to Canada. And we wonder why a great film director decided to become the director and creator of a TV series. And we do not know, and we cannot know, and the concerned director could not even know himself. He felt the impulse, he needed some extra money, or he wanted to discover some new territory. But who cares anyway.
This series produced in 1990-1991 and followed by the film "Twin Peaks, Fire Walk With Me" in 1992 opened completely new territories and trails in TV art, because TV can be an art. First it completely dropped the autonomous episode syndrome and the whole series is but one story that cannot be considered as sliced up in episodes that would be autonomous one from the other. Each episode ends up with a strong at times melodramatic, most of the type pretty dramatic last touch that is supposed to create fear and to call for anxiety and expectation. And it is not simply what Stephen King recalls about the special teenage matinée films in the old days with one serial character, with one unified episode each week, and yet each one ending right in the most atrociously suspenseful event, like a cliffhanger just losing his grip two thousand feet over the firm ground at the foot of the cliff, but after concluding his business of the week just before.
In the case of this series that suspenseful last touch is in fact opening a new can of worms that is an amplification of the very episode and yet forcing us to lose all our certainty about what has happened in this episode, hence throwing our minds into disbelief and doubt about the whole story line and what could come next. This suspense does not require us to suspend our disbelief. It creates in our consciousness absolute disbelief about any hypotheses or conclusion we might have come to.
And sure enough from a simple detective story, a banal crime story or even a lackluster serial killer story we move to a vengeance story, a ghost story, a supernatural story, a fantastic dark fantasy of a story that never stops going beyond the margin and limits of natural circumstances.
This series has had many descendants, many children and grandchildren, from "Lost" to "Supernatural" or all the mini series produced by Stephen King or other people in the same line. As such David Lynch has opened up a real can of real rodent bugs that are haunting us, gnawing at our guts and munching our vitals with teeth of steel.
The present Gold Box Edition is particularly welcome because the modern definition of our screens and the wide size of these screens being what they are, this product that was done for low definition and small screens becomes magical. The editor of the set goes as far as giving us, at the very end some small scenes that were deleted, supposedly lost and miraculously retrieved, precisely in the low definition of the time and we can remember the fuzziness of these pictures, though at the time it was less visible because the screens were so small that the pixels were nearly microscopic.
We thus can enjoy the rich setting slightly overcrowded with props and detail, the encumbered movements and actions that find all their power and force in today's technical conditions, all for our best enjoyment.
But does it mean anything?
I am afraid not. I can't really tell you the end, but let's say it is becoming common today, especially after the last volume of the "Dark Tower" series by Stephen King in which the last page of the seventh and chronologically last volume is word for word the same as the first page of the very first volume. David Lynch is a lot more complex than just repeating the first scene of the first episode in the last scene of the last episode, but altogether it is the same pattern. Life is eternal because it repeats itself. Life is deadly, fatal, lethal, because it can start all over again just after death has struck.
The only deeper reflection you may get out of this series is that nature is beautiful, man, (and woman) is a dirty littering filthy polluting animal but deep deeper deepest in this world the polluter always gets it right bang in their faces. There is always a pine weasel that can bite your nose. Apart from that it is pure entertainment and story telling, even if at times the story telling is kind of twisted and far-fetched.
Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
The owls are not what they seem in the world of Twin Peaks. And it's
not only the owls - after all this is a David Lynch series. For
starters, the idyllic small American town feels like a throwback to the
fifties judging by its nostalgic vibe, the themes prevalent in the
show, the jazzy music that is in the air (thanks to the great Angelo
Badalamenti), and it's all intentionally so. The fifties was a time
that tried to re-establish perfect family life and all around community
wholesomeness, and yet under the surface conflicts simmered in
society's underbelly - like in Twin Peaks where under the appearance of
perfection evil rears its ugly head. Everywhere secrets are wrapped in
secrets, and one of the wrapped secrets is the body of homecoming queen
Even if you're aware of this premise it won't prepare you for the incomparable mix of melodrama, horror, camp, surrealism and the supernatural that awaits you in Twin Peaks, as "Twin Peaks" is like no other show. And there's more. Because despite all the darkness and even mythical depth of evil that slowly creeps into the series and adds a bizarre, cryptic turn to the course of events, what dominates the show is its all around quirkiness, the soap opera-like banter, the strange situations and above all an eccentric humorous quality, a far cry from any regular crime series drama. Lynch on the one hand goes all the way to depict the primeval existential fears and the horrid things that dwell, thrive in us and corrupt us, but he uncovers these abysses not primarily through hard facts, but by dream-inspired investigation that link subconscious experiences to brutal criminal realities. On the other hand the dark humor Lynch injects elevates the show to a mesmerizing and fascinating hybrid of two extremes. This all wouldn't work if Lynch couldn't manage to weave a unique spell around the viewer that seduces him into a reality permeated by mythical truths that can be taken as profound and lightweight at the same time.
Focal point of course is FBI Agent Dale Cooper whose idiosyncratic methods to find a murderer are based more on intuition than logic, but he's just one of the oddball characters that make "Twin Peaks" a real treat: Meet - among others - e.g. Deputy Andy (Stan Laurel inspired), FBI Regional Bureau Chief Gordon Cole (Lynch himself), a dwarf, a giant and a shady presence with the common name Bob to name just a few. If you're looking for something you have never seen before and probably will never see again, a crime show between hilarious soap opera and existential profoundness with mythical undertones, then "Twin Peaks" will do the job. Side effect: A possible sudden craving for cherry pie and damn fine coffee. (And an urge to see the movie that was made as a prequel later on and failed miserably. Advice: Skip that one to keep the magic of the series alive.)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Twin Peaks is from a time when it was real risky to star in a TV show because there was not such a big market for TV shows before as now. Every actor took a risk here, and it sure paid off! It is about a young girl, Laura Palmer that is found dead. An FBI-agent, Dale Cooper, comes to the small and complex town of Twin Peaks to solve the crime. When he arrives he checks in to a hotel and threw the series he starts to fall in love with the small town. This show is not the regular crime show, this is almost sci-fi crime and i love it! Cooper has dreams that helps him solve the puzzle. Many people say that the show gets worse after they catch Lauras killer half into the second season. I understand that but i still love it! The show has many good characters, from sweet Lucy to snobby Dick, from dumb Andy to successful Ben Horne, from sensitive James to aggressive Bobby, from brilliant Cooper to cynical Catherine and many many more. This is good written and it makes you laugh and scream. If you love TV-shows you gotta love this.
After having watched a few episodes from the first season of 'Twin
Peaks' it struck me that this is a series that manages what virtually
no other has before it, or since. It has managed to effectively
communicate that most appealing aspect of the world; the unknown, know
to some of us through random moments of "enlightenment" or a suddenly
appearing awareness of the existence of a larger and seemingly
Those are quite big words for something as mundane as a TV show, and for anything else for that matter. Yet the sense of the mysterious and perhaps "dark" aspects of existence that seems to seep out between the lines of 'Twin Peaks' is certainly evoking feelings of something "big". The attributes of the small town named after its dramatic natural surroundings invites the viewer into a world where secrets are kept, and where information is only available through careful observation and analytical thinking, as well as a keen sensibility to the spiritual, or perhaps emotional aspects of the human psyche.
Special Agent Cooper, the man who arrives in 'Twin Peaks' in order to investigate the murder of Laura Palmer seems to possess all of these attributes, enabling him to painstakingly yet elegantly work his way through the layers of understanding and deception before him, and us. In the realistic but often eccentric environment of 'Twin Peaks' we are offered a chance to explore the misty borderland between the human will and the raw natural force of seemingly random events. It is here that Agent Cooper excels, and it is here that I am left helpless as a viewer, trailing Cooper in his efforts with a strong sense of being outside of my mental comfort zone, yet with a growing curiosity and fascination that leaves me no other choice than engulf myself in the story.
To conclude, 'Twin Peaks' represents to me something unique in television. This something is, I believe, what hides between the lines, and the beauty of the human brain's limitations when it comes to deciphering that hidden message.
Easily my favorite TV show of all time, I'm not really sure how to
critique Twin Peaks. I began watching this show after many years of
having lost faith in the value of TV. My friends encouraged me to watch
all the episodes together so I gave in and was amazed.
The cinematography and feel of the show was unbelievable. It's really the kind of show you could snuggle up to with a warm cup of coffee or tea. And yet, it pleasantly keeps you at the edge of your seat and amused by the quirks and twists throughout.
The only downside is the number of character and oddities David Lynch threw at it, as if it became something of a testing ground for random ideas. Nonetheless, no show is perfect. I truly appreciate that he was given so much creative liberty... it became what it is, rather than some PC dry and overly-polished prime time drama.
All in all, the characters stay with me. I really enjoyed it and could not recommend it enough -- watch with friends!
It is not easy to write a critical commentary to a series that seems to
have pleased hundreds of thousands of watchers in almost two decades.
However, I will dare presenting a few major flaws in this TV series
that should convince the one or other to re-think the obvious
completely uncritical appraisal of Lynch/Frost's work.
First, the first season is very seductive and addictive. It is well organized, there is actually a dramaturgy recognizable, everybody can see that there is something like a scenario at the base of what has been filmed, the effects are perfectly placed, there is not superficial gore and silliness used in order to catch the attention - in short: it is very well done, and nothing else one would await from the director of such masterpieces like "Eraserhead", "Blue Velvet" or "Mulholland Drive".
However, second, towards the end already of the first season, one has the strong idea that the story gets thinner and thinner, the dramaturgy starts to break apart and the hitherto well placed suspense-effects make space for gimmickry and claptrap. Also, suddenly psychic events are happening, alien-like figures (who will be more dominant in the second season) are appearing, the coherence is getting lost, and in order to cover that partially up, the camera switches nervously between the different part-stories happening among the peoples involved.
The third season reaches its lowest points in episodes 2.5 and 2.6 (14 and 15, respectively) whose whole sense seem to consist in confusing and prolonging the series as much as possible. Specially, I mention people who are introduced as "Dei Ex Machina", perhaps one should rather say as "Diaboli Ex Machina", since they are needed for one or two episodes, but are completely unmotivated in the whole of the story. Suddenly, we see love-scenes between protagonists which belong to the lowest possible level, obviously solely injected for filling the default frame of 47 minutes per episode. During the second season, one has also the impression that each episode has been written after the former has been filmed, and not at as whole anymore like in the first season. In order not to spoil, I give only one example: In episode 14, Special Agent Cooper suddenly remembers that he was given an envelope by Audrey, he opens it and realizes now, where she is. However, when the story is going on, we realize that this is obviously not so important for Cooper, although he fell in love to Audrey and was trying to find her during several days of his stay in Twin Peaks. Instead of following the trace that he finally found, he meets several different people, and one has the strong suspect that the writer of this episode has just taken a so-called Homeric nap.
I could go on mentioning dozens of major violations of absolutely basic features that one learns either in film school or during classes of literature in the first semesters of trimesters. Thus, the question arises: If obviously the authors went out of ideas towards the end of the first season, why did they not stop the whole project as it was, concentrating their spirits to create a good ending after 8 episodes? Artificially prolonging a TV-series is as bad as producing low-level sequels of blockbuster-hits. Sometimes euthanasia is better than revival.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I literally could not force myself to watch the entire first (pilot)
episode (I watched most of it - about an hour - before I turned it
off). Here's why: (1) - slow, slow, SLOW-moving story (2)- all of the
characters are very odd - like in the movie "Fargo" - but not humorous
like in that movie (3)- several of the characters are anachronistic -
dress and act like characters from a 50s or 60s movie (both - some are
50s, some are 60s, most are modern-day). Perhaps this was an attempt at
humor? It failed miserably. (4)- the high school students - which play
an important role in the show - all appear to be in their mid-20s. Not
done in a humorous way. (5)- inappropriate music. I don't mean that the
music is adult; I mean that it is as quirky as the characters,
typically not fitting either scene or plot. Again: not funny.
There are movies, shows and books that have included "out of place" things (characters, actors, music) in a very humorous way. The movie "Fargo" is an excellent example. This is not. In this series, we have out-of-place characters, out-of-place actors, and out-of-place music all done in a way that is neither humorous nor entertaining. The frustratingly-slow pace of the show seals the deal. One of the worst shows it has ever been my misfortune to waste my time watching.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
VERY MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD "Twin Peaks" is a very, VERY strange show.
Despite inspiring many popular series today, and setting the stage for
new and experimental shows, and being one of the first to successfully
use serialization, I'd say that there has never truly been anything
like it since. And I don't just think it's strange because of the
terrifying, surreal moments that David Lynch concocts in season one and
much of the first 9 episodes of season 2, but it's also weird because
of the many moments in between. Sometimes it was very cheesy and
melodramatic, like a soap opera, sometimes it was quirky and
sitcom-like, sometimes it was very dark and serious, depressing even,
and sometimes it was unbelievably surreal and terrifying. You never
really knew what to expect from the show, and the same was true with
the town itself. What at first seemed so innocent, so innocent in fact,
that a police officer cries every time he sees a dead body, turns out
to be far more sinister than we could ever imagine. The same goes with
the show itself. The cheesy soap opera and quirky sitcom moments held
under them deep, seriously dark secrets. Hell, Bob himself is a
personification of this idea. He hides in your next door neighbor, and
what may seem like a friendly guy, could have so much evil and
suffering beneath him, such as Laura herself. When you watch the news,
the people talking about the murderer always say "he seemed like such a
nice guy". Twin Peaks expands on that idea.
P.S. Okay, yes the show got really, REALLY bad for like 10 episodes after a certain mystery is solved, but the show's dark and surreal finale pretty much redeems all of that.
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