David Lynch is a unique creature. His works are something of mental labyrinths, stimulating and at times seemingly impossible to figure out (most notably Lost Highway and Inland Empire). But at the same time, that’s the beauty of them. His early ‘90s TV show Twin Peaks might be his most accessible (and arguably most popular) creation considering its cult classic status. Here are five reasons why you should check it out:
One of the greatest things I love about Twin Peaks, and I think something that every murder-mystery TV show out there needs to embrace, is a strong sense of intrigue – a unique sort of air surrounding the plot that must draw the viewer into the mystery. The frame of Twin Peaks is something like a macabre thriller, however its surrealism surrounded by moments of quirkiness and flat out bizarre red herrings that build up to plot twists make it truly unique. The show ties up loose ends in a way that may seem familiar, but the real treat is watching it get there.
To reiterate the intrigue mentioned above, the show contains an identity that no TV program has since been able to capture. Released in 1990, Twin Peaks ran for only two seasons, and although it ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, I’ve always felt satisfied with the finished product and its refreshing confidence. Also notable is its jazzy soundtrack, a feature that pairs nicely with the tone (believe it or not) and sometimes hits notes to cater to different characters.
The coffee-drinking, donut-eating FBI agent who’s sent to investigate the murder of a young woman in the town of Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper is brilliantly captured by MacLachlan (he won a Golden Globe for his performance), who brings just the right amount of goofiness and bravery, avoiding that hero cliché. Cooper was really a character ahead of his time, especially considering the other types of heroes Hollywood was shelling out during this period.
The town of Twin Peaks is a pretty crazy place, where nothing is as it seems. Other than Special Agent Cooper, the plot includes a woman who reveals secrets via her pet log, a giant man who appears in the dreams of Agent Cooper to warn him of dangers ahead and an entity in the form of a dancing midget who gives Cooper clues to catching the killer.
As a fan of David Lynch, I just really enjoy the show’s puzzle-box structure, and it’s really entertaining to see several legendary actors in their “hey day”. Also, it’s a ‘90s show and the ‘90s were awesome. Duh.
If you aren’t familiar with any of Lynch’s work, please start here with this timeless program. Seriously, do yourself a favor, especially since both seasons of the show are on Netflix!