After the body of Laura Palmer washes up on the beach, FBI agent Dale Cooper visits the town of Twin Peaks to uncover the strange mystery around her death.
I’m guessing you’ve all been anticipating this review given my reviews of other David Lynch works. It’s finally time to delve into the show that made him famous. I’m guessing most of you have at least heard of Twin Peaks if you haven’t seen it. One of the best TV shows of all time according to some, it developed a massive cult following and made writer/director David Lynch into a household name. The only reason I ever would’ve found any of his other works is because of this show. Is it as good as people say it is? Let’s find out.
There are a lot of really interesting characters in Twin Peaks, from the amicably upbeat Dale Cooper to sweet, kind Ed Hurley, who runs the local gas station. You rarely see characters that are as likable as the ones in Twin Peaks. All of them have their very own charms and quirks. Even characters that serve very small purposes in the show end up having big personalities. Such is the case of Lucy Moran, the police department’s receptionist. While she mainly serves as a vehicle in which to deliver important information, she has a very fun, bubbly personality that makes her stand out as a character.
The show’s writing is really interesting, as the campy dialogue makes it unique. While a lot of Lynch’s earlier and later works included this style of dialogue, in Twin Peaks it worked particularly well, as it was less jarring and unrealistic than his earlier works. While it wasn’t the most realistic approach to dialogue, it was just exaggerated and campy enough to come across as charming or creepy or whatever other emotion was intended. The characters wouldn’t be so well done if not for the dialogue. The show is remembered for some of its iconic lines, the ones that are still being referenced today, like the “damn fine cup of coffee” line said by Cooper, which is just another reason the show’s dialogue is so unique.
There are a lot of creepy, and some terrifying, moments in Twin Peaks. Like a lot of his earlier and later works, a lot of these moments make very little sense and don’t make any more sense as the series continues. All of the scenes in the Black Lodge, for example, make very little sense, but are terrifying nonetheless. The Black Lodge is to this day one of my favorite TV show settings because it’s both simple yet effective. A couple of chairs, a statue, and a red curtain backdrop create this eerie, unsettling atmosphere. The characters within the black lodge, particularly the Man from Another World, (the man in the red suit) also work to add creepiness. The Man from Another World is both visually unsettling because of his size and facial structure, and unsettling through his dialogue and his actions. He seems interested in Cooper in almost a predatory way, and nothing he says makes sense. Therefore, his presence allows for chilling scenes.
The music is excellent as well, really helping with the series’ atmosphere.
For those of you that have seen my previous David Lynch reviews, you’d know his movies are bizarre. Twin Peaks is no different. Ultimately, if you understand this going into it, you can enjoy the show for what it is. But, if that’s not your thing, this won’t be the show for you. It’s impossible to enjoy the show without having some appreciation for it’s nonsensical nature.
One small nitpick of this series is that while we see a lot of the double life version of Laura Palmer, including her cocaine addiction and her affair, but we never see the part of Laura that was the homecoming queen. We see how she was a kind person, but we don’t see the good girl that contrasts greatly with her prostitution and drug addiction, we only see the bad. We are told of the good, but never shown, and as a result the contrast between these two personas is less real then it could’ve been.
Another small nitpick is that the character of Maddy Ferguson was unnecessary. She’s mostly there as a Laura Palmer look-a-like, while being a Laura Palmer act-a-like as well. The entire reason she’s there is to give Sheryl Lee, the actress who plays both characters, more screen time. Ultimately, the series could’ve done without her.
This series is really impressive in a lot of ways, and is definitely worth the watch for those who can appreciate strange things.
Twin Peaks: The Best of Lynch
Writing - 9.7/109.7/10
Storyline - 9.2/109.2/10
Acting - 9.6/109.6/10
Music - 10/1010/10
Production - 10/1010/10
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