‘Twin Peaks’: a show both wonderful and strange

Riley Palma, Entertainment Editor

In a calm, quiet town in the pacific northwest, the homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, is found dead, and a mystery begins to unravel. This is where “Twin Peaks” begins. “Twin Peaks” is a television show with three seasons that aired from 1990-1991;2017 created by Mark Frost and David Lynch, plus a prequel movie from 1992 directed by David Lynch. It is hands down, without a doubt, my all time favorite TV show. It can only be described as a mystery. The first two seasons airing in the early 1990s are very different from the third season (known as “Twin Peaks: The Return”) which aired nearly 25 years later in 2017. This is largely due to the fact that the co-creator David Lynch directed every episode in the third season. Mark Frost was still affiliated with “Twin Peaks” and even helped write and produce the third season. This was a big step up for Lynch and his work on “Twin Peaks” as he had only directed 6 of the 30 episodes in the series’ original run. Lynch is well known for his offbeat, dark, and surreal art style. This is very apparent in the third season which houses his 18 episode, 18 hour, journey. It picks up directly where the original series left off. I will only be talking about the original run of the series, seasons 1 and 2.

“Twin Peaks” holds a special place in my heart. My love for it runs deep. It had such an impact on my life. It is one of those shows that sticks with you and that you can’t stop watching. revolutionized the way mysteries were told. Season 1 is near perfect. 8 episodes including the incredible pilot. Although there are some boring parts in the show, the story and characters make up for it. There are so many characters each with their own defining traits that you get to know over the course of the show. One character ‘The Log Lady’ is a kooky older woman who is always seen carrying and talking to her log. My favorite character is Special Agent Dale Cooper, (Played by Kyle MacLachlan) the main man who works for the FBI and is solving the case of Laura’s murder. He has a passion for black coffee and cherry pie. His charm and brilliance make the show what it is and it wouldn’t be the same if he were portrayed by anybody else. 

The setting of a small cozy town in the pacific northwest is perfect. I think it is captured very well. The way everybody knows each other and all the places around town. The frequent trucks carrying wood from the lumber mill are a constant reminder of the quiet, wooded, landscape that is the town of Twin Peaks. 

The show blends drama, comedy, romance, mystery, and supernatural elements together so seamlessly. It all works well together and they compliment each other nicely. The otherworldly components of the show are so fascinating to me. They are so bizarre and eerie. There are only a few scenes that take place in a strange unsettling setting known as ‘The Black Lodge’. Though there are little scenes in ‘The Black Lodge’ every single one of them is remarkable. The look of the room is iconic with the black and white zig-zag floors and the red curtains in the background. Nothing but 3 chairs, 2 lamps, an end table, and an old roman statue. ‘The Black Lodge’ is home to many creatures such as ‘The Man from Another Place’ often referred to as ‘The Arm’. He is a small man who wears a red suit and is often seen dancing. The way ‘The Black Lodge’ scenes are filmed is super cool to me. Everyone in ‘The Black Lodge’ talks backwards. So when they film a scene that takes place there they have the actors move in reverse and the way they speak is very interesting. They will say their line and record it and play it backwards, they will then say what it sounds like backwards to produce a forward sounding word. It is so unique and strange and special to me. 

The music is 100% one of the biggest things about the show. The music, including the iconic theme, was all done by the incredibly talented Angelo Badalamenti. Angelo collaborated with Lynch on many of his other projects where he created the score. The music he created for the show is so moving and beautiful and it truly makes the show perfect. Such a variety of music as well. One song a slow, dark, jazz beat, the next a cheery, upbeat tune. I love his music and it will always hold a special place in my heart. He sadly passed away late last year. Julee Cruise also performed songs in the show at the local bar ‘The Roadhouse’. She too is incredibly talented and has a unique voice and a sad, lonely style to her songs. 

The main story of “Twin Peaks”  doesn’t last as long as you’d expect it to. After the first season ended and the mystery was left unsolved, the network that “Twin Peaks” was airing on, ABC, pushed the creators Lynch and Frost to solve the mystery. They weren’t happy with this as their original plan was to never reveal who murdered Laura Palmer. So nine episodes into season two the killer was revealed. But they still had 21 episodes left in the season… The rest of the second season, except for the last few episodes, were unbearable to almost all viewers. It is known among fans as the ‘Seasons Two Slump’, as the main driving point of the series is gone. This sadly results in an incredibly boring string of episodes where the characters have nothing to do. Some characters put on a war reenactment that lasts a few episodes, and some characters just leave the show. This ruined “Twin Peaks”  reputation and the ratings dropped insanely low. This left a lot of fans upset and it seemed like all hope was lost. 

Then they introduced a new storyline. Dale Cooper’s former FBI partner Windom Earle, who went crazy, was dead set on getting Cooper. This helped drive the show more but it was already too late as a lot of the viewers had already given up on “Twin Peaks”. They ultimately redeemed themselves with the finale of the show which is one of the best episodes of the entire series. It has such a dark ending and an unsettling vibe the whole time. Some of the imagery they do is great and looks so cool. 

Overall, the original run of the series is in my opinion the best part of all of “Twin Peaks” . It is so incredible. Every character is so unique and special. The setting is comforting. I love how weird and unsettling it can be. The music is some of the most beautiful I have ever heard. It holds a place near and dear in my heart and always will. It is a show that I recommend to everybody. Please, go watch “Twin Peaks”.