Hands down the most origianal drama series of the 90's, "Twin Peaks" paved ground for "The X-Files," "Northern Exposure," "Lost" and even less obvious relations like "Aly McBeal" and "The West Wing." Before HBO Original Programing it pushed the limits of
David Lynch and Mark Frost's "Twin Peaks" is my favorite show of all time. It remains one of the most beautifuly filmed television series of all time (Along with "X-Files" and "The West Wing"), looking very cinematic, but always retaining a "tv" feel. The complex and quirky serialized writing, while not always successful, was never the less quite brilliant.
The episodes directed by co-creater Lynch are a standout, of course. The pilot episode is one the most compelling and emotional openings to any tv show. The on location filming really gives you the feeling that Twin Peaks is a real town, and you can truly feel the pain of the townspeople as they try to deal with the death of Laura Palmer. Lynch's second episode will be forever remembered for its disturbing, backwards talking dream sequence ending, with its red curtains and dancing midget.
Perhaps the best episode of the series, apart from the truly terrifing final episode, is Episode 14. This episode has everything - hysterical humor, romance, suspense, and a haunting ending - along with THE most violent murder ever shown on network televison. It is a masterpiece of writing and directing.
Twin Peaks is without doubt one of the freakiest and most interesting shows of all time and it introduced people who've never before seen Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, etc. to the incredible nightmarish mind of David Lynch...
Arrrgh! Season II on DVD pushed back again! My Season I box/import pilot/Fire Walk with Me look so incomplete on the shelf (well- okay- they are standing next to every Lynch movie on DVD- even an Industrial Symphony bootleg)... Twin Peaks is without doubt one of the freakiest (if not thee- only thing close I can think of in terms of freakishness is Carnivale- another show cancelled after two seasons also featuring Michael Anderson) and most interesting shows of all time and it introduced people who've never before seen Elephant Man, Blue Velvet, Eraserhead, etc. to the incredible nightmarish mind of David Lynch...
When people talk about Twin Peaks they usually have some vague recollection of a series about a girl that was murdered -or something like that- but this series has so much more underneath. It has lots of comedy, black humour of the greatest kind. It has some of the most memorable characters ever; chiefly in my list is Agent Cooper (one of the all time greatest characters, bar none) whose small quips into his dict-a-phone have become the stuff of legends, “Weather man said it would be sunny. Why is it, Diane, that we pay someone to be wrong 60% of the time?”.
The most important feature of Twin Peaks however is, as should be expected, the mystery associated around the murder Laura palmer, and the associated Bob. I wont ruin anything for you, but suffice to say it is one creepy story, which, even after the main murder is solved, continues to be one of the moist scariest and creepiest shows ever produced.
So to sum up, if you have never watched any, get the season1 dvd now! For anyone who has seen it but remembers little, I advise buying the superb DVD and rekindling those moments you have forgotten. This was a bold show that changed the face of T.V, if your considering a career in T.V or even in film, this is a must watch. If you can get the second season as well, on vhs or whatever, even though it is not as good, it is still a lot better than most T.V shows are now.
I have heard many say that season 1 is better than season 2. I think that season 2 requires a lot more thought to figure out, but if you put some time into it, it's more rewarding than season 1 (just not as accessible).
If you are considering watching this show, then what you need to know is that there is an extremely large cast of quirky characters that populate the small Northwestern town of Twin Peaks. The show starts out as a murder investigation, but the elements of mystery quickly expand beyond the realms of forensic science.
I found most of the characters to be extremely likeable, but I've seen people get annoyed that every character has a quirk.
Two things that may help you to enjoy season 2 is to know that season 2 is a ghost story, and that season 2 finishes uncompleted (due to the cancellation of the show).
Season 1 hooks you in, in a quirky detective story fashion, but ultimately the goal of the show was to lead the unwary viewer into the mysteries of Twin Peak's "woods". Which in the end, turns into a quasi-mysticism filled adventure drawing upon ghost stories, ancient Indian legends, and modern day spins on how these elements of the ancient world leak into modern day (un/)consciousness.
A lot of season 2 is filled with symbolism, that takes some time to figure it. Although at first glance it appears to be "weird for the sake of weird". As more details come in what was weird at first, when taken in symbolic context can have meaning later on. Anyone who enjoys reading Joseph Campbell will enjoy this show. Keep in mind that as a David Lynch, Mark Frost production, there are going to be some very remarkable visual images throughout the show.
Lastly, a lot of people get very irritated at the cliff hanger ending. But if you know ahead of time that it's going to happen, it can take the edge off. My personal theory is that the ending of season 2 just would have led to a fantastic season 3, and envisioning the events of season 3 can be very thought provoking, and get the creativity juices flowing.
Additionally, the movie "Fire Walk With Me" does give a sense of closure in that a critical question lingering at the end of season 2 is answered by Laura Palmer in a vision. Whatever you do, don't see this movie until you've seen the entire show.
I hope that people read this and decide to watch season 2. I also hope that season 2 becomes available on dvd (I own the laserdiscs but who has those anymore?)
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