"She's dead. Wrapped in plastic." The day those words were uttered TV history was made and a cult classic began. Twin Peaks created a cultural phenomenon that extended to the Oprah show, inspired a prequel movie and launched the careers of around a dozen actors, actresses and the director, David Lynch.
It all begins when the body of Laura Palmer is found wrapped in plastic on a cold beach in the Pacific Northwest town of Twin Peaks. Sheriff Harry Truman is over his head dealing with this crime and welcomes the assistance of FBI agent Dale Cooper. Harry and Dale become fast friends and share a love of good pie and a "damn good cup of coffee".
Twin Peaks is filled with interesting and odd characters, a hallmark of the show along with supernatural happenings and surreal atmosphere. Laura Palmer is the the victim. She's the Homecoming Queen and everyone loves her. But as Dale and Harry's investigation deepens, we see that Laura has a second, secret, dangerous life. Donna Hayward was Laura's best friend. Laura's "official" boyfriend was Bobby Briggs, captain of the football team and hoodlum. Bobby was also seeing married waitress Shelly and Laura was secretly seeing James Hurley. Donna knew about Laura and James, the three were best friends, soon after Laura's death, Donna and James fall in love. We also have Audrey Horne, who's dad Benjamin owned the Great Northern Hotel and Horne's Department Store. Laura's parents are Leland and Sarah, both a bit nutty. Sheriff Truman's deputies are sweet but not too bright Andy and Hawk and the receptionist is Lucy. James' uncle Ed is married to Nadine, who wears a patch over one eye. Ed is in love with Norma Jennings, owner of the local diner and married to Hank, who's in prison for man-slaughter. Shelly is married to Leo Johnson, truck driver, drug dealer and wife beater. Harry is in love with and secretly seeing Josie Packard, the widow of the deceased owner of the local sawmill. Her sister in law is Catherine Martell. Catherine is convinced that Josie has something to do with her brother's death. Catherine is married to Pete and she is having an affair with Ben Horne. Those are the major players and their stories provide the bulk of the plot aside from Laura's murder. A lot I know, but it's a complicated and involved series.
Quality-wise, Twin Peaks probably should have ended after the murder of Laura was solved. After that, it seemed to just go was off track and got extremely confusing. I won't give away the murderer, but it was someone close to Laura. Lots of twists and turns and everyone is connected to everyone in some way or another. My husband is seeing your wife, my boyfriend deals drugs for my husband, my best friend was a coke fiend and slept with everyone, and so on and so forth.
Back in the late 80's and early 90's, it was either a yearly series , mini-series(10-20 hours in 2-3 hour increments), or a 2-3 hour movie. Now, it's not unusual to see a limited run series that spans for about a dozen episodes. Twin Peaks would have done well in that format. Like I said, after Laura's murder was solved, it should have ended.
My rating---10 for Laura's murder plot, 8 afterwards. Average 9.