TV Dungeon: Twin Peaks

(1990 – 1991, USA)

Creators: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick, Dana Ashbrook, Richard Beymer, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, James Marshall

2 Seasons (30 Episodes)

‘A town where everyone knows everyone and nothing is what it seems’

David Lynch, in collaboration with writer/producer Mark Frost, captured the imagination of audiences worldwide with one of the most legendary television series to emerge in the nineties: Twin Peaks. What starts as a slightly offbeat whodunit, evolves into a complex and superbly intriguing mystery thriller.

‘Who murdered the high school beauty queen Laura Palmer?’, is the original premise. But with all sorts of supernatural stuff going on, new and bigger questions arise. The mystery of the Black Lodge is one of the most fascinating ideas of the show, and though not all questions are answered in the end, the unexpected climax is still fulfilling in a strange Lynchian sort of way.

Every whodunit needs a mystery solver. In Twin Peaks, this is special FBI agent Dale Cooper, played with verve by Lynch’s favourite boy Kyle MacLachlan. This strange, donut loving detective employs quite unorthodox methods to crack the case. He has dreams and visions about dwarves and Tibet. He also knows stuff he cannot know and he is always one step ahead of the rest.

Besides McLaughlin’s strong central role, there are many supporting characters that are as real as they are fantastical. The cast is perfect and features many (television)stars to be. All the strange inhabitants of mountain town Twin Peaks lead a complex double life. It is up to Cooper and local sheriff Harry Truman (Ontkean) to unravel their many mysteries.

The plot in Twin Peaks often takes a backseat to just let the many bizarre characters interact with each other. The show often feels like a platform for all the crazy ideas that Lynch, Frost and other collaborators who have worked on the show could come up with.

What makes the final result so great is the seamless integration of genres. With delicious black humor and countless fantasy elements, such as dwarves, giants, aliens and demons, the viewer will get hooked in no time. It is constantly absorbing, even during long stretches in which basically nothing significant happens. Twin Peaks is an endlessly fascinating show that took dramatic television into an entirely new realm.

Followed two years later by a prequel/sequel movie called; Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and a new season of the show in 2017.


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