Twin Peaks:Still Relevant, Still Awesome

Top Ten reasons why TWIN PEAKS is still relevant today...

and why YOU should watch it

"She's dead, wrapped in plastic." 

         Those now famous words were uttered by actor Jack Nance over twenty five years ago when his character discovered the dead homecoming queen Laura Palmer washed ashore by his house.

Twin Peaks became a hit phenomenon for a brief period of time in the early 1990's before the Gulf War, ABC television and side projects by the show's creators ultimately destroyed it.

Here are some of the reasons why Twin Peaks is still relevant to today's pop culture and why you should see it. (Or why you should re-watch it.)

1.  It's simply incredible.  (Especially, Season 1)

2. HMM Well I was going to tell you that CBS.COM has all the episodes online to watch for FREE-but apparently (as of very recently) it has taken them off their site.  I'll try to figure out if this is permanent or not [Update: It is] and let you know. You can rent them; Netflix them [They are on streaming!] or buy episodes online them from iTunes or buy the VHS/DVDs on Ebay or Amazon.

3.  The first episode will knock your socks off (So if you are watching it with friends make sure your feet are clean and pedicured.)

4. It is one of Televisions most enduring shows.  The central mystery of "Who Killed Laura Palmer" is so enthralling you will find yourself watching it at 4am as you curse yourself for not having gone to bed at a more reasonable hour.

5. It's weird. Really weird, but in an oddly fun way. There is a lady who carries around a log and talks to it.  Her name is THE LOG LADY. (Enough said)

6. The weirdly interesting David Lynch (Blue Velvet; Mulholland drive; Wild at Heart; Erasterhead) and television veteran Mark Frost (Hill Street Blues) co-created this pioneering and uniquely original show.

7. Many of the most original TV series of the last twenty years owe a huge amount of gratitude to Twin Peaks for breaking the typical television mold. Scores of shows credit Twin Peaks as inspirational and influential.  Without Twin Peaks one has to wonder if there would have been; Northern Exposure; X-Files; Six Feet Under; and basically all of HBOs current series.

8. A cast of thousands of great actors and actresses.  Well, maybe not thousands, but tons of faces you now idolize;
  • Kyle Maclachlan (Blue Velvet; Dune;Sex in the City)
  • Lara Flynn Boyle (Wayne's World; The Practice; Ally McBeal)  
  • Miguel  Ferrer (RoboCopTraffic; Mulan)
  • Peggy Lipton (Mod Squad)
  • The unbelievable amazing Piper Laurie (Carrie; Children of a Lesser God)
  • Joan Chen (The Last Emperor; Lust~Caution; Mao's Last Dancer)
  • Richard Beymer (West Side Story)
  • The late Jack Nance (Blue Velvet; DUNE); David Duchovny(X-Files; Californication)
  • Heather Graham (Boogie Nights; The Hangover; Swingers)
  • and the incredibly fabulous Grace Zabriskie (Seinfeld, True Blood)
  • (Just to name a few)

9.  Soundtrack kicks butt.  The soundtrack of Twin Peaks was written  by the musical genius Angelo Badalamenti.  The etherial, haunting music overlaid Lynch's stunning imagery pushed viewers to thrilling and frightening extremes.  The use of this soundtrack-which was created with close collaboration with Lynch helped to set the mood for the entire series. This is one of Lynch's legacies; Making television shows as if they were short movies, without this soundtrack the show would not have been the success it was.

I recommend the soundtracks for Season 1 and the Major Motion Picture especially. Season 2 is great but a little less substantive than the others.

The soundtrack for Season 1 & 2 the Soundtrack to the Twin Peaks Major Motion Picture: Fire Walk With Me are available on i-Tunes   

10.  It is the best soap opera ever (If you would argue that Santa Barbara was the best soap opera I would disagree, but I would not hate you).  Twin Peaks, is by definition somewhat of a  soap opera, a fact acknowledge by its creators. I personally consider it a television drama mixed with a little tele-novella.   While Twin Peaks surpasses the typical trappings of a soap opera, it has all of the outrageous fun soap opera fare: cliff hangers, mysteries, affairs, drug deals, murders, backstabbing, illegitimate children, black mail; and a whorehouse that conveniently doubles as a casino.

Viewing Suggestions: 

  • If this is your first time watching Twin Peaks: DO NOT tell anyone you are watching it. People have a really bad habit of telling you the surprise twists in the show.  DO NOT google Twin Peaks or risk accidentally discovering the secrets yourself.
  • While you can watch it on Netflix, I recommend getting/renting the DVD GOLD BOX Set which has behind the scenes features and a great picture quality.  You can also get even better picture quality with downloading the episodes from iTunes which are in High Def.
  • Watch Season 1. Watch Season 2 until the resolution to the central mystery of the show (Who killed Laura Palmer?) After that beware.  Season 2 goes downhill for several episodes before picking back up before the end of the season.  Lynch and Frost both had other projects at this point and they left the show in different and less capable hands.  Only the last four or five episodes are particularly good.
  • AVOID THE MOVIE AT ALL COSTS.  Lynch himself created the movie and without Frost it is over the top bizarre and lacking the confines that allowed the show to be weird but lovable. BUT make sure you get a copy of the movie soundtrack which is a must have.

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