The Return: Twin Peaks

My history with Twin Peaks is interesting because I sort of stumbled onto the show by accident. When I was younger I remember hearing people talk about a show set in the Northwest that was supposed to be really funny. I remember seeing the opening credits and it showing a small town on a gloomy day. I thought I remembered there being a moose in the credits. Memory is a funny thing...I couldn't, for the life of me, remember what the show was called. One day while browsing Netflix I finally found what I thought I was looking for...a show called Twin Peaks. As it turns out, the show I was actually thinking of was Northern Exposure, not Twin Peaks. I can say wholeheartedly that mistaking Twin Peaks for Northern Exposure is one of the best mistakes I've ever made in my life. Though I jumped into the series expecting to laugh, David Lynch and Mark Frost's series introduced me to a world that was "both wonderful and strange."

Once I started the show I soon became addicted. Sure, I eventually figured out the real name of the show I thought I wanted to watch, but I became so captivated by the uniqueness of Twin Peaks that I totally lost any concern for Northern Exposure (I've still not seen it). I still hold firm to my assertion that the entire run of Twin Peaks surrounding the initial mystery of the show (season one and first part of season 2) is some of the finest television to ever air (while watching I kept thinking, "How did this ever air on broadcast television?"). 

Rarely do I ever stop and think when I'm watching a show, "this is incredible", but I did at several points while watching the original run of Twin Peaks. I was captivated by the story and the acting.  Lynch and Frost use the initial mystery of who killed Laura Palmer to introduce you to a cast of characters that is totally bizarre and unique. Viewing the show over 20 years after its premiere you find yourself wondering if the acting is intentionally bad, but the truth of the matter is you don't care. It's captivating. Even though the story is top notch, I don't think the show works as well without the wonderful music of Angelo Badalamenti. I honestly cannot recall another show that is better at capturing moods and evoking feelings through its score. Of course, the show falters a bit in the middle of the second season, but rebounds in spectacular fashion, only to end on a cliffhanger that would take 25 years to be answered.

I honestly didn't know what to expect with Twin Peaks: The Return. My previous experience with reboots was with Arrested Development and I honestly couldn't stand the thought of my beloved Twin Peaks coming back and falling short of the mark in its return. When the new episodes finally premiered I stayed up until 4 AM to watch the first 4 episodes. At first I was weary as the show wasn't like the original run, but by the end of the 4th episode I started to fell like the show was returning to form. As far as the new season goes, I think I most started to enjoy it once I realized that there was a reason it was being called Twin Peaks: The Return and not Twin Peaks: Season 3. Thinking of the new episodes as short films also helped. Once I let go of my conception of what I thought Twin Peaks was, I began to appreciate that Twin Peaks: The Return is still Twin Peaks. I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I think fans of the show will understand. The tone of the two "series" are different, yet they're each unique and quirky. To put it bluntly, Twin Peaks possesses a certain "je ne sais quoi" that only those who've seen it will understand.

I am not going to use this space to discuss in detail what has happened this season as that was not my intention with this post. My intention was to finally get back into writing for this blog and I realized that in all the time I'd been searching for the perfect movie to help me jump back into things, I'd fallen in love with a TV show that is just as wonderful as anything you'd see on the silver screen. Tonight Showtime will air what could very well be the last episodes of Twin Peaks. I'm forever grateful to them for giving David Lynch and Mark Frost the chance to finish telling their story. I'm also grateful to the show's creators for not giving us fan service this season, but expanding on a universe they created and linking all the parts of it together (the original run, Fire Walk with Me, The Secret History of Twin Peaks). I feel like a lot of times movies and television shows will pander to their audience and in doing so, they become predictable. Lynch and Frost had no problems frustrating their audience this season and I appreciate that. Twin Peaks: The Return has really reminded me how important it is to keep an open mind and not let my own notions of how things should be effect me while viewing movies or television. The unpredictability of this season has helped me rediscover the joy of just letting go and letting myself be entertained instead of trying to figure it all out immediately; that is for later...if ever.