What better way to start this blog than with the all time classic, Twin Peaks.
So, should I watch Twin Peaks?
Eeeeh, I suppose.
In all the lists and recommendations of “What is THE TV show to watch”, I guarantee that Twin Peaks will make an appearance. The show was the brain child of two esteemed writers - one of which was Mark Frost who wrote for the shows Hill Street Blues and Six Million Dollar man, as well as many others. The other was none other than the master of mind-fuckery but Mr David Lynch himself, the guy behind Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. The show gained a phenomenal cult following and was THE show of the 90’s where everybody watched and no one had the slightest fucking clue what was going on.
Now, as to why Twin Peaks is heralded as one of the greatest dramas of all time is beyond me. The show has a rating of 8.9/10 on IMDB whereas I would personally give it 6.5/10 at best. Having said this, I can understand why it was rated so highly. Firstly, as I said before, this was the thing to watch of the early 90’s and nothing like it had been seen on television before. So in some respects you can regard its creators as trailblazers for nothing of this calibre had even been considered for the medium of television.
Another big factor is that you don’t simply watch Twin Peaks, you experience it. I realise that this is a douchey and actually quite a pretentious thing to say, but it really was the first show out there the dealt with moodism. By this, I mean when you watched the show, you really were submersed into its world; you felt that you really knew these characters and that you actually lived in the town of Twin Peaks. Quite a few shows do this nowadays but this was the first one to really do it.
Well, that doesn’t seem so bad. What’s wrong with it?
Ha! Well, I’m glad you asked. For starters, let me tell you what the premise of the show is about (don’t worry, I won’t give away more than you need to know). Laura Palmer, a beautiful 18 year old girl, who was a resident of the small mountain town Twin Peaks, has been viciously murdered and no one knows whodunit. So, an FBI special agent, Dale Cooper (played superbly by Kyle MacLachlan) is sent in to solve it all. Sounds like a simple enough premise right?
Wrong. Twin Peaks could not be further from simple if it were on the other side of Neptune. While this murder mystery is unravelling you, the audience, is subjected to the most inane, ridiculous and down-right retarded plot lines since Big Brother 7. For example, there is a woman who has a pet log. No jokes, a pet log. And this pet log has seen some vital shit maaaaan, so Agent Cooper has to interrogate a log. I repeat, the lead role, Agent Cooper, has to interrogate a fecking log.
And this isn’t the only weird thing you have to put up with. Oh no! In fact 70% of every episode of Twin Peaks is nothing but utter nonsense. And because it was set and filmed in the early 90’s everyone has ridiculous hair and god-awful fashion sense, making the whole thing somewhat comical and hard to take seriously, like a 70’s sci-fi B-movie. However, it is kinda wrong to call them out on something as aesthetic as this because it was fashionable at the time.
Having said that, what made the show near unbearable was almost every actor/actress over-acting in every scene. Not an episode will go by without some weirdo screaming his/her lungs out and flailing about as if they were having an epileptic fit. Now Lynch deliberately cast unknown actors for some weird reason and it just doesn’t work. Half the time when watching Twin Peaks, you feel as if you are watching a bad daytime soap opera, with all the affairs and petty arguments afoot. Not only does it detract from what the show is trying to achieve, it succeeds in pissing me right off.
Oh, so you’re saying I shouldn’t watch it?
Not quite. While Twin Peaks is annoying in all its pretension and ridiculous plot lines, about 30% of each episode is this dark and twisted and wonderful murder story that is so captivating it sustains your interest. So between all this bullshit about logs and dreams and dwarfs (yes, there are many, many dwarfs) is this horrific, yet spectacular tale of a young girl who has been murdered and the circumstances surrounding it get stranger and darker as the plot unfolds and it’s that aspect of the show that keeps you going.
In addition, if you do watch Twin Peaks you will suddenly get aaaaaall the parodies and sketches about it in the likes of The Simpsons, Sesame Street, Little Nicky, Fringe and many many more. Plus, if you do watch Twin Peaks, it’s another thing for you to talk about at a dinner party or at a bar and it will make you sound sophistimacated and worldly and everyone will be dying to know your interpretation of it (Just say it was a world you could get so easily submersed in and people will buy you a drink).
So in summary, I guess you should probably watch Twin Peaks in the same way you should probably go around and visit your racist Aunt, you know it’s got to be done and it may not be pleasant but when it’s over you can say that you’ve done it. Twin Peaks isn’t all bad, there are some pretty good bits but for the majority of it you will watch and think “just what in Zeus’ name am I watching?!” You have been warned.