Written by Jasey Roberts
The original “Twin Peaks” (currently streaming on Netflix) was created by TV writer Mark Frost and all-around madman David Lynch. The show ran for two seasons – a total of 30 episodes – on network television from 1990 to 1991 before its eventual cancellation. The plot? In the sleepy Washington town of Twin Peaks, homecoming queen Laura Palmer shows up one morning, dead on the beach and wrapped in plastic. Enter the eccentric special agent Dale Cooper, sent by the FBI to investigate the teenager’s death. In his investigation, Cooper discovers a web of lies and deceit, as well as the presence of something more sinister in Twin Peaks than anyone could’ve expected. The show is, at times, campy and melodramatic, as soap operas of the era often were, but is nonetheless strange, emotionally impactful and unlike anything else I’ve seen on TV before. Fans of shows like “Stranger Things” will likely find lots to enjoy here.
The next thing you should watch is the 1992 feature film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” (currently streaming on HBO MAX). This movie is a prequel to the original show – about Laura Palmer’s life in the week leading up to her death. Actress Sheryl Lee, who portrayed Laura in the original show, really shines here. And despite being a prequel, I would highly recommend watching the show first. It also represents a huge tonal shift in the series. While the original show was, at times, light-hearted and goofy, “Fire Walk with Me” is terrifying, depressing and suffocating. It’s not for everyone, but it is necessary to experience the behemoth that is “Twin Peaks: The Return” (currently streaming on Showtime). This 18-episode miniseries defies categorization. It premiered in 2017, 25 years after “FWWM” was released, and technically acts as a third season to the original show. Many familiar characters/locations return, but usually not in the way you might expect. “The Return” is, in many ways, the anti-fan-service show. It relishes in plunging the viewer into unfamiliar plotlines with little explanation why it’s relevant or where it’s going. It sticks the landing, though, and things that Lynch and Frost set up decades ago paid off. After watching “The Return,” it quickly became one of my favorite things ever, and, if nothing else, it’s worth reading some recap summaries. It’s really that good.