The hubs and I completed our virginal viewing of Twin Peaks a few weeks ago (yes, we’re late bloomers and neither of us watched much TV as kids), and I have dawdled on my review, mainly for two reasons. One, I don’t really enjoy reviewing television shows– it’s just too much story spread over too much time for me to make a complete assessment of a show. Two, Twin Peaks is just a whole bunch of WTF moments popcorned over a backdrop of melodrama. It was enough to keep me engaged (at first), but I can’t even begin to know how to critique it.
Is it good just because it’s so weird?
So, in lieu of an inadequate attempt to summarize and critique the surreal 29-episode series with words and paragraphs and thoughts, I give you… a line graph.
Note that episode 14 is essentially the epicenter of series, when I was simultaneously engaged and disgusted. Beware the “ultra-violence” in this episode; I nearly quit the series at this point, simply out of fear. I don’t watch or read much horror, so maybe I’m just oversensitive, but the violence truly upset me. Images of BOB in my head made it difficult for me to sleep for a couple of weeks.
Fortunately, my fright was reduced as I pushed on to more innocuous episodes, but then, so was my interest. By the final 10 episodes, the story had basically already concluded, and a less-than-interesting subplot took the stage. I was fairly bored by then and only continued out of some inexplicable sense of SF duty, rather than any ordinary viewing curiosity. In other words, I would have quit, if I didn’t mind living my life saying I never finished the SF cult classic.
My ultimate assessment: you have to watch it– but not by yourself. There is nothing like it. The combination of peculiar characters, quirky humor, and creepy visuals make this a must-see SF classic. That said, you can safely quit the series after episode 18 and miss nothing critical, except the final episode. Of course, the final episode ends with some must-see WTF-ery, so you might want to watch episode 18, then skip to the finale, (nevermind about the pageant, it’s just stupid) and watch the weirdness culminate into a rather bold conclusion. Lynch and Frost had some balls to end it that way.
My favorite bits:
1.”Oh, her? We just call her log lady.”
2. Agent Cooper walks into conference room and there is a deer head lying on the table. Lucy says, “Oh, it just fell.”
3. David Duchovny in drag
4. Major Briggs, a.k.a Bobby’s dad (instead of rebooting Twin Peaks, why not make a show based on this character? He’s awesome.)
Interesting tidbit: David Lynch was on the most recent season of Louis (FX- the Letterman episodes), and played almost exactly the same hard-of-hearing oddball as his character from Twin Peaks— this time with a bouffant.
Disappointing tidbit: When I Googled Twin Peaks, the restaurant came up as the first link. 😦