Ah, Twin Peaks. The greatest television show of all time. Originally broadcast in 1990-1991, this bizarrely quirky show came out of the mind of David Lynch and into the lounge rooms of unsuspecting people all over the world. The show focused on the small town of Twin Peaks, which was rocked by the death of local prom queen and all-around portrait of perfection, Laura Palmer. The show was a ratings hit initially, but corporate meddling forced the writers and directors to reveal Laura’s killer early in the second season, and ratings plummeted, causing the show’s premature cancellation. It ended on a massive cliffhanger, possibly the worst cliffhanger in the history of fiction, and that was that.
In 2013, 21 years after the show finished, Showtime announced that they would be continuing the series for an eighteen episode run. Twin Peaks: The Return was launched earlier this year, and we’re currently fourteen episodes into the season.
How can I describe this show to someone who hasn’t ever watched it before? It’s pretty much impossible. How can I even begin to talk about what’s going on? Nope, totally not happening. This season has been one of the most bizarre, surreal things I’ve ever seen- director/writer/creator Lynch created an episode which was literally 45 minutes of flying through an atomic bomb as it went off in the desert. I can’t even describe it. It’s art, it’s complete art. The original 1990 show had some semblance of a plot but this … it’s on another level. From episode to episode I have no idea what’s going on, characters and plotlines are introduced briefly, discarded, then pop up again 13 episodes later. Beloved characters from the original series bear no resemblance to their original selves, which is both deeply frustrating but also deeply satisfying.
There are four episodes left before the series ends, and while I have a feeling that this season will end in a way that is just as unsatisfying as the original 1990 run, I don’t really care because it’s just been so brilliant and every episode thus far has truly played with my perception of what a television show should actually be- it’s complete genius. Everyone needs to watch it.