Twin Peaks: The Complete Series
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Okay loyal fans and unworthy subjects, today I bring you a personal favorite of mine, a review for which I’ve waited years to have the excuse to do. For anyone out there who knows me—and none of you really do—you’ll know that I am a monster fan of the early nineties television cult hit, Twin Peaks. My love for this show began when I was in my early teens—don’t do the math, I’m not that old—and it is synonymous with that time period in my life, so my opinion of it might be slightly bias. Regardless, I will do my best to indoctrinate you into my sick, obsessive world of fandom.
The series takes place in the strange, mountain town of Twin Peaks, a seemingly peaceful community lost in a time of innocence and morality. But when the body of the homecoming queen, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee, One Tree Hill; Dirty, Sexy Money), is found wrapped in plastic at the edge of a lake, the seams of denial and delusion that hold Twin Peaks together begin to unravel. The whole town is affected by the tragic loss, and Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan, Sex and the City; Desperate Housewives) of the FBI is called in to investigate. Through Dale’s point of view, we are introduced to the quirky populace of Twin Peaks, like the Log Lady and Nadine, the one-eyed, forty year old, cheerleader (Wendy Robie).
Through Dale’s investigation we slowly learn that Laura was not the sweet, average all American girl they all thought she was. Addicted to drugs, sex and danger, Laura Palmer had a knack for pulling people into her self-destructive world and making men fall in love with her. But there is more to Twin Peaks than just a young life gone wrong, a hidden drug and prostitution ring and a few offbeat characters. Throughout the course of the investigation, Dale begins to see that intuition, dreams and premonitions are the key to solving Laura’s murder. He is visited in his sleep by a backward talking, dancing dwarf, and advised when awake by a giant whom only he can see.
Even when the killer is at last revealed, the mysteries deepen and he struggles to learn the secrets of a place called the White Lodge and its enigmatic inhabitants—inhabitants whose presence have had profound effects on the people of Twin Peaks. But even as he searches for those answers, Dale’s past comes back to tear Twin Peaks apart. Now everyone that Dale has come to respect and love is in danger as an old colleague starts a deadly game of chess and revenge that will cost him one ‘pawn’ after another.
The DVD box set contains the two hour pilot movie, the complete first and second season, and a host of featurettes providing insight into the creation of the Twin Peaks world. My personal favorite feature is the original Saturday Night Live sketch, parodying the show, staring Kyle MacLachlan himself.
Overall, I really loved this addition to my DVD collection. It was a little slice of my past returned to me and I really enjoyed reliving the lives and adventures of some of the oddest characters in television history. It was a wild, unpredictable ride of abnormality and humor that will leave you sometimes chuckling, sometimes perplexed, and sometimes unsure of what to feel, but always the story gives you something to look forward to. And if you sit back and let it guide you instead of trying to figure it all out, you’ll have a lot more fun with it, I promise.
Twin Peaks is one of those rare shows where plot does not always make sense and does not always need to. The strength of the show lies in its ability to hold your interest and keep you wanting more. The very things that make the show confusing are what suck you into. For me, it was always the unformulaic nature of the show that caught my attention, how it broke the mold and dared to be different. It’s a show that probably would not work if produced today, but seemed to just barely find a niche back in the early nineties under the helm of acclaimed director David Lynch, and forever burn itself into the minds of a generation.
The DVD set will give you all the Twin Peaks you’ll ever need—Fire Walk With Me, not included nor wanted. As for a recommendation, I can’t really, in good conscience, offer you any. If anything I’ve said above seems weird, stranger out of whack, absurd and peculiar, and you are not already interested in seeing it, you probably won’t be able to get into this series. If you found what I’ve written about this show completely ludicrous and you love that kind of crazy, then you should get this show immediately—but chances are, if you’re into that type of crazy, you’ve already seen or own this series. With Twin Peaks, as with sex, you either get it or you do not get it and those that don’t get it, never understand those that do. Until next time, my loyal fan.