A show comes along that so grips the TV watching public that it enters into rarified air, in both the canon of television and the minds and thoughts of the public. Twin Peaks was such a show, blending gritty crime drama with surrealism, which we would suspect no less of David Lynch, a director who is know for his twisted, meandering narratives and depth of storytelling.
Twin Peaks is hard to define as far as genre is concerned because there are some freaky, supernatural elements to it yet it is goofy and funny at times. I really liked that about the show. Horror comedy is one of my favorite cross genres and when it works, it works well. Though it is tough to blend genres like this, Twin Peaks did an admirable job and though it only made it for 2 seasons and 30 episodes, it was one of those shows that crossed cultural gaps and made an impact on our shared, popular culture.
It begins with one of the best pilot episodes in television history. A young girl has been murdered in a small town, a homecoming queen no less, and it is up to the FBI to track down the killer. Who Killed Laura Palmer became as big a TV conundrum as Who Shot JR from Dallas back in the 1980’s. Twin Peaks was the 90’s version of that TV watershed moment.
Everyone tuned in to see what would happen with the investigation. As the series progressed, we got to know the characters better and those we believed to be sweet and innocent were much more than they appeared, as many of them were shown to be living double lives. Webs within webs, twists and turns aplenty, Twin Peaks delved into the seedy side of small town life and the reality became shocking at times.
Characters on the show were sketchy to say the least, including the main thrust of the first season, Laura Palmer. She was not the good natured sweetheart many believed she was. It was intriguing to watch and learn the real story behind what was presented on the surface.