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my all-time favorite television show
rosenfield10-116 September 2004
Angelo Badalamenti's sweet theme begins as smokestacks billow, and a robin assures the viewer of the presence of love in a little town located through the pines, just this side of sanity...or reality. Either way you choose to look at it (and the choice is yours), every episode of this groundbreaking television show grabbed the viewer in its seductive and destructive web... and wouldn't let go. "Twin Peaks" began a string of weird television shows in the early 90's, but, unlike those later shows, "Twin Peaks" would be beloved and remembered long after it was off the air. "Twin Peaks" has earned a spot next to "The Twilight Zone", "Night Gallery", and "Star Trek" in terms of pioneering television and in terms of a cult following deserving of conventions and fanzines. I believe that F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper is one of the most enjoyable and inspiring characters in television history. His simple passions and quirky behavior was a welcomed sight in our living rooms every week during the shows very short run in the late 80's and early 90's. "Twin Peaks" started out on fire, gaining exposure during the pilot's multiple airings. The mystery of Laura Palmer's murderer practically invented conversations at the water cooler. However, the shows second season was scheduled to air on Saturday nights at 10:00, an advertiser's no-man's land. And, with the shows fan base out on the late weekend nights, the shows network decided to cancel it. David Lynch, the shows co-creator, directed a theatrically released film prequel to "Twin Peaks", showing all who missed the shows airings what really happened to Laura the week of her death, and, finally, her killer. As a huge fan of "Twin Peaks", I will tell you that the circle of events that occur within the story enable the viewer to relive the events over and over, each time around with more intensity than before. When you view the movie prequel, diving right back into the series becomes the natural path, allowing one to see things again for what they really are... or aren't. I highly recommend owning the entire series. Without a network messing up your viewing time, you can see the mystery unfold at your own pace. Viewing "Twin Peaks-Fire Walk With Me", along with the television pilot and the entire 29 episode series (about 33 hours all together), is the most fascinating and satisfying viewing experience that the entertainment industry has offered me so far. The music, costumes, editing, acting, and direction all received Emmy nominations, leading one to conclude that "Twin Peaks" not only satisfied the public, but the critics as well. An incredible achievement, "Twin Peaks" is my all-time favorite television show.
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Damnfine series
Tom May11 December 2000
One of the truly great, original TV dramas, Twin Peaks was far from perfect; however, quite a few of its run of 29 episodes undoubtedly were. Speaking just after watching the finale, I'm torn between satisfaction at a superb final episode, and tenterhooks over what is a stark cliffhanger ending. The initial Laura Palmer murder case is unravelled expertly, by episode 16, with many great surreal and shocking moments, notably the scenes involving Bob. The show's brand of off-the-wall deadpan humour was perhaps at its best in the initial episodes, for example, Cooper's rock-throwing in the woods and Leland's bizarre, impromptu dance with Ben and Jerry Horne. The main characters were all well introduced; Kyle MacLachlan is on career-best acting form here as Agent Dale Cooper. Jack Nance is lovably gruff and likeable as Pete Martel, while Ben and Jerry Horne are wonderfully brought to life by fine writing, and acting from Richard Beymer and David Patrick Kelly. The strange spirit-like characters are introduced aptly; the Giant, the backwards-dancing Dwarf, One-armed Man, the bizarre Tremonds and killer Bob. Ray Wise deserves much credit for a sensitive portrayal of Leland. Once the initial mystery is more than adequately resolved, the focus was lost for a while. For around 7 episodes, the series comparatively treaded water: the comedy became more laboured and conventional, some tedious storylines dragged on and on - eg. Evelyn Marsh, Andy/Dick; the guiding hand of David Lynch was missing. These episodes are still very watchable; as other aspects of the mystery are mused over, but things move slowly. There is welcome characterisation of Major Briggs, but the acting and writing is at times more ordinary. While still a comfortably above-par TV show, the sublime atmosphere had been squandered to an extent. The arrival in the town of Windom Earle and, later, Annie Blackburn saw the stakes rise once more. Windom Earle is a truly sadistic, convincingly evil character, with a dry wit, wild expression and an effective penchant for disguise. His contribution to the series is immense, as a new focus is provided; climaxing with the stunning end to the penultimate episode at the Miss Twin Peaks Contest. Annie Blackburn also helps to enliven the programme, proving a subtle and effective character. Gordon Cole, played by David Lynch himself is a wonderful creation, up with Pete Martel, Albert Rosenfeld and Jerry Horne in the comic mould. I love that whole episode (c.25) where he enjoys life in the cafe, contemplating writing an "epic poem" about the wonderful apple pie and kissing Shelly in front of her boyfriend Bobby; "what you are witnessing is an intimate moment between two consenting adult human beings!" or somesuch quote.

Ben Horne is well developed; the Civil War stuff fails to amuse quite as it should, yet once he is rehabilitated, the change in his character is refreshing and nicely handled. Twin Peaks is a beautiful series aesthetically, from the wonderful titles sequence, Angelo Badalamenti's stunningly evocative music scores to some wonderfully innovative photography and direction - usually in those episodes helmed by Lynch. Got to say the female quota of Twin Peaks is ample, with the beauty of Madchen Amick, Sheryl Lee, Lara Flynn Boyle and especially Sherilyn Fenn, adding poignancy. General negative comments seem irrelevant considering the overall quality of the series, but it's true tricks were missed. With the characters they had, some more imaginative situations and wit wouldn't have gone amiss. The comic possibilities of having Jerry Horne and, say, Gordon Cole interacting were unfulfilled. Some of the characters were bland - the spotless Norma Jennings, James Hurley, Audrey's boyfriend in the later episodes - and some failed to really work - Nadine I feel added little to the series.

The very final episode is, I would say, as good a series ending as they could have come up with; tantalisingly placed, as the battle between the good and evil forces in Twin Peaks is hotting up. I declare that there are some brilliant images and directorial touches in that final one. There were however loose ends untied; what happened to Leo, Audrey and especially Ben Horne and Doc Hayward? A moot point is the absurdity of its ill-availabilty on video; I wouldn't have caught it if it weren't for the Sci-Fi Channel UK. Got to say though, that while harbouring some fantastical elements, Twin Peaks is assuredly far from the realm of Sci-Fi. It is, to be pointless categorical, like a surreal soap opera with a strong flavour of its own. There are so many great scenes, moments, lines and nuances, coupled with a magnificently dreamy, tenderly moving atmosphere when at its best, that I must say Twin Peaks ranks pretty much up there with the finest TV dramas of all - Edge of Darkness & The Singing Detective. Majestic it is. Rating:- ***** (out of *****)
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Possibly one of the best TV dramas ever, "Twin Peaks" managed to be a challenging and unique (not to mention intelligent) piece of television.

Daring and provocative, it shattered the boundaries of most standard soap operas/TV dramas.

Terrified of it by a child (and in particular by BOB) I have since returned to it on DVD, only to find myself just as terrified and intrigued by it as I was when I was twelve years old and crouching behind my late grandmother's couch.

A piece of groundbreaking television history... WATCH IT
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brilliant and hilarious
mullerjoseph555 September 2004
This is one of the shows that I started watching because many people, whose opinions I valued, stated, repeatedly, that I "absolutely must see this." Let me say that I was pretty much hooked from the first scene when they discover the body. The one deputy crying at the body was both touching and kind of funny. It perfectly introduced the entire series which is serious and ridiculous all at once. There is so much to talk about this incredible series which burned too bright to burn for very long.

For starters, Agent Cooper is the single greatest character ever captured on film (go ahead, try and think of a better one). He's brilliant, genuinely caring, incredibly funny, exuberant to the nth degree, unbelievably likable, but also with a sordid past which haunts him. Nobody, but nobody, could have delivered the pie and coffee compliments with so much gusto.

However, he is just the brightest star in the sky. There are so many crazy, yet somehow believable characters that grace Lynch's universe. The swift descent of Ben Horn into madness is sad, pathetic, surreal and hilarious. No other series would have dared contain a man believing that he was General Lee commanding the south at Gettysburg (it also provides the funniest line from the show, when Audrey Horn is talking to his psychiatrist and he remarks that "What he (Ben Horn) needs now is our sympathy, understanding and a confederate victory."). All of the characters create a amazing tapestry where one is genuinely anticipating which character is going to lose it somehow (but one never anticipates correctly). In this reviewers opinion, the plot takes a backseat to the characters which are too strange, or too ordinary but never dull, to exist in any other show anywhere (minus James, who gets irritating right when he starts singing and never stops). Fantastic actors all around with more career launching cameos than any show or movie ever.

Sadly, the second season is not as good as the first, plot-wise, but still is as quirky and entertaining with an unbelievable ending to the series. Many have criticized the show for being excessively intellectual, but I never found the show pedantic or hopelessly cryptic. Rather, it seemed as though David Lynch just decided to employ every weird idea that popped into his febrile mind for the sheer joy of it.

To finish, one needs to watch this show. It's not uniformly brilliant and sometimes just plain weird, but always rewarding and truly one of the landmarks of American television. Go get a nice piece of cherry pie, a cup of coffee, take four days off work and start watching it.
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Everyone's Talking About It. The Talk Is Good and Bad. It Definitely Strikes a Nerve.
tfrizzell31 October 2003
Stunning and explosive, completely misunderstood by many when it ran from 1990-1991 and definitely trail-blazing for the art of television production, "Twin Peaks" is one of those could-have-been, should-have-been television series that ended up being remarkable anyway. A teenage girl (Sheryl Lee) is murdered. A strange police detective (Kyle MacLachlan) is brought in to solve the mystery as the local police just cannot cope with the crime. Strange situations continue to pop up all over the landscape of the titled Pacific Northwestern town though and it becomes sadly apparent that the crime will likely never be solved. Side-stories galore confuse and intrigue and the viewer is left wondering, "Does this have anything to do with the initial crime?". Then just when you think the puzzle is about solved, total chaos strikes with whacked dream sequences that make you question your own sanity. What is really happening in the town and do we really want to know or are we happier letting the mystery suck us in? "Twin Peaks" was created by David Lynch (arguably the finest American film-maker, along with Martin Scorsese, living today) and over two very abbreviated seasons (only 29 total episodes) television reached an age that may never be experienced again. At the time many (perhaps myself included) did not know what to make of the show and even more panned it completely. The fact that the series did not really end the way it should have is sad, but in another way it just adds to the legends and myths involved here. There were eight writers on this series and a mind-blowing 15 different directors (Lynch did some of the work and even Diane Keaton got an opportunity to add to the program). Performers like Ray Wise, Piper Laurie, Joan Chen, Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn, Russ Tamblyn and Madchen Amick appear, disappear and re-appear so frequently that you become confused as to what their roles in the show truly are. Monumental, gigantic, legendary, interesting, dominant and definitely thought-provoking, "Twin Peaks" is one of those television shows that amazes and dazzles with its highly unique brand of commentary. Followed by a theatrical movie ("Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me") in 1992 that was made to answer the questions presented throughout the program, it was also sadly misunderstood by most in the viewing public (even being rubbished by some who loved the series). A real gem in the history of television art. 5 stars out of 5.
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Network television at its absolute best
Max_cinefilo8913 June 2007
Nowadays it is commonly accepted that American television is becoming better than movies, with edgier stories and more complex characters, both in mainstream (CSI, 24, Lost) and cable shows (The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood). Twenty years ago, on the other hand, such a thing was unthinkable, at least until Twin Peaks aired.

Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, the series takes its name from a small American town where a grisly murder has been committed. The victim is local beauty Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), a girl who seemed to have a perfectly normal life, only it turns out that's not the case: she had a lot of secrets, and in one of them lies the key to finding her killer. That assignment is given to Special FBI Agent Dale Cooper (Lynch regular Kyle MacLachlan), who quickly earns the trust and friendship of Sheriff Truman (Michael Ontkean) and the rest of Twin Peaks'inhabitants thanks to his extraordinary deductive methods and fascination for the calm and peace around him. And he is going to need all the help he can get, as Laura's murder is just one of the many odd things causing trouble in the heavenly surroundings: there's Benjamin Horne (Richard Beymer) and his dangerous connection with a casino/brothel known as One-Eyed Jack's; there's his daughter Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn), whose interest in Agent Cooper might put her in a worse situation than she thinks; there's the dispute over the Packard sawmill between Catherine Martell (Piper Laurie) and Josie Packard (Joan Chen); and there are the bizarre creatures who populate Cooper's dreams, people like The Man From Another Place (a backwards-talking dwarf, played by Michael J. Anderson) or the terrifying Bob (Frank Silva), suggesting that most of the events in Twin Peaks may not have a rational explanation.

Back in 1990, a series like this had never been done before, so its success was a little unexpected (sadly, ratings dropped during the second season, leading to the show's premature cancellation). Now it can be seen as an anticipation of that great TV creation that is HBO: the dead interacting with the living (Six Feet Under), ambiguous characters and even more ambiguous relationships between them (Deadwood), a consistent balance between moving and funny, beautiful and shocking (The Sopranos), the seeds of all those elements can be found in Twin Peaks, a show that didn't hesitate when it came to playing with the format or crossing the line in terms of mature content (death, drug abuse, rape) or on-screen violence (the ending of Episode 8, where one of the villains is shown at the peak of his abilities, is still one of the most audacious scenes ever shown on mainstream television). More than any other series, it represents the seamless merger of big and small screen, a fact that is underlined by Lynch's decision to further explore the story in a feature film after the last episode had aired. Fans of the visionary filmmaker will find plenty of his recurring themes, some a direct reference to his previous works (the ugliness lying underneath the apparent perfection, as seen in Blue Velvet), others a hint of things to come (the duality of Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive, here embodied by Lee, who plays both the deceased Laura and her cousin).

As always with the Eraserhead director, the acting is exceptional: MacLachlan and Lee are the standouts, the former playing his best role to date, a cunning combination of palpable vulnerability and impeccable wit, the latter shining with a double performance that should have been the beginning of a great career (alas, apart from a minor role in John Carpenter's Vampires, she hasn't done much since). The supporting cast (Ontkean, Laurie, Lara Flynn Boyle and Ray Wise in particular) adds depth and emotion, making some episodes the most affecting ever seen on a TV screen. As for the guest stars, not all of them are well known, but every single one brings something special to the series: the most notable cameos include a then unknown Heather Graham, a pre-X-Files David Duchovny (a quite funny and ironic contrast to Fox Mulder) and Lynch himself as a half-deaf FBI Regional Chief (one of the show's best characters).

Those interested in American TV simply have to give Twin Peaks a look: it might be too weird or unsettling for some (but then again, that's always the case with Lynch's work), but it remains a landmark in contemporary television, and played a vital role in making the US small screen what it is today.
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What might have been.
pekinman13 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I watched the entire Twin Peaks series (the pilot and 28 episodes) over a period of 4 days this week, imagine my state of mind. I hadn't seen it since the original broadcasts in 1990-91. I have thought of it often over the years and seeing it now has reaffirmed my initial response of almost 20 years ago; hypnotic fascination during Season One, hopeful interest at the beginning of Season Two, glassy-eyed boredom in the middle episodes of same, and, at the end, frustrated excitement and even anger that we have been deprived of the continuation of the series into at least a third season.

The first season of Twin Peaks is generally regarded as splendid, a magical, disturbing and moving recreation of a small community of us flawed and beautiful humans. The second season starts well but then chugs and splutters, the tires go flat in the middle episodes only to be pumped up and set back on the road going full-tilt only to crash into the wall of oblivion, not to be renewed for a third season.

It is amazing to me how obviously Lynch and his team dropped the ball after Laura Palmer's murderer was revealed. Once that was done the writers launch into the most sophomoric and tedious bilge about Ben Horne going cuckoo and reliving the Civil War in his office at The Great Northern Hotel, high school pep-rally stuff, and it killed the show dead. This sorry sub-plot was coupled with another one about the most uninteresting character in the series, pouty James Hurley and his Harley. I was tired of his James Dean imitation after episode one, but to be pummeled by two episodes about him and some rich bitch trying to frame him for murder is too much. The poor guy is too stupid for words, as Laura Palmer noted early on in her diary. These 4 middle episodes are pointless and hideously boring and were, I have no doubt, responsible for the loss of a substantial number of the loyal audience at the time. To add insult to injury we are also subjected to a new guest star in the form of the worst actor known to man, Billy Zane. This over-exposed, fatuous vanity-victim is brought in to relieve Audrey Horne of her virginity, then flies off in his private jet, piloted by his perfect self, to fight the ecology war in Brazil or something (burning tons of jet fuel in the process no doubt.) I was bored stiff by these three interminable, adolescent and totally non-Lynch-like sub-plots.

Things revive markedly as the writers got their heads together and made the wicked genius Windom Earl the centerpiece of the end of the season. We get to The Dark Lodge in the end. But this was truly The End as the show was canceled. I wanted to see The White Lodge where love triumphs over evil, as it is we are left with evil rampaging through Twin Peaks for eternity. I find that sad.

We'll never know how Agent Cooper deals with Bob residing in his head, or if Norma and Big Ed get married or if Ben was conked dead or just cuckoo (again) by Dr Hayward, or whether Audrey and Pete Martell were blown to jell-o in the bank vault or whether Leo's teeth hold out keeping the tarantulas at bay until Sheriff Truman and Andy come to his rescue and take him to the Home.

Why did David Lynch allow his 3/4 brilliant creation to dribble away like it did? Where was his commitment? I love his work but I will not forget how he left me in the lurch with the unfinished Twin Peaks, the short-lived prodigy of television, gone down in undeserved television ignominy.

What might have been if the commitment had been as strong as the initial vision. You're better'n that Dave. Dammit.
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David Lynch's masterpiece
Mike9 February 2003
I have to admit when I first watched the pilot episode of Twin Peaks a couple of years ago, I wasn't sure what to think. I knew about David Lynch, having recently seen Blue Velvet, and I knew he was a director that was on the outlandish side. I borrowed the rest of the series from a friend, and after I watched the first 3 or 4 episodes, I was still scratching my head. I thought the murder premise was well done but I kept asking myself "why are these characters so strange?"

However, as I got more into the series, I found myself obsessively hooked. The series, in it's own ominous way, was extremely funny and there were so many great one liners ("that's a damn good cup of coffee") and the characters kept you second guessing. Though some characters were obviously villains, others had intentions that were often indistinguishable.

As I relentlessly watched the show over a three week period, I found myself laughing out loud and being disturbed at the same time. Ben Horne's meltdown is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in any TV series, I chuckle just thinking about it. Only David Lynch could think of something that was so eccentric and funny at the same time.

So in the end, I must say I found this show endlessly amusing. Almost every person on the show has their own idiosyncrasy, appearances by future stars like Heather Graham and David Duchovny injected humor and depth into the show, and heck, there was a sheriff named Harry S Truman, what else do you need?

I am glad to see the first season is on DVD, I can't wait until the rest is released. I wish this show had been on much longer but it is such a bizarre show that I can understand why mainstream America did not understand it. I wouldn't recommend this show to anyone that likes TV shows which are light-hearted or straightforward. Be warned, the final episode is completely bizarre, and not necessarily funny.

As a whole, the show has a very alien feel to it and may chase many people away, but if you understand David Lynch's warped sense of humor and can see the sheer lunacy of the show, you will find it endlessly entertaining.
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I still remember the night it premiered... and being mesmerized by the opening
The opening credits and music grabbed me right away. That sad, cool, reflective music. The log being cut in the mill. The bird.

This is a show that you know, as you are watching it, that it is special and destined to become a classic. What a wonderful memory. One of my favorite moments in the first episode is Andy crying, and later telling the girl not to tell the sheriff. It really brought humanity to Laura's death.

Can't wait to one day own the whole series on DVD, and one summer night, start watching the episodes one by one.

Another amazing aspect of the opening episode is the many types of characters and settings involved, just within the town of Twin Peaks. The school, the lodge, the sheriff office, the lake, the railroad tracks. It was almost as if several shows and genres were evident in one episode. Something for everyone. But it still tied together so amazingly.
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Good TV Series with a very bad ending
montferrato24 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I have purchased recently in DVD the complete series. I felt it was a duty to watch such a famous show. I was not disappointed. The show has a great quality, and it is weirdness and original sense of humor are just great. However, the show should have ended when the killer of Laura Palmer is found and discovered. The whole second season is actually very bad. There is an abuse of stupid humor and stupid sub-plots in the second season: 1. It is abusive to show us so much the idiotic problems of Lucy Moran and the dim-witted deputy Andy, and the addition of the clothes salesman is not much better. 2. Windom Earle is not at all a good character. It is much of a buffoon, and it is just ridiculous to show him always disguised in fancy dress in a small village. All population in Twin Peaks must be not very clever, because in just 24 hours, a guy like Windom Earle in such a small place as Twin Peaks would have been spotted and discovered very easily. It is just pure 24 hours everybody would greet Windom: hey, Windon, good morning, again in fancy dress??What a bad ass you are, man¡¡¡ 3. James Hurley is a terrible character. The guy makes no sense at all and it is almost revolting to listen to his utterly idiotic and brainless dialogs. By far the worst character in Twin Peaks. What a disgusting stereotype¡¡¡ 4. The Japanese businessman stunt makes no sense whatsoever, and it is a very poor conception. 5. The reappearance of Andrew, and the fact that Josie ends up as a maid are also ridiculous and inconceivable. 6. The madness of Ben Horne trying to recreate again the American Civil war is just awful. I just couldn't watch it and had to use the remote control of the DVD to go to the next scene. 7. The affair of Audrey Horne with the rich guy in the private jet before flying to Brazil is also grotesque.

And the highly praised end of the series, the final episode, is actually not as good as many say. It is so obvious that they ran out of ideas that the only option possible was to give a shocking and dark end just to make you think and leave the viewer with a sour feeling. However, it is not good enough, and it is not up to the high standards of the first part of the series. I also must say that I was quite disappointed at the sci-fi and paranormal stuff. The character of Bob, that evil spirit that takes over their hosts and commits murders is quite ridiculous. I find pitiful the constant use of a mirror in which we see the "diabolic face" of Bob laughing like a madman. That is not scary. That is just grotesque. Even Low budget horror movies have far more acceptable approaches and far more interesting characters. To know that Laura Palmer was actually killed by an evil spirit who is always behaving like a jester, buffoon or joker and laughing in mirrors (maybe scary for children, because it makes me laugh) is really very bad. We deserved another killer. We deserved a really scary killer, and not just a grotesque and playful demon who lacks ability to scare and convey fear. Bob is ridiculous. Bob lacks a convincing evil background, a personality, and a history. Bob is a very weak stunt, and a very poor attempt at trying to convey "something too scary to be fully explained". Bad. This being said, I would daresay that the series are too overrated. It is good television, it is a good show, and some parts of the first season have an outstanding quality. Indeed very good television and art in its purest form. However, they did not manage to develop properly the wonderful ideas they had, and the show lost quality at full speed.
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Wow, Bob, Wow...
MisterWhiplash14 April 2007
Twin Peaks, much like David Lynch's own Mulholland Drive and Blue Velvet, among other great works of his, examines the main notion, idea and scope behind what it is meant to conventionally be. Twin Peaks is a murder-mystery show, yes, but this is not even scratching the surface as an identifying measure to say what the show is. Another explanation, as if it were possible, is that it is ABOUT mystery, and in the case of murder of life. That might seem a little too preachy or didactic, but as one goes deeper into the series, and deeper into the Black Lodge, and deeper into every single backwards-ass character on the show, a pattern emerges. Abstractions are Lynch's life blood, and even in the weirdest moments of the show he and Mark Frost, along with their writers and directors, make Twin Peaks a collection of abstractions, but at the same time making them as much as possibly within reach of human emotion. It's one of the rare times that the kind of artful penetration into what is essentially good, essentially evil, and even essentially gray-in-area in human beings that usually presides in cinema is let out, practically in each episode, like some kind of feverish worm that crawls in your mind and won't stop...Maybe it's the owls.

But aside from the many, many, many layers to the show, to the dynamics between FBI Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLaughlin in his most recognizable role) and those he relates to everyday as well as in his dreams and Tibetan-inspired visions (the classic being the quintessential dream with the garbled-talking little-person), the teenagers with their own plots of neuroses and dramas and higher ambitions and darker demons, as well as those you'd least expect- the quiet ones- not to mention the ones residing on top in the little crevices we dare not usually seek out in small towns (i.e. the prostitution ring fronted by Mr. Horne), it's just a damn-well entertaining program. It's a superlative crossbreeding of the kind of inimitable melodrama that has the immediate feel of a soap-opera, but far more intelligent in the scope of acting and writing, and the classic absurdities that come up in the best of Lynch's work. Meaning that it will work, more or less, for two different audiences.

Fans of Lynch's will drink it up like damn-good coffee the endless quirks that become commonplace, where characters in any other show would get little no-note roles like the secretary Lucy, or the psychologist Jacobi, or even a classic nut-bar like the Log-Lady, who has the claim that the log is really her dead husband. This, plus enough dream sequences, elaborate lighting and set-design schemes, and the outrageous characterizations make it vintage Lynch/Frost work. For the other crowd, those who don't usually watch Lynch's movies and are more of just the regular TV potatoes, the series has an appeal for its more genuine side, the one that stays true to the ideas and dramatic tensions behind the characters. Even when it gets too weird, and especially in season 2 the feeling starts to get stronger and more nagging, one can't really totally pull away from it, like as if some old man with an old storybook was reading out something almost certifiable, but intriguing all the same. Laura Palmer's death brings out what her life was all about, and really what anyone connected to her is all about; there's an appeal to find out what's behind the lives of others, especially when it balances out between light and dark tendencies.

On top of this, the acting is par for the course top-notch. MacLaughlin, it seems could play this guy in his sleep after a while, and it doesn't take too long in the first season to get past his own odd-sense of awareness (and his regular reliance on dreams and visions) to get closer to solving the dreaded case of Laura Palmer. It's hard for me to think of any one performance that would be a bad one to knock-off, as even the more ludicrous ones- based on their characters- are played as believable as possible. Memorable guest appearances, however, are attributed to the likes of Michael Parks (known from the Tarantino/Rodriguez movies), David Duchovny (an excellent, far cry from Mulder) Frank Silva (as the one who, well, I won't say too much about him), and Lynch himself as the FBI regional chief who's a little hard of hearing. So much can be seen as the blackest of comedy, by turns very sudden and otherworldly and just plain strange (a signing and dancing Mr. Palmer and rows and rows of donuts just bits of what's in store), and it is often very funny. But there's also much in the way of what makes for the best TV: you want to keep watching each week, or now as is the case back to back on DVD, to see how this will turn out, however f***ed up it might get. Simply, it has something, if only in parts, for everybody/

So get yourself some pie and coffee, make sure to speak backwards and forwards again, and don't underestimate the power of a giant with some clues on hand. Twin Peaks is a world of secrets unveiled, and secrets that maybe shouldn't be unveiled yet sought after, and there's enough to keep fans talking for years to come as one of the great 'cult' show in modern TV.
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Absolutely a must see!!!
jacquesf-124 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Twin Peaks... a very famous series - that really deserves all the praise it gets!

The story begins as special FBI agent Dale Cooper (perfectly impersonated by Kyle MacLachlan) comes to the little town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of the local beauty queen, Laura Palmer.

As the series proceed, Laura's killer is eventually found and the main plot line turns and twists to eventually end in a place where you would never expect it to be...

Twin Peaks begins as a crime story with quite a lot of comical moments, the picturesque characters of this little town where everybody knows each other are very nicely sketched out and developed in a very interesting way, most of them having quite a lot of secrets, thus providing secondary story lines that come and go, more or less intertwined with the main one.

As the story proceeds, the comical tone slowly fades away, slight touches of sci-fi and paranormal events come in and as you grow more and more fond of all those lovely people of Twin Peaks, a much darker and intriguing plot comes to the surface, dipping the whole series into an ever more and more mysterious and sometimes even scary atmosphere...

And there suddenly comes the final episode. Of course, everyone expects the final episode to be something special, but no one could expect THIS! I will not get into the details of the story so as not to include any spoilers, but the final episode is a must see! It is a must see! Never ever in my life have I witnessed such an ending!!! surprising, unhappy, happy, good, bad... the ending of Twin Peaks is far beyond that. The only word I can find to describe it is ABSOLUTELY AND UTTERLY NEGATIVE, not leaving the faintest little spark of hope... I was still schocked by the end even a couple of hours after having seen it and still feel somewhat uneasy just recalling it... I admire the person (D. Lynch and M. Frost) who got the idea and - most importantly - had the guts to write a finale like that...

See if you have the guts...

See how far you can go...

See if you can cope with Twin Peaks...

A must see!
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Surreal and one of the best TV series...
terp_9221 August 2000
Warning: Spoilers
This is definitely one of the best things David Lynch has ever done. What attracted me to this series was it's quirkyness and surreal nature. If there was ever a TV series that identified the 90's, this is one of them.

Personally, I think they should've stopped the series right after they solved Laura Palmer's murder, but oh well. I hope they someday make another movie to tie up some of the loose ends such as the way the series ended on a cliffhanger.

Anyways, onto my lunch of a baguette with butter and brie and some cherry pie.
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A brilliant and original show that progressed way too quickly.
Tommy Nelson5 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Twin Peaks started off with enormous popularity, and by the middle of the second season the show began to lose it's fans as it became stranger and stranger. And it is understandable why people stopped viewing. The main question when the show started was "Who killed Laura Palmer?", and after only 17 episodes, the question was answered and the show's plot switched. Characters were also being killed off left and right. This show's progression was too fast for it's own good, and that's what probably led to it's downfall...that and the second season which was a big let down compared to the first.

Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) is one of the most beloved residents of the small town of Twin Peaks, so it comes as a huge shocker when she is found dead. Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLaughlan) is called in to town to help with the case, and the possible murderers are many. Also in the town of Twin Peaks, or in the outskirt forests, are many secrets, and supernatural happenings.

Season one of Twin Peaks is great. It introduces the characters well, and is the perfect mixture of comedy and drama. This season only touched upon the supernaturals that the series would soon adapt, which may have been a complaint among fans, but season two went overboard. Season two is good, but was just too much. Laura Palmer's killer was revealed mid season, and really that was the end of the show's plot. It tried to be a smooth transition, but it wasn't. Before this point, Laura Palmer was the show's star, and when she was laid to rest along with her murderer (In one of the show's most brilliant episodes), the show lost something. It went off to become too bizarre it was bordering on silly. But still, even with this season, this was an excellent show.

As for originality, this show is one of the most original shows ever thought up. It's basically a supernatural soap opera murder mystery that attracts both males and females, and has a huge cast, with each episode playing as an anthology of character observations. Season one was near perfect, season two was near great, and overall this was an excellent series.

My rating: *** 1/2 out of ****. 48 mins per episode. TV14
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Brilliant actors & story line - but obviously the network forced the writers into uncomfortable timing problems.
networkingpost1 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Do yourself a favor and make Season 2 Episode 9 the last episode you watch.

Don't get me wrong there are brilliant moments between Heather Graham and Kyle MacLachlan, and I loved the chess and four queen analogy.

Unfortunately, the owl cave was just awful. The shapes didn't even align - the tattoos were triangles and on Cooper's drawings (and in the cave) the shapes were diamonds. Then the police investigate the scene and leave / the villain investigates the scene - finds what the police overlook / and then the police come back... all on the same night... What the? It was so poorly done - it would've been better left out.

And, so MUCH more could have been done with the final two episodes. The Miss Twin Peaks competition was a train wreck - completely awkward. Particularly when compared to the 4 episodes which beautifully and smoothly setup the the pageant (I particularly enjoyed the interaction with the villain and Leo, and the villain and the 3 queens.) Finally, the last episode was completed with the obvious intent of creating a 3rd season, and ironically - ABC never opted to pick it up. So... you just sit there thinking (20 years later, watching season 2 at one sitting on Netflix instead of week by week on ABC) why did I invest all this time in a series that ended like this!? It was as if I was watching the Matrix 2 and 3 all over again. Ugh.
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Over-polished and too fashion-modelized.
Warning: Spoilers
This overrated, short-lived series (a measly two seasons) is about as experimental and unique as a truck driver going to a strip bar. I am not quite sure what they mean by "ground-breaking" and "original" when they fawn all over Lynch and his silly little TV opus. What exactly is their criteria of what is original? Sure, compared to the "Bill Cosby Show" or "Hill Street Blues" it's original. Definitely. Next to "Law & Order" TP spews originality left and right.

Fans of TP often say that the show was canceled because too many viewers weren't smart enough, open enough for the show's supposed "weirdness", its alleged wild ingenuity, or whatever. As a fan of weirdness myself, I have to correct that misconception. There is nothing too off-the-wall about TP; it is a merely watchable, rather silly whodunit that goes around in circles, spinning webs in every corner but (or because of it) ultimately going nowhere. The supposed weirdness is always forced; the characters don't behave in a strange way as much as they behave in an IDIOTIC way half the time. There's a difference...

Whenever I watch the "weird dream" sequence in "Living In Oblivion" in which the dwarf criticizes the director (Buscemi) for succumbing to the tired old let's-use-a-midget-in-a-dream-scene cliché, I think of Lynch. You want weird? "Eraserhead" is weird - in fact, it's beyond weird, it's basically abstract. You want a unique TV show? Watch "The Prisoner". You want a strange-looking cast? Felini's and Leone's films offer that. TP looks like an overly coiffed TV crime drama in which all the young people look like fashion models. The cast gives TP a plastic look. Kens & Barbies en masse.

In fact, one of the producers of TP said that Lynch was looking for "unique faces" for the series. Unique faces? Like Lara Flynn Boyle's? Sheryll Fenn's? Like those effeminate-faced "hunks" straight out of men's catalogs (or gay magazines)? Don't get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with getting an attractive cast, especially with beauties like Fenn (the way Madonna would look if she were 1000 times prettier), but then don't go around saying you're making a "weird show with weird-looking people". And I have never understood Lynch's misguided fascination with Kyle MacLachlan (I should get a medal for bothering to spell his name right). He is not unlikable, but lacks charisma, seeming a little too bland and polished. His character's laughable "eccentricities" were not at all interesting, merely one of Lynch's many attempts to force the weirdness, trying hard to live up to his reputation - him having completely lost his edge by that time. Everything Lynch made post-"Elephant Man" was very much sub-par compared to his first two movies. What followed were often mediocre efforts that relied on Lynch's relatively small but fanatical fan base to keep him in the public eye by interpreting meanings into his badly put-together stories that don't hold any water on closer scrutiny. In other words, Lynch is every intellectual-wannabe's darling.

So Laura Palmer was killed by her Dad...? He was obsessed by the devil or some such nonsense. That's the best this "great mind" could come up with... You've got B-movie horror films that end with more originality.

Lynch is neither bright nor hard-working enough to come up with a terrific story. What he does have though is his "artist aura", which has turned him into somewhat of a cinema god for people who are easily duped.
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An Extraordinary Production, Despite An Inferior Continuation After The Second Half Of The Second Season
npyx14 August 2010
Twin Peaks is known by its mysterious nature and weird set of characters. It's one of the productions that changed our ways of thinking about TV series. And just like anything we see on the screen, it has its brilliant moments and not-so-brilliant ones.

In the first season and the first half of the second season, we make a mystified journey in the town of Twin Peaks through a chain of strange events and their consequences. Being introduced with exceptional characters, we experience the towns atmosphere, inhabitants' life and their twisted relationships. They're brought us almost in a cinematic way. Not every puzzle is solved in a certain way, some instances remain open to our perception. But everything is smooth.

Honestly I was a little disappointed after seeing the ninth and tenth episode of the second season. The sense of mystery partially gives place to artificiality and dullness. As some said earlier, it's like (although certainly not) the concept reached it's limits and there comes improvisation for the sake of entertainment. So expect to be disturbed by pointless conversations, unnecessarily prolonged scenes (especially when romance is involved), exaggeration, and lack of connectivity. Feeling of compulsion may last till the last few episodes of season two. And after that awaits the worse. As mentioned before, last episode leaves everything hanging. It ends prematurely and leaves a full sense of incompleteness, much like "Carnivale". But even considering these, probably you'll still find Twin Peaks enjoyable.

Twin Peaks is a cult TV series that affected both TV and cinema productions. Personally I like to watch one or two episodes time to time just to feel the atmosphere of early '90s. I should add that the music in Twin Peaks is enchanting. Angelo Badalamenti really did a great job creating the unique score. But it's more than that. You'll find mystery, symbolism, references and creativity in Twin Peaks. In many ways Twin Peaks is an exceptional production and way ahead of it's time.
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One of the most intriguing and fascinating TV shows ever made
Warning: Spoilers
Created by David Lynch(director of "Eraserhead" and "The Elephant Man") and Mark Frost, "Twin peaks" combines drama, comedy and mystery with some elements of supernatural horror in a unconventional, impressive manner.

The story follows the investigations the agent Dale Cooper to solve the mysterious murder of a beautiful and beloved girl, Laura Palmer, who is seemed as a role-model by almost everyone in the town of Twin peaks. However, things aren't what it seem in "Twin Peaks" and no one is who pretends to be. Many dark secrets of almost all the characters are revealed in every episode, but always in a fascinating, intriguing way. This show caught me since the first episode, until the surprising, disturbing and impressive last episode. This is one of the most artistic TV-shows ever made. All the characters are unique and the performances are great. The music made by Angelo Badalamenti, is great as the show, giving a unique feeling. Many shows tried (like "Lost") tried to be like this one. But for me at least, it never won't be any shows like this. This is a must-see for everyone.
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Dr. Jacoby from the late Terrence McKenna
jerome-2323 March 2006
I perceive Dr. Jacoby to be strongly based on the late ethnobotanist, Terrence McKenna. Their physical appearance is strikingly similar, their dress style is similar and they are both in the liberal arts professions. Dr. Jacoby holidays in Hawaii and has a Hawaiian wife, McKenna lived in Hawaii. Dr. Jacoby has a notable mushroom shaped lamp, McKenna studied and wrote widely on psychedelic mushroom culture.

We corresponded via email too briefly in 1996. He advised me in regard to life and 2012 to "be there or be square."

When I posted this in the Twin Peaks Message Boards area two fellow posters quickly agreed with me.

BTW, I watched Twin Peaks when it was originally aired in the UK around 15 years ago.

I have a copy of the December 1990 Playboy starring Sherilyn Fenn which I purchased underage although quite permissible for her only semi-nudity.

--- by Jerome, computer coder, author, and voter of 1,000 films.
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absolutely fantastic series
Embley31 July 2000
this is one of the best series that ever aired on tv. kudos to lynch (as usual). it does lag a bit in the middle of the series when it seems to be all donna and james, but other than that it is totally compelling, thrilling and scary. fantastic characters and plots. very amusing. and disturbing as only mr. lynch can be.
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Tragically beautiful
CinefanR16 January 2012
"Twin Peaks" must be the best TV series of all time, since even today, 20 years after its first run, there is still nothing like it. This is the strange little town where black coffee, cherry pie, red curtains, the smell of Douglas firs and an ancient evil presence make heaven an interesting place. And of course, "there's always music in the air"…

This truly unique blend of mystery, comedy and horror with surreal undertones and deeper layers of symbolism manages to be hilarious, touching and disturbing all together. The music, characters, dialogues and story lines, the visually arresting sequences, the unmistakable directorial approach - everything about the series is so "out of this world". Peculiar and timeless, the mysteries of "Twin Peaks" are irresistible and open to interpretation.
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absolute nonsense and must be avoidable show
sbasba-074293 December 2015
absolute waste of time, do not get carried away by the overrated reviews. even though the first season is to some extent o.k. the second season is absolute waste of time and effort and absolute meaningless. many episodes are simply ridiculous and what the creators wanted to drive nobody can understand. i hope wisdom prevails and this kind of nonsense should be avoided in future as peoples money and time are very precious. absolute avoidable show. benjamin horne civil war episodes are disgusting.james hurleys drive tour is total waste of time. nadaine character only god can understand. extension of the episodes by introducing windom earle character is meaningless.
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An experiment that became ground-breaking television
calvinnme1 May 2010
"Twin Peaks" was a fantastic show that was quite experimental for its time (1990-1991) that at it's worst was better than most everything else on TV. I wish the show could have survived longer, but with an awful second season time slot - Saturday at 10pm - it had no chance. The revelation of Laura Palmer's killer took the wind out of the sails somewhat just nine shows into the second season, but the true theme of Twin Peaks was about the evil in the woods that took the form of the killer and the seamy underbelly of what appeared to be everyday small-town life. The murder of Laura Palmer was just the surface of that. Three somewhat pointless episodes followed the one that revealed Laura's killer, but then the show bounced back with the Windham Earle storyline. Unfortunately many viewers had stopped watching the show by then. Perhaps the lasting legacy of "Twin Peaks" is that it made series with weird subplots, long story arcs, and oddball characters more acceptable to the networks. For example, I don't think that "The X-Files" could have made it to the air in 1993 had it not been for "Twin Peaks" preceding it and succeeding. After all, after a show where there is a dwarf that materializes on a bed, dances, and talks backwards, an alternate reality where clones are created and sent out to the world, and creamed corn as a symbol of suffering, the adventures of Scully and Mulder look as thematically tame as Dragnet. Highly recommended.
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An absolutely masterful quirky television series that ended much too soon.
ozthegreatat4233027 April 2007
I have not seen the DVD so my comments are based primarily on the VHS version of the show. First off: due to way the series was released on VHS the series pilot was expanded and altered for the theatrical release, so in order to see the entire series you have to watch the two hour movie, but not be taken in by the ending. The series itself was a refreshing blast of cold air in the midst of the insipid dreck that TV programing usually presents. I am always delighted by the truly warped mind of this twisted auteur, and this show is very much why. The cast is excellent. Twin Peaks itself, the town and it's people appear at first as very ordinary, but as is the case in many small towns there is a lot hidden behind the facade.

I was especially taken with Special Agent Dale Cooper (Maclachlan) who is anything but your typical Hooveristic FBI agent. Michael Ontkean is his perfect foil as Shreiff Harry S. Truman. I could go on and on, but I think it were time better sent if you were watching the series, 29 wonderful hours all told. A super cast, a story that twists and turns more than a hair pin road, and the haunting theme music make this a TV and film classic. Warning: not for small children, say under twenty. Or over sixty. (OK sixty five tops).
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The Valley of Death
tedg9 August 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

There are two characters here, the creative mind of Lynch and the market forces of TeeVee. Lynch has built a project around two such notions before: in `Blue Velvet' the two main characters were the small town movie and the twists of his mind. In Blue, the formula worked marvelously because the hierarchy worked: the base was the movie form and it was inherently enriching. Same with `Mulholland.'

The risk here is much greater because the base is TeeVee, and that form is the opposite. It drains. In Blue, Lynch's mind could weave values with the `small town' movie. Here, it is relied upon to provide all the life. Instead of the partner enlivening, it drains. Compare this to `Fire Walk' to see what I mean.

Here, the notion is to go as far as possible with nothing happening. All must be in stasis. The joke is that while much is revealed nothing is ever explained, and if nothing else, TeeVee audiences are addicted to clarity and simplicity. So as with Seinfeld, the TeeVee audience went along with the joke; `oh, I get it... there's nothing there.. there's not _supposed_ to be something there.'

This must have been frustrating for Lynch. He surrounded himself with people he knew and trusted. Many had worked on his films. All agreed. No one deliberately fell away from the plan. But everyone did, because the medium is so powerful it bends the best intentions. It is impossible to work this kind of intelligence with TeeVee. This is a very strong lesson for those who study film and how it affects the society's methods of reasoning.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 4: Has some interesting elements.
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