In case you haven’t heard, Twin Peaks is happening again. In fact, it’s on tonight. I have tried so hard to get people I know into Twin Peaks, and generally works one of two ways. Sometimes, the person is hooked immediately. They love the atmosphere from the first episode. In other cases, the person makes weird faces at me throughout the pilot and then assures me that they will catch up with the series “eventually.”
No matter the case, there are always a few key ideas I use to “sell” Twin Peaks to people I know. It’s often hard to explain why we love the things we do, but I don’t have this trouble when I’m talking about my favorite Kyle MacLachlan masterpiece. While you might not yet be sold on the idea, there are a few things you should know about Twin Peaks before you press Play.
Twin Peaks Works Because Threats Are Ambiguous
Ambiguity of the threat is one of the biggest factors that drew me to Twin Peaks the first time I watched. Who killed Laura Palmer? Who is going to snap under pressure? Who is going to be the first to kick James out of town? In my opinion, this is why the first season works so much better than the second (and the film, I guess). You don’t know where the threat lies, and you don’t know who to trust. You don’t even know if there is anybody in this town that you can trust. I totally see why David Lynch did not want to reveal Laura’s murderer. Perhaps we never needed to know who for Twin Peaks to work.
Music in Twin Peaks Creates the Atmosphere
I will never get over all those leitmotifs, especially Laura’s theme. I love the air it adds to each scene. When I hear some of the jazz music, I can’t help but believe that it adds its own mystery, one that adds to the show’s ambiguity. At the same time, it relays a sense of innocence. I think of this all the time when I see Audrey Horne dancing at the Double R.
Every Secret Has a Price
If there’s one thing that you can take from David Lynch’s work, it’s that nothing is as it seems. Could a classic American town be the key to solving a series of murders? Sure. Nothing is as innocent as it appears, and everybody has a secret. When somebody is hiding something, even they don’t know how far they will go to keep it that way.
Twin Peaks Was a Risk
Even as I watch as a fan, I see how Twin Peaks was a risk. For their time, the characters and storyline were not at all conventional. Fortunately, the risk paid off. People want to see Twin Peaks come back. People have waited more than 25 years for this. Television and movies pay homage to Twin Peaks all the time, and I’m certain that the show will continue to take risks with this new season.
I have so much more to say about Twin Peaks — and I will. I also hope to share my thoughts about the new episodes as they air.
Want to watch so you know what I’m talking about? Twin Peaks is on tonight at 9 p.m. on Showtime. I just learned I can watch it live with my Showtime subscription on Amazon Prime, so I’m pretty happy with technology at the moment.
Photo courtesy of PicJumbo