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Twin Peaks original TV series

Kaya Blount, Staff Writer

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If you’re looking for a crime drama that’s also extremely avant-garde, well shot and somewhat chilling, David Lynch’s 1990 series Twin Peaks is the show for you. The mystery of “Who killed Laura Palmer?” will keep you hooked. However, this isn’t a show that you can binge watch– the episodes administer a lot of information at once, and in order to get the full experience, you might have to sit back and digest it all bit. That, and entering the trippy universe David Lynch created in this cult series can be a little much. Lynch is known for his world-building skills, meaning his exhaustive scripts, meticulous camera shots and immersive plots often leave people on the edge of their seats in a state of visceral reaction, whether it be positive or negative. Twin Peaks is no different. Taking place in the made up small town of Twin Peaks, WA, FBI agent Dale Cooper investigates the death of homecoming queen and town sweetheart Laura Palmer. His investigations lead him to uncover Twin Peak’s deepest, darkest secrets. The plot incite curiosity within the viewer as well– especially since the very first episode, entitled “Pilot,” begins with Laura Palmer being found dead wrapped in plastic on an open beach. “Pilot” is so overrun with raw emotion and a sense of urgency as the town rushes to find Laura’s killer. Enter Dale Cooper, FBI. Cooper is an eccentric agent whose unorthodox methods of investigation actually get him pretty far in terms of finding a killer. Then there’s Sheriff Truman, an honorable man who wants the best for his town (and he’s taken the position of sheriff following in the footsteps of his father and brother). There’s Josie Packard, a Chinese-American woman who gained authority of her late husband’s logging business after he died, and Bobby, Laura’s former lover, who’s comparable to Bender from The Breakfast Club. The cast of characters goes on and on from there, and they each have their own story to tell, which is a part of the reason the show feels so realistic. Every character is three dimensional- even if they’ve only got four lines in the entire show. However, this can be an issue. Lynch has a habit of telling the story behind every tree branch, and the lore of the series becomes so convoluted it’s hard to follow at some point. The first episode, “Pilot,” is an hour and a half long, and that was a long hour and a half. I often had to stop the show and rewind, since it’s such an experimental show with a very in-depth plot. There were points where I was watching Twin Peaks and I was hopelessly lost– as in I couldn’t even take a guess as to what was happening. On top of the complicated and mystifying plot, the acting wasn’t my favorite, either. Maybe actors had a different criteria to live up to in the 90s, but here in the 2000s, they definitely wouldn’t cut it. One of the cringiest scenes in “Pilot” was when Sarah Palmer, Laura’s mother, received the news that Laura was murdered. The scene itself was likely only thirty seconds to a minute, but it felt like an eternity. Sarah was in her kitchen, screaming “My baby!” at the top of her lungs. It sounds heartwrenching, but it was poorly executed. It was obvious that Grace Zabriskie, the actress who played Sarah, was acting. It didn’t feel real at all. The same goes for Dale Cooper, the main FBI agent in the first season. His character was a good idea, but Kyle MacLachlan’s acting falls short. It does get better later in the series, but it’s hard to stomach for the first few episodes. Overall, Twin Peaks is an amazing show with an extremely mesmerizing plot and fascinating characters, but too much of a good thing can do harm. The plotlines can be engrossing, but with so many details and trivialities flying at the viewer so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with the show. The acting isn’t top-notch, either– at some points it’s painstakingly obvious that the actors have memorized a script and are regurgitating their lines for the camera. I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars. Season 3, the reboot, is set to come out May 21, 2017, and from what I’m hearing, it’s worth watching. David Lynch and Mark Frost are both coming back to direct the reimagination of the series, and it’ll be 18 episodes. Hopefully, the show can make the necessary changes to keep younger audiences involved, but not lose the spark of originality that drew audiences in 27 years ago.

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The school newspaper of University City High School
Twin Peaks original TV series