Listen, I know I’m late to the Twin Peaks party. Trust me, I’ve spent most of my adult life defending my lack of watching it. All my buddies are into quirky entertainment, they love David Lynch, they’d probably fellate him on the spot in a dark alley. But Lynch’s movies make me feel like someone unscrewed my head, took my brain out, and tossed it into dirty dish water. Seriously. The way he sets up a shot, the weird discomfort he applies to specific scenes — I know that’s his artistry, but it really just gives me the heebie jeebies.
Plus, I’ve got a weird Richter scale for what scary is, and what violence is okay or not. All my friends, even my wife, are still trying to solve it. I’m cool with seeing someone get decapitated in Kill Bill. I cannot handle Freddie Kruger. Mad Max: Fury Road was great; The Shining gives me goosebumps just typing it out for you.
But Twin Peaks is sort of all those things and none of those things. Part soap opera, part murder mystery, part surrealist experiment, part sitcom, Twin Peaks keeps making me uncomfortable one moment and then incredulous the next. And I can’t stop watching. I’m just now starting Season Two, where a lot of fans tell me it goes off the rails, but I’m still hooked so far. Apparently, the pressures of capitalism, otherwise known as the Sales Guys, really wanted Lynch to seal Twin Peaks’ original mystery, Who Killed Laura Palmer, with a nice bow on it. The audience needs resolution, they supposedly claimed, falling prey to the usual, whiny, basic narrative complaints that anyone with more ad money than creative capital does. And thus, Twin Peaks got resolution (sshh, don’t spoil it for me, uh, even though I’m 26 years late), and then the series tanked.
Twin Peaks is available for massive binge-watching consumption on Netflix, if you’re a newbie who needed some reassurance, or if you’re a huge fan with an “Ask It” tattoo.