David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ was the recipient of critical acclaim when the first two seasons originally aired in the 1990s. The show, a murder mystery set in the eponymous small town of Twin Peaks, captivated its audience with enthralling plots, outlandish characters, and a surreal tone rarely seen done so well in television.
Despite all of this, however, low ratings saw the programme cancelled at the end of its second season, ending without a sense of closure or resolution. The intriguing nature of the finale left fans questioning for over 20 years, until finally, the series was picked up by Showtime for one final season.
The surreal nature of the original series is certainly not lost in the new episodes, featuring the same otherworldly creatures that formed the primary plot of the first two seasons. In addition, this third season has a somewhat darker and more graphic tone, with grizzly murders and mutilations taking place within half an hour of the premiere episode.
The earliest scenes of the show set the stage for the rest of the season, with the horror and grit juxtaposed by lighter, more comedic moments such as the banter between Ben Horne, the owner of the Great Northern Hotel, and his brother Jerry, a pothead with little to no ambition or work ethic. The theme of everyday life being suddenly flipped upside down by supernatural intervention is obvious from early on, leaving the viewer with no misconceptions as to the type of show they are watching.
As the show is a continuation of the original series from the ‘90s, it may be worth watching that before embarking on the new episodes. While the show works fine without context from the previous seasons, there is a sense of something missing.
There is a feeling that watching the characters grow and evolve in the original series would add some emotional weight to the death and destruction thrust into their lives. As such, while Twin Peaks seems to be a fantastic programme, it would be best to watch the original series beforehand.
It is clear how passionate Lynch is about Twin Peaks, having also created a prequel movie in addition to the three seasons of the show.
His creation has spanned two decades. While there will no doubt be more great work from him in the future, the return of Twin Peaks may truly be his swansong; the perfect cap on an unquestionably impressive career in television and film.
Twin Peaks is a show that is truly hard to categorise, and its genre defying nature is a large part of the appeal.
Part murder mystery, part soap opera, part horror: all pretty great television.
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