The Appeal of Twin Peaks?

Twin Peaks

Cult or Cut?

I’m a couple of decades late to the Twin Peaks party. Which, I gotta say, having watched the first dozen-and-a-half episodes, is entirely okay. After spending a childhood hearing the words “Twin Peaks” used in suggestive ways or to describe the All-American Murder Mystery, I was expecting a lewd mix of the two when I started watching this show.

What I got was – oh boy – so much more than that! Or less. I’m not really sure.

I got interested in checking this show out primarily while playing Deadly Premonition for a gaming podcast series I was running in the days of BNBGAMING, called Well Played. Seeing how insane and often counter-mainstream the game was, I figured it was just one of those “Kooky Japanese Cultural Things”. It wasn’t. Remedy Entertainment’s spooky-scary Alan Wake also cited the David Lynch show as influential, but I get the feeling this refers more to the industrial mountain town aspect than anything specific that carries over into the game’s vibe.

Twin Peaks

The list of odd sights and sounds in the show varies and expands from episode to episode. Just last night I watched an episode that featured a lady lovingly cradling a tree stump as one would a newborn baby; an ethereal white stallion simply appearing in someone’s living room; a one-eyed amnesiac shattering a milkshake glass between her bare hands; what seemed like a ten minute slow-motion dance between a girl and her attacker, featuring him perversely sucking on her chin, then taking a violent Clockwork Orange turn with the assailant beating her in the face with teeth-crunching brutality. It was, suffice it to say, most surreal. But such is just another ordinary day in the settlement of Twin Peaks, apparently.

All of this, and I haven’t even mentioned leading man Kyle MacLachlan and his ham-fisted approach to acting in this show, which somehow, oddly, seems quite at home in this town full of nutty personalities.

Twin PeaksI wonder if, had I been watching this in the early ’90s when life was simpler and TV Land was a less formulaic, less complicated place to be, if Twin Peaks would somehow hit me differently – if it would come across more intelligible and less like a derailed freight train barreling full tilt down the “Lost Your Shit” highway.

Probably not.

PS: I will admit, however, that the theme song, despite my best efforts, has permanently ingrained itself into my memory banks; it is damn catchy!


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