Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Twin Peaks: Why it succeeds at keeping you hooked even when it's all over


A few months ago while subscribed to Netflix I noticed that they had both seasons of Twin Peaks available to watch, Twin Peaks is a show I've heard a lot about and I had always wanted to watch it so it being available on Netflix had me overjoyed. As I was only around a good internet connection for a brief period of time I mad it through the first season and enjoyed it so much that I had to get the second season.

Flash forward a few weeks ago, I have finished watching Twin Peaks, I watched the film the other day which was a great experience solely for the fact it was more Twin Peaks. So what makes Twin Peaks so special, so intoxicating that it has stuck with me long after I have finished watching it? Is it the great characters? The seedy underbelly of an otherwise peaceful, rural town? Or is it the way the web of intrigue surrounding Laura Palmers murder gets more convoluted and somehow delivers an overly satisfying conclusion? The answer is all of these yet it is also none of these. The thing about Twin Peaks is hard to pin point, it is very much a love it or hate it TV program and some people will be turned away by the many characters eccentricities while many will be drawn into it based solely on these.

Twin Peaks starts with the murder of Laura Palmer which continues to get investigated over the course of Season 1 and halfway through Season 2, however, it is clear from the pacing of the show that this is not all the show is about. It is about building up a believable yet implausible web of intrigue based solely on the inhabitants of the town, and the way the show goes about presenting this is very clever, there are straight cut characters you are introduced to in episodes only to find out, maybe tons of episodes later that they have a hidden agenda of their own or are plotting against another character. The only character who is really exempt from this is Agent Cooper who has his own demons which he confronts in season 2. 

There are many side stories which branch off from the murder of Laura Palmer, Leland Palmers story is an interesting one as is Ben Hornes however I won't go into spoilers. So how does a show about one murder which if it were any other show for the ADHD addled would solve in an hour hang on? It hangs on because you never know what it is going to throw at you next. There are so many red herrings presented in the series and so many otherwise throwaway scenes that are very important to the conclusion, an example of this is the red room scene in episode 3, from that scene you should be able to work out who killed Laura Palmer. However, it is not known how until the very end. 

David Lynch is clearly a very clever man and his cleverness is evident over the course of the series, so much can happen in one episode however you will not realise what has happened until a later episode explains it, like I said the show throws so much at you that it can be difficult to take in some of it's more surreal moments. 

Overall, I just wanted to gush over Twin Peaks in general and this is exactly what I am doing. Twin Peaks is a fantastic show when it picks up it's pace, it gives you mystery, intrigue and some supernatural elements. The blend of this shouldn't work but it pulls it off while still feeling grounded in the reality that the series has created for itself. Twin Peaks is a show everyone should watch and if you get hooked you will be thinking of it long after it's over as there are so many visual cues and little nods Lynch has thrown in to keep you guessing. What really happened to Cooper we will never know but it is always fun to theorise over it.



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