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‘Twin Peaks’ Returns After 25 Years

%22Twin+Peaks+also+stood+out+for+its+distinctive+performances.+Lynch+gave+each+actor+a+different+script%2C+so+they+were+only+aware+of+their+own+lines.%22+Image+source%3A+http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sho.com%2Ftwin-peaks%2F

"Twin Peaks also stood out for its distinctive performances. Lynch gave each actor a different script, so they were only aware of their own lines." Image source: http://www.sho.com/twin-peaks/

"Twin Peaks also stood out for its distinctive performances. Lynch gave each actor a different script, so they were only aware of their own lines." Image source: http://www.sho.com/twin-peaks/

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Twin Peaks, an experimental television series from the early 90s, will resume on May 21. The new season, produced by Showtime, is set in the mountains of Washington State, 25 years after the previous season, reflecting the length of the gap since the second season was broadcast on ABC.

Directed by experimental filmmaker David Lynch, the original series depicted surreal events following in the wake of an FBI agent appearing in the town of Twin Peaks to investigate a murder. The show was noted for its lack of a clear narrative structure. Lynch preferred to transport the viewer into the town through a unique episodic structure that has since influenced other shows such as Stranger Things and Breaking Bad.

Twin Peaks was the first television show to use such innovative storytelling techniques. Due to Lynch’s unique approach, the show proved more immersive than most films. It is for this reason that critics have credited Twin Peaks with ushering in the “golden age of television.”

The show tells the story of an isolated rural town in Washington that is seemingly idyllic. However, a murder shakes up the town, and it is not long before the protagonist, FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), investigates “who killed Laura Palmer” and uncovers the true evil that lurks beneath the surface of the town. The show becomes increasingly experimental as it progresses, as Cooper becomes involved in an astral realm populated by evil spirits.

Twin Peaks also stood out for its distinctive performances. Lynch gave each actor a different script, so they were only aware of their own lines. He also encouraged actors to exaggerate the characters’ quirks, resulting in a distinctive off-kilter humor. The nature of the performances stands out as much as the plot.

Lynch’s directorial style is immediately recognizable. He places equal emphasis on every moment; a scene in which Cooper eats donuts and drinks black coffee is given as much time and detail as a confrontation with one of the show’s antagonists. The show is also visually compelling, featuring distinctive cinematography that makes the viewer feel simultaneously close up and panned out from the subject.

Lynch’s directorial style is immediately recognizable. He places equal emphasis on every moment; a scene in which Cooper eats donuts and drinks black coffee is given as much time and detail as a confrontation with one of the show’s antagonists.”

Another significant aspect of the show is that it makes no pretention to being taken seriously. At the same time, it is anything but ironic. It is simply good-humored and heartfelt. For example, despite all the evil he faces, Cooper is comically depicted as a spiritual figure who practices Buddhism. His sense of peace is juxtaposed with the constant feeling of evil and agoraphobia lurking just beneath the surface. In the end, Cooper’s outlook always wins out.

It is worth mentioning, however, that Twin Peaks is far from perfect. While the first season has some of the best content that television can offer, the second season falls apart halfway in. This is a result of David Lynch’s decision to leave the show after being pressured by the network to reveal the killer. Lynch came back to direct a phenomenal final episode that is stylistically akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey. In fact, his original plan for the show was to never reveal the killer, instead focusing on the town’s idiosyncrasies for as long as he could.

That being said, Twin Peaks is a unique and beautiful work of art. It is distinctive as it is difficult to categorize. Lynch’s willingness to dwell on vivid yet insignificant moments results in an honest, immersive and emotional experience.

One should watch the first two seasons before watching the new season. Having experienced the buildup to the epic conclusion of the original series will prove necessary to fully appreciating the sequel. Even if you are not interested in the new season, I would still recommend watching the original series. It can be found on all streaming services. The merits of this third season will depend solely on how well it stands up against the original series. Fans will be satisfied only if the new series is just as groundbreaking and experimental.

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‘Twin Peaks’ Returns After 25 Years