Binge Guide

Weekly Binge: Twin Peaks

by | August 6, 2014 | Comments

It’s been nearly 25 years and Twin Peaks is still as much of a cult phenomenon today as it was when it first aired in 1990. With the Blu-ray finally available (with special features galore), isn’t it time you stopped by David Lynch’s surreal ’90s treat Twin Peaks?

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

What’s the premise? FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper arrives in the small town of Twin Peaks on the Washington/Canada border to investigate the murder of beauty queen Laura Palmer. What Cooper finds is a treasure trove of bizarre characters and even more bizarre supernatural phenomena.

What’s it like? Basically, it’s as though David Lynch made a film noir soap opera. Imagine Dallas mixed with The X-Files mixed with Blue Velvet, plus lots of coffee, doughnuts, and cherry pie on top.

Where can I see it? The complete series is available on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as streaming on Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, iTunes, Netflix, and Hulu.

How long will it take?The pilot episode is 90 minutes long and the following 29 episodes run about 45 minutes each, giving you approximately 24 surreal hours in the fair city of Twin Peaks, WA. If you are really hardcore and have a lot of damn fine coffee (and hot!), you could probably watch the whole series in one weekend — which you might be tempted to do since the show often ends with a cliffhanger. However, each episode is so dense (and often confusing), you might want to limit yourself to a few episodes a day. Either way, you could definitely enjoy the entire mystery in less than a month.

What do the critics think? Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times wrote that Twin Peaks “teeters on the very edge of exquisite absurdity. Its genius plays both on the level of subtly ludicrous melodrama and on the level of baffling whodunit.” Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly gave the show an A, saying “Plot is irrelevant; moments are everything. Lynch and Frost have mastered a way to make a weekly series endlessly entertaining.”

Why should I watch this? You could make the case that all the great serial shows we’ve had in the past two decades owe a debt to what Mark Frost and Lynch accomplished on ABC with Twin Peaks — a show way ahead of its time. It takes everything unique to David Lynch’s films and distills it through an episodic lens. Just remember, the owls are not what they seem. You will fall in love with Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) at the same time, and you will never see another character quite like the Log Lady (or any of the other strange and wonderful townsfolk of Twin Peaks). Although, be warned: the show was cancelled during its second season and ends in one of the most unresolved cliffhangers of all time. Get yourself a large helping of cherry pie as you reach the end to help yourself through it.

What’s my next step? Once you’ve finished the entire series, give yourself a little break and then watch David Lynch’s prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. You might hate it at first (it was booed at Cannes and goes to horrific places with characters you’ve grown to love), but you’re sure to like it much more on a second viewing. If you want more television about quirky small towns, try Northern Exposure or Gilmore Girls (the latter of which features several actresses from Twin Peaks in guest roles). If you want to solve another season-long mystery, try True Detective, The Bridge, Broadchurch, or Top of the Lake. Or, for a serial that’s a bit surreal, try NBC’s Hannibal. Film-wise, you might enjoy the 1944 film noir Laura, which inspired many aspects of the show, from Laura Palmer’s name to the characteristics of Special Agent Dale Cooper. Lastly, if you haven’t delved into the world of David Lynch, try watching his feature films in order, starting with Eraserhead, to see the director evolve as an artist.

Are you ready to visit Twin Peaks? Tell us why!

For more TV news, visit the Rotten Tomatoes TV Zone.

Tag Cloud

Mary Tyler Moore The Arrangement rotten movies we love Geeked Week Best Picture Biopics Rocketman classics all-time children's TV documentary politics reviews FX on Hulu obituary finale FX singing competition Disney streaming service 2015 Ellie Kemper thriller Family discovery batman MSNBC what to watch kaiju revenge slasher game of thrones justice league blaxploitation Teen spider-man OWN scene in color series Walt Disney Pictures BET Awards Amazon Syfy sequel true crime Travel Channel Country toy story Emmys Sneak Peek A24 worst movies Trivia ID films target Mystery Superheroe San Diego Comic-Con criterion technology 2020 Western Extras hidden camera medical drama Schedule emmy awards comiccon Pixar Video Games streaming gangster Thanksgiving breaking bad Prime Video YA American Society of Cinematographers know your critic TruTV vampires Dark Horse Comics marvel cinematic universe PaleyFest Polls and Games video TCM Reality Competition Brie Larson Hulu docuseries spanish language BAFTA Spring TV Rom-Com DC Universe scary Fox Searchlight hist news broadcast historical drama Reality television Pirates Interview king kong independent kids action-comedy Musical comic book movie AMC Plus Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Song of Ice and Fire Infographic Sundance TV dreamworks halloween CMT transformers Red Carpet joker telelvision 007 2018 Funimation feel good movie basketball Tomatazos Best Actress PlayStation trophy Ghostbusters Showtime sequels richard e. Grant Native Endgame Fox News casting trailers TCA Awards hispanic heritage month MTV 45 Epix international summer TV black comedy festivals psycho HFPA Lifetime golden globes docudrama Apple CW Seed free movies cancelled TV shows El Rey GLAAD Britbox crime japanese YouTube Shudder First Reviews chucky Tags: Comedy Warner Bros. Crackle 79th Golden Globes Awards Television Critics Association VICE Hallmark Christmas movies halloween tv Sony VOD 2016 olympics Summer crime thriller NBC Marvel Studios indiana jones The Academy romantic comedy Exclusive Video Countdown streamig First Look foreign TCA 2017 Paramount HBO Max doctor who Black History Month PBS game show 21st Century Fox FOX war diversity Cosplay adventure Animation posters IFC Star Wars Celebration cops Winners stand-up comedy TV Creative Arts Emmys Black Mirror rt archives Oscars spider-verse die hard Elton John TV Land sitcom ABC Signature Best Director Quiz nbcuniversal cartoon worst jamie lee curtis ghosts MGM robots versus BBC TNT Freeform Comedy National Geographic 2019 king arthur ViacomCBS Mindy Kaling screenings live event Food Network Rock superhero best anthology DC streaming service directors ESPN Superheroes australia critics LGBT Arrowverse Tokyo Olympics period drama kong 73rd Emmy Awards Fantasy Character Guide Pacific Islander Podcast Hallmark summer TV preview leaderboard Paramount Plus RT History mission: impossible Chilling Adventures of Sabrina mutant blockbusters 24 frames BET Pride Month high school Best and Worst 72 Emmy Awards spanish Esquire Pet Sematary mockumentary obi wan quibi TV renewals Pop TV sag awards universal monsters ABC Family Netflix tv talk laika Super Bowl Neflix natural history Discovery Channel Chernobyl Writers Guild of America Star Wars asian-american CNN Amazon Prime Video South by Southwest Film Festival 71st Emmy Awards Amazon Studios movies comedies archives romance comic books comic Mary poppins Disney Awards Classic Film Vudu Legendary documentaries Lionsgate hollywood Film Festival cancelled TV series Comics on TV 4/20 Election LGBTQ Women's History Month rotten Hollywood Foreign Press Association teaser 99% new zealand DirecTV Disney Channel mob canceled TV shows slashers live action Box Office zero dark thirty festival new york genre The CW political drama new star wars movies spy thriller animated french Hear Us Out Tarantino witnail Masterpiece book adaptation NYCC BBC America Nat Geo franchise comics travel E3 TV One golden globe awards superman cars psychological thriller streaming movies hispanic Lucasfilm CBS All Access suspense godzilla cancelled Turner Classic Movies USA Network lord of the rings Mary Poppins Returns pirates of the caribbean ABC award winner TV movies Film SundanceTV japan Watching Series spinoff adaptation Comic-Con@Home 2021 SXSW 2022 Pop USA RT21 harry potter YouTube Red vs. MCU Paramount Network The Purge nfl boxing Cannes miniseries black Captain marvel Logo summer preview Starz YouTube Premium 93rd Oscars werewolf scene in color Opinion boxoffice interviews sopranos Comedy Central Baby Yoda Tumblr unscripted Star Trek adenture Fargo Oscar facebook scorecard binge women toronto Martial Arts screen actors guild Columbia Pictures IMDb TV History Turner mcc Mudbound satire SXSW name the review 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards heist movie debate Awards Tour 20th Century Fox Spectrum Originals parents GoT Trophy Talk E! Emmy Nominations popular 1990s Television Academy A&E a nightmare on elm street rt labs critics edition reboot Anna Paquin biopic Amazon Prime dark Paramount Pictures AMC green book Shondaland Instagram Live Grammys comic book movies Sony Pictures OneApp Holidays royal family Adult Swim Sundance Now saw Valentine's Day jurassic park book CBS dceu Focus Features strong female leads Universal Year in Review monster movies young adult Academy Awards Crunchyroll supernatural razzies SDCC aapi scary movies stop motion remakes Disney Plus renewed TV shows series serial killer concert President Stephen King HBO Go aliens 90s science fiction Acorn TV New York Comic Con cats composers TBS venice zombie DGA Image Comics FXX Best Actor disaster Holiday police drama christmas movies HBO Apple TV+ The Walking Dead Indigenous fresh space Drama VH1 prank Tubi elevated horror video on demand Winter TV Bravo WarnerMedia BBC One twilight scene in color film series Peacock james bond Premiere Dates canceled Netflix Christmas movies Avengers dexter deadpool indie Universal Pictures TIFF Broadway art house Sci-Fi dc TCA The Walt Disney Company legend based on movie Toys latino Marathons DC Comics ratings dramedy 2017 Marvel 94th Oscars Certified Fresh dragons Rocky Trailer WGN critic resources X-Men Spike south america The Witch Apple TV Plus GIFs rt labs IFC Films social media spain Musicals Fall TV nature NBA talk show Heroines blockbuster crossover Horror biography rom-coms 2021 Disney+ Disney Plus Photos dogs sports Nickelodeon Marvel Television Christmas See It Skip It Wes Anderson TLC zombies marvel comics TCA Winter 2020 italian Sundance Binge Guide APB Ovation crime drama theme song Calendar Action cancelled television Set visit stoner fast and furious cults target scene in color ITV football cooking anime Comic Book cinemax Music Lifetime Christmas movies Alien wonder woman Kids & Family child's play Cartoon Network Nominations