Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Twin Peaks" (Season 1)

“Twin Peaks” has long been on my to-see list of television shows for several reasons. It is seen as a precursor of the sort of show that I really like on TV these days. It has a reputation for being weird. It is a mystery. It belongs to that period of recent pop-culture history that I completely missed by being in another culture. The co-creator and writer of this show was the writer of one of my favorite guilty pleasure books of all time. The episode of the “Autopilot!” podcast dedicated to it made it sound like must-see-TV. So, when I found it on DVD for pocket change, I decided it was time to dive in.

Season one is a mere 8 episodes long. In a word it is weird. But it is also more than just a strange Soap Opera built on the premise of a murder mystery. It is a story about a small, idyllic village from a seemingly innocent, simpler time. The truth however, is that Twin Peaks is a community where evil is hidden, dark, and as bad or worse than anything the more “modern” metro area has to offer. This is no surprise to anyone who has lived in a small town. Whereas strange behavior and lifestyles are a visible rarity in large urban areas sprawling with humanity; small towns seem to teem with human weaknesses bubbling just below the surface.

In most mystery stories we get one of two scenarios. Either we don’t know what is going on and are trying to solve the puzzle with the detective, or we know the facts and enjoy watching the detective figure things out. In this case, no one knows anything. There are any number of clandestine wrongs being committed. However, the closest thing to detection going on in “Twin Peaks” is dream interpretation or perhaps some subconscious character judgment by way of rock pitching.

Since season one is all complex set-up, ultimate judgment must be withheld a bit.


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