twin peaks: an introduction

So today we’re joined by a lovely friend of ours, Zoe Smith. Lover of David Lynch, Survivor, and any manner of heist hijinks, she can be found on twitter @zoeclaireduh.

Hi, I’m Zoe, and if there’s one thing I love in this universe more than myself, it’s Twin Peaks. Like, the guy I was seeing broke up with me, but I’m still lending him my gold-edition box set of the show because I recognize Twin Peaks is bigger than me, him, and us. You could say that ever since watching it, I’ve been on a mission trip trying to spread its message.

To be honest, I don’t know how to begin describing the series. I have so much love for it that my passion kind of shoots out of my eyes like laser beams and out of my mouth like word vomit. But, for the purpose of this post, I shall try and keep it short and structured and hopefully intriguing enough for you to watch it (I really hope you do).

So, like with anything, let’s start at the very beginning; the pilot episode. This beautiful dark twisted fantasy of David Lynch and Mark Frost, running an hour and a half, managed to make its way onto network television and introduce us to the magical world that is Twin Peaks.

First off, this pilot has some of the best character introductions, I world argue, in television history. The lifeless prom queen, wrapped in plastic. Her face haunts every episode, yet she never talks. The slick FBI agent, recording every moment of his day to an invisible Diane. His introduction comes in about 30 minutes through the episode, seemingly too late for a main character, but- like the first sentence of any novel- his entrance reveals so much of his character. The pilot even makes its minor characters memorable, like an eye-patched housewife who cares more for her drape-runners than her husband, and the gorgeous and exotic lady we see in the first shots of the show.

And where should such kooky and alluring characters meet? In the Pacific Northwest, of course! The dreary and haunting setting, with dark looming Douglas firs and a perpetual mist- filmed on location in Washington State- gives the show the perfect tone of sleepy but suspicious. What bizarre happenings go on behind the unlocked doors of your seemingly friendly neighbors?

You know, I tried to think of a decent segue into talking about Angelo Badalamenti’s score of the show, but all of them were lame. Let me just tell you, this is the kind of mood music that you’ll either want on your iTunes, or let haunt your dreams. Or, if you’re me, both. It’s jazzy, it’s witty, it’s dark. Case in point: when Bobby Briggs plays the juke box for Norma, a wailing organ plays rather than a pop song. And I think that says a lot about the show.

If my rattling on about various aspects of Twin Peaks, like it’s characters or its mise-en-scene, haven’t piqued your interest- at least give it a shot for the mystery. There was a reason that 1990 and 1991 were dominated by the question “Who killed Laura Palmer?” and the need to know the answer will leave you binge-watching. Every twist and every turn, every new piece of evidence and suggestive camera angle left me, at least, considering changing my degree to criminology.

Because who doesn’t love a good whodunit?

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