Paul Lister’s review published on Letterboxd:
Twin Peaks may not be the perfect television show but it certainly stands out as one of the most enigmatic. Today marks the release of 'The Entire Mystery' box set of David Lynch's wonderfully dark, surreal, comedic and melodramatic look at a small town as it deals with the death of a young girl, a certain Laura Palmer.
Now I should say straight away that I'm watching the show out right, not the stupid international version of the pilot episode, for which the option here on Letterboxd clearly pertains to. I just want to write about how brilliant this show is; the obvious sense of mystery, the beauty of Angelo Badalamenti's score, Kyle MacLachlan's oddball FBI Agent Cooper, the terror that lurks in those Douglas Fir tree's and so much more.
I love the sense of melodrama in this show, something that the Badalamenti score evokes really well. The scene at the beginning where Leland finds out his daughter is dead was absolutely mind blowing, his wife on the other end of the phone having her deepest fears confirmed by hearing Leland drop the phone. In other scene's the straight up surreal moments of humour just floors me, Cooper's recordings to 'Diane' at times having me scratch my head as well as laugh uncontrollably, "Diane, I'm holding in my hands a small box of chocolate bunnies" he remarks, after searching for clues in Laura Palmer's Diary.
When it comes to the mystery the pilot doesn't give up much, there's a letter pulled from a fingertip, a heart locket with two pieces and a piece of paper with 'Fire Walk With Me' which of course is important. Some of the moments in the show are terrifying, just a brief shot of a red traffic light swinging in the air can send shivers down your spine! As the show goes on the darkness and the terror involved in the show will move on way past foreboding traffic lights!
The show obviously has more to it than just the investigation into Laura Palmer's death but all the characters are at least linked to it in some way, or linked to the affected by the dark presence that lingers over the town of Twin Peaks, in later episodes some really weird things happen, one of the characters comes to believe she is back at high school and part of the cheer leading time and she has seemingly superhuman strength! At times in the second season it loses it's way in some of these peculiarities before refocussing but it is often joyously surreal.
David Lynch being no stranger to surreality and the darkness that can linger underneath the surface had created a piece of television that was entirely daring, it wasn't a show that mainstream audiences quite got at the time and unfortunately the show was cancelled on a real cliffhanger ending, an outstanding moment that could have really flipped the show on it's head. To this day I am saddened we never got to see that play out. Lynch was able to return to the world of Twin Peaks though, Fire Walk With Me acting as a prequel to events in the show. At the time it did not work for me at all, as nightmarish as some of it was, it lacked the charm that the show brought and frankly turned the iconic dead character of Laura Palmer into a really unlikeable person. Then again thinking about it now the whole point was to show that she was not herself in the lead up to her death and I am eager to approach the film with fresh eyes, along with The Missing Pieces supplement on the Blu-Ray. For now I am going to take my time with re-watching this. I'm going to bask in the idiosyncratic town and it's residence. Now I'm going to make myself a damn good coffee and start the first season proper!