Season 1 of Twin Peaks aired 26 years ago in 1990, so obviously I’m going to discuss my thoughts and feelings on a show that’s half a decade older than myself, on a website that’s just a baby compared to Twin Peaks.
Set in the aptly named mountaneous town of Twin Peaks, located within sleepy North Washington, we follow the lives of a whole host of characters in the days and weeks leading on from the mysterious murder of beloved high school student Laura Palmer.
It’s been a long time since I’ve fell completely in love with a show so suddenly. The example that always comes to mind is Game of Thrones, after what happens at the end of episode 1, I knew I had to continue. But with Twin Peaks, it’s different, it’s a sick intrigue, it’s a morbid curiosity- what happened to Laura Palmer? Which of these people was capable of doing this to her? And what was Laura capable of? She might seem the perfect small town girl from the outside, but it seems she has a lot more dark secrets than one can bare.
I hate to say it, I really do, but I love the entire aesthetic and air around the show. The clothes, the decor, the scenery. It’s as 90’s rural America as you can get, and rural America means a much different thing to rural in the UK. I still struggle to comprehend the rurality of certain towns, places and people, when here in England, even rural isn’t far out from the rest of civilisation. I grew up in a town consisting of 1.5x or so of the population of Twin Peaks, but it’s a far cry from this village harbouring dark secrets.
Audrey Horne is the standout character for me. She’s young, beautiful, seemingly popular, the daughter of the owner of many, many famous local businesses, and she continues subverts every expectation. She desires trouble, she craves mystery, and couldn’t give less of a fuck what other’s think of her. She dances alone in a crowded, for Twin Peaks, diner. She begins to work in a brothel without a second thought, as it will help her reach her goals of solving Laura’s mysterious murder, and her larger goal of seducing Agent Cooper. Although I still haven’t fully sussed out if Audrey actually wants to sleep with Cooper, or if she’s just enjoying the chase. I lean towards the latter.
I can’t believe how well Kyle MacLachlan plays Agent Cooper. I forget he’s acting half the time, the little actions, the inflections and the body language create a character so deeply believable, that it’s almost shocking when you remember her doesn’t exist. I’m well and truly fascinated in whoever ‘Dianne’ is, my theory had been that she was not real, he used her as a figment of his imagination when documenting his life, he used her as something to bounce ideas off of, someone to engage with in light conversation at times whilst his brain turns the cogs and solves the crimes. However, she sent him his earplugs as we find out towards the end of the finale, ‘Dianne’ is someone real and at some point, Agent Cooper must have sent her all the tapes he’s recorded.
All I want is to delve into online discussion, I want to read deep into the symbolism, into every shot, into every piece of work which influenced Twin Peaks, and subsequently, every piece of work which has been influenced by it. Alas, I’ll have to wait until I finish season 2 for fear of spoilers.
I sit here at the end of season 1 with so many questions. I feel as giddy as Agent Cooper to find them all out. Although I have a few busy days away from home, so it’s going to be a good while until my questions are answered.
Maybe I need to go back and watch more cult television shows from before my time. I so often find myself caught up in shows currently airing, or which have aired in the recent past.