But now, 21 years after the fact, I’m checking it out. Gotta love Netflix streaming. I’ll write about this more when I’ve viewed the entire show, but for now, I’ll share some initial impressions after the first six or seven episodes:
1. The first two are brilliant, and in them I can see how and why Twin Peaks had such an influence on TV for the next couple of decades. Shows as diverse The X-Files, The Sopranos, Justified and the Canadian series Durham County all owe a blood debt to Twin Peaks. So does every Quentin Tarantino movie ever made.
2. The influence is not all positive. In particular, I hate dream sequences. I hated them in The Sopranos and I hate them in Twin Peaks. They are the mark of lazy writing and to see them popping up in later episodes is not encouraging.
3. Love that soundtrack, even though it strains credibility that all those sensual, slightly sinister jazz tunes are supposed to be playing on the jukebox and radio stations in a Northwest logging town. Trust me, they wouldn’t be. Especially in 1989.
4. Hints at supernatural phenomena — via dream sequences or otherwise — are OK, but only if used sparingly. Once you realize that Dale Cooper gets as many clues from sleeping as investigating, it tends to undermine the part of the show that is a crime drama. For me, that’s a very big part.
5. The Log Lady. Come on. Absurdist and surreal humor works best when it retains some slight basis in reality. The beloved log is so clearly an affectation by the writing team that it doesn’t work. At least, it doesn’t work now, 21 years after the fact.
Despite the nitpicks, we’re enjoying the show. It holds up surprisingly well a couple of decades later. I’m thinking now that I might even get that wretched 1992 Twin Peaks movie, Fire Walk With Me, once I’m done. Thoughts?