O sure, you've heard of Twin Peaks. It's on your Netflix queue, right next to two foreign documentaries you are *totally* going to watch.
But you might not have watched it yet.
But you've heard the news that there are going to be NINE new episodes all directed by David Lynch (personally, the best director living... seriously, go watch Mulholland Dr. and Blue Velvet... don't make me have to make lists as to why you have to do that too).
These episodes will appear on Showtime in 2016.
After that, we're not sure who is going to be in or out cast-wise. But either way, it's a huge deal.
And you must be wondering why people are going nuts about it!
That 2016 start date gives you some time to watch every episode and the movie.
I'm going to tell you why you must watch this slice of pop culture perfection.
You Might Say: "What's this all about?"
Well, glad you asked!
Twin Peaks debuted in 1990 and immediately captivated the nation. Seriously, the cast was everywhere from the cover of Rolling Stone (when that meant something) to hosting SNL (when that also meant something).
The question "who killed Laura Palmer" became an international buzz word that everyone was asking.
It took something basic - a soap opera surrounding a murder in a small town where no one is quite who they seem; and added something fantastic - incredibly interesting characters and a mystery that seemed to only get darker as we watched.
It basically took everyone's love of whodunnit stories, threw in a lot of salacious plot lines, and let it all unfold and refold and crossfold before our eyes.
Quick Recap: FBI Agent is called in to solve the murder of Laura Palmer. It is similar to an unsolved case from a year ago. He then is immersed in the sordid lives of the population of Twin Peaks, a small town in Washington, just south of the Canadian border.
There's murder, betrayal, adultery, cryptic dreams, and a lot of pie.
"Well what makes it so good?"
There's the standard: writing, acting, and directing are all topnotch.
The dialogue and banter is unreal. It's Whedon-esque before there was a Whedon for us to care about.
The acting is outstanding. Even the overacting (and there's some) is tolerable. The bright spot is Kyle MacLachlan (whom you recognize from being awesome in EVERYTHING). His role as Dale Cooper is outstanding and captivating right from the start.
The story lines that wrap through the whole town will wrap through you by the end of the pilot.
And when David Lynch directs, who can complain? (well you might, more on that in a bit).
So to answer you question, everything about the show is what makes it good.
"If it's so good, why did it only last 2 seasons?"
Well, the fine people at Team-Firefly might have something to say to you about judging a show based on it's length.
And Team-X-Files might have something to say to you about what happens when a show doesn't die.
It's an odd show. It's directed by David Lynch and he's not known for being normal. Plus, the basis of the show is a crime. Once the crime is solved, how much more can it go on for? (Ask fans of "The Killing" that question. ALSO, if you like "The Killing", you can stop here. You must watch "Twin Peaks". "The Killing" is essentially bad-"Twin Peaks".)
The rest of the show after the murder of Laura Palmer is resolved does a great job of keeping us interested.
"Ugh, it came out in the 90's... isn't it too dated to be good?!"
First off, that argument doesn't make much sense. But yes, it did come out in the 90's so there's a lot of flannel and smoking in public plac... everywhere, people smoke everywhere.
But the town and world of Twin Peaks is so far removed from reality and so dream-like that it does not matter that everything is a bit dated because everything is a bit off in the first place.
However, there maybe two "special" effects that look a bit... rough around the edges. But it's not terrible. Definitely not enough to stay away from the entire show.
That's just ignorant.
"Wait, you said it's weird... I don't like weird"
Again, that is very close minded of you.
It's weird because it was the early 90's and this stuff was happening on ABC (back when ABC meant one of the 8 options you had to watch TV). And some of the things they do is a bit out there. But that's what makes it interesting.
The way I look at it is that if this show never happened, X-Files never happens. And without X-Files, there's no Breaking Bad.
Sure, there are backwards talking dwarfs and giants. But that's just an interesting and unique way to tell a story.
"So it's about a murder... is this like SVU?"
Yes, if Law and Order (or really any crime based show) was amazing! While the central story is "the murder of Laura Palmer", there is so so so much. Every episode takes its time to really develop the characters and make you super involved in the mystery. It makes for a much better watching experience when you actually care about who did it and why rather than "oh, that guy is a mildly famous actor... he must have done it".
"I hear the second season sucks... should I still watch?"
Sure there are some episodes that lag. Not every show can be The Wire (where every episode is brilliant and important).
Plus there's a reason the second season dips: The creators of the show did not want to ever expose who was behind the murder but were forced to. Once they did, they quickly put together a new mystery and a reason to keep everyone in the lovely town of Twin Peaks.
Plus, there was supposed to be a romance between two main characters that so strongly upset one character that he flat out refused to be a part of it. So they had to scrap that and put something together. The result was an emphasis on minor characters that were not as interesting.
But hey, you have to roll with the punches.
The bottom line is that while the second season lags, it is still one of the best shows ever.
"I found the pilot and it's an hour... but there's also an Internati-"
Let me stop you right there.
There is an International Pilot that is essentially a movie. It's the pilot plus an extra 15 minutes that wrap up the whole story. Though the ending is not the same as the show's, it's still something you should not see until you've watched the whole show and you then want to consume everything about Twin Peaks.
But yes, the Pilot is long (two episodes).
It's great. Why am I still explaining this?
"OK so I found this movie that's a prequel... should I start there?"
What did I just say?
Start with the pilot! That movie was filmed after the show ended and if you watch the movie you will:
A. Not understand ANYTHING
B. Hate the movie
C. Hate the show
D. Hate yourself for not following my very easy to follow instructions.
"So, this is the internet age, and I know who did it, so I'm not watching"
Well, shame on the internet for spoiling it for you. Unless you googled "who killed Laura Palmer" to spoil it for yourself - then you're just an ahole.
But yes, of course you should still watch it. There's more to it than the name of the person(s) responsible for Laura's death.
So do not fret, you can still enjoy the ride of Twin Peaks even if it has been spoiled for you.
Knowing what's for dessert does not ruin a meal.
"David Lynch stuff is weird and scary, I don't wanna watch this!"
Stop stamping your feet!
Yes, prolific surrealist David Lynch dabbles in the bizarre. But again, it is what makes the show go above the normal type and why people are salivating that it is coming back after being off the air for so long.
Now, and this is tough to argue - but yes, it is scary. There are some character that just their presence on the screen (with no jump scares) are scary as all hell. Maybe watch it with the lights on.
But, I dare say that any crime based show has scary parts. It is not rampant where you should watch the show through your fingers.
Some stuff surely is out there. But after you're contemplating if the Owls are really just owls, you are rewarded with an awesome scene with two lovers sneaking around because one's wife has amnesia.
This show alternates seamlessly between the strange and the common so well that it is captivating.
"I hate watching dated things because there's no one to talk to about it"
I understand you. As someone who came to this show super late, I had no one to really talk to.
I went to message boards. MESSAGE BOARDS. The barren waste land of the internet just to have a conversation about this show.
You can always do that... or you can hopefully persuade a friend to watch or rewatch it.
You should also subscribe to the podcast "Fire Talk With Me". They three people watch the show and one of them has never seen it before. It'll be nice to listen into the thoughts of someone in the same boat as you! Plus it's a good podcast.
Hopefully you won't have to write a Buzzfeed article just to convince your friends like some people...
"Ugh, I don't want to think, I just want to watch a show that is wrapped up every hour!"
While I understand that every one has different tastes and a story about a murder in a small Pacific North West town might not be everyone's cup of coffee, I really think this one is worth the ride. (Obviously... I mean, I wrote this for free).
But this one is just short enough that it's digestible without asking you to clear out a large chunk of time.
Clearly, this is something you should dedicate the 30 viewing hours to watch.
"I just don't have the time to watch it"
You just read 2,000 words on why you should watch this show...
... you've got the time.
I'll be waiting for the flood of:
"Thank you, Dan!"
"You changed my life, Dan!"
"I will never say you're wrong again, Dan!" emails to come any second now...
... you're welcome.