Growing up, there was a television show my father and I watched that featured a little person who spoke backward; a serial killer who looked like a hippie who possessed people from beyond and an unsolved murder of a small town’s homecoming queen. “Twin Peaks” was a show that changed my life, but not necessarily for the better. Sure, it may have been a great water cooler show for adults, but when I talked about “Twin Peaks” to my fellow classmates in elementary school, they all thought I was nuts.
To this day, I consider “Twin Peaks” one of the best shows ever. And it still creeps me out. Whoever let David Lynch make a TV show must have been out of their mind. “Hey, that guy who made ‘Blue Velvet,’ let’s give him a TV show!” Of course, it lasted only two seasons.
The odd thing was how big the show was there for a while. People talked about the show non-stop. Who killed Laura Palmer? They actually produced a book that was Laura Palmer’s diary. People bought it just to find clues as to who took out the poor girl.
It affected my young mind. Here was a show so strange, so totally different from everything else, and it struck a chord in me. I was a weird kid. It was dark, scary and pulled no punches in being surreal. It had a different pace to it. It drew things out, visually and conceptually. In my mind, I didn’t want to know who killed Laura Palmer, I wanted to see where this show was taking the characters. Agent Cooper and his visions of the midget, the giant and Bob (the character gave me nightmares for years)… Fantastic. The Black Lodge was so creepy and cool looking it boggled my mind.
Years later, after I wrote a review of the series in my college newspaper, a friend of mine and I were discussing Lynch. “My problem with him,” My friend said. “is that he always has the same theme in what he does. It’s always the Devil and David Lynch.” And I realized that this had some truth in it. Everything I’ve seen by Lynch has something to do with a character battling some sort of pure evil.
But that doesn’t take away my love for “Twin Peaks.” The series finale is one of the most terrifying and creepy things ever to air on television. But it was a brilliant show that paved the way for shows like “X-Files.” It was just ahead of its time.