Twin Peaks

Your Next Boxed Set Should Be… Twin Peaks

“Brilliant !” enthused Homer Simpson about Twin Peaks. “I have absolutely no idea what’s going on !”

Trying to understand Twin Peaks would certainly be some people’s reason for embarking on the Definitive Gold Box Edition (Complete Series). In fact, this proves only a minor, if rewarding, part of its attraction.

Long before the knowing violence of Dexter, the addictive intrigue of Lost, or the macabre wit of 6 Feet Under, there was Twin Peaks.

Watching it now is still an amazing experience. You start by marvelling it existed at all. This was David Lynch doing dream sequences on prime-time American TV !

Comprising a 90-minute pilot and seven episodes from the first series plus the (count ‘em) twenty-two episodes from season two, Twin Peaks works so perfectly as a boxed set it’s as if its creators (Lynch and writer Mark Frost) intended it to be viewed this way all along. Watched in continuum, Twin Peaks is less a TV show, than a vintage David Lynch movie that is 25 hours long. Nirvana.

With deference to The Wire, no TV show was so instantly engrossing. Twin Peaks is a murder mystery for a start and Laura Palmer’s body is discovered ONE MINUTE after the opening credits and Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting theme tune finishes.

Lynch then builds it into a highly seductive, subversive soap – a cross between Blue Velvet and Peyton Place.

Elements such Agent Cooper’s obsession with cherry pie and eccentrics such as The Log Lady, meant the show tends to be branded as “quirky” or “cult” TV.

In fact, Twin Peaks was unsettling, occasionally deeply disturbing, and a phenomenon, becoming a classic example of ‘watercooler television’ even though ABC scheduled it opposite Cheers.

Scary, strange, funny and sad, Twin Peaks still looks like an astonishing, wildly original piece of television – one that’s arguably even better on DVD.