(Image via CBS/Showtime)
True confessions of a nerdy would-be television buff millennial: I’ve never seen Twin Peaks.
Up until now, the closest I got to seeing what is widely regarded as one of the best television dramas of all time was when David Lynch’s son went to my college for a couple years. (At which point I was like, “Who is David Lynch and why are people so excited about this? What’s Twin Peaks?” Ahh, youth.)
However, when I look at the show’s Wikipedia page, it’s pretty easy to figure out why I didn’t see it when it aired–I was born in December 1991, by which time the show had already been canceled for the better part of a year.
But! No time like the present to get on the bandwagon. I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about the show, and it’s probably a good idea to check it out before season 3 premieres on May 21. I’ll be posting updates as I crunch my way through the show’s existing 30 episodes, starting with the pilot today.
Twin Peaks: Pilot. Or: “Baby, you’re more like a three-stage rocket. A pocket rocket.”
Much like the show itself, before I get to the plot of the first season, I’m gonna need a disproportionately long amount of time to talk about the intro sequence.
Y’all. To be totally honest, I think the intro sequence needs its own article–I’m sure there’s a thinkpiece somewhere that does it full poetic justice. While a cursory Googling does not reveal said thinkpiece, I did find some sheet music so you can recreate the magic at home (instructions: slowly, expressively).
Here is why watching this show in the age of Netflix is an A+ choice: I rewound the b-roll of the spinny wheel of death carving notches in metal while the prong-hand pushes the notches forward (around 0:30, if you’re curious) like six times. It’s weirdly mesmerizing.
“Hey, you know what really says sleepy industrial American town? LIME GREEN FONT.”
Here is why watching this show in the age of Neflix is an A- choice: the terrifyingly bad lime-green font is in what I can only assume is much higher quality than it would be in the 90s. Who decided this was a good decision? “Hey, you know what really says sleepy industrial American town? LIME GREEN FONT.”
I actually adore it in a slow, expressive lime-green sort of way, but holy bananas it is so long.
Okay, onto the show.
I am incredibly pleased that the first shot of the show is an Asian woman applying makeup like a boss. Who is she? We don’t know. I assume we’ll find out. But I kind of thought that Hollywood only realized there were actors who weren’t white dudes in, like, 2003, so this is a pleasant surprise.
The first two words in this show, however, are “gone fishing.” I just need everyone to reflect on that for a minute.
This dude’s love language is ear noogies. (Image via CBS/Showtime)
The Asian lady apparently lives with the would-be fisherman and his wife? She heard the door opening and closing, anyway.
As long as the intro is, the show gets straight to the point–Gone Fishing finds a plastic-wrapped body at about 4:26. Considering the intro is three minutes long, that’s pretty darn quick on the draw.
“Put Harry on the horn,” says a flustered Gone Fishing, apparently returned to his apathetic wife and mysterious guest. Is that what they called a phone in 1989, which is apparently when the show took place? Can I bring it back? Does “cell horn” have the same ring to it?
We later learn that Harry’s full name is actually Harry S. Truman, forever establishing him as President Sheriff in my mind.
Well, hellooooo Harry.
Enter President Sheriff. (Image via CBS/Showtime)
We later learn that Sheriff Harry’s full name is actually Harry S. Truman, forever establishing him as President Sheriff in my mind. (President Sheriff of my heart.)
I was not expecting this show to be remotely funny, so I’m very pleased when we get two great comedic bits in a row. Lucy the switchboard operator’s overly detailed instructions when she transfers the call to President Sheriff are absolutely fantastic:
And when the police drive out to see the body, one of them breaks down in tears while photographing the scene–before even seeing the body. It’s not the first time he’s done it, either, if an exasperated President Sheriff is anything to go by. This bit is actually genius. It drives home the Twin-Peaks-is-a-small-town-hoo-boy-they’re-in-over-their-heads bit while also adding some dark humor to the shot.