Who killed Laura Palmer? Our original 1991 review of Twin Peaks

039;Blue Velvet'

Things may go downhill once the culprit is named, but for now, welcome to Twin Peaks: population 51,201.

David Lynch, co-creator of "Twin Peaks" along with cohort Mark Frost, isn't one to do things by the Hollywood book.

Sometimes, TV reviewers are prone to hyperbole. The show burst onto primetime like a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside a plastic body bag.

The truth is, while it may not be quite as Lynchian as other films lower on this list, I still really dig it.

Interestingly, one hit show has been a bit under the radar with its Twin Peaks references is Stranger Things. I want to experience it in a pure way and be taken into a world and have this experience. Leland's manic singing "May the Giant Be With You, ' Episode 201 For reasons that later become disturbingly clear, Leland starts going off the rails throughout the first season and first half of Season 2". Never have cherry pie and coffee seemed so appealing.

That is until this weekend. So when I shot the pilot for Twin Peaks, way back when, I just saw it as a short film.

But what made it so popular? Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Dale Cooper (Kyle McLaughlin) is brought in to assist the wonderfully named local Sherriff, Harry S. Truman (Michael Ontkean). "Those are the ones people remember, like the Red Room". But more than its style, the way in which it depicts small town life is arresting. David Lynch had already made Blue Velvet, and was one of the first high-profile filmmakers to willingly work in television.

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Kimmy Robertson and Harry Goaz in "Twin Peaks". Maybe, but recall that he has been a constant presence in our culture for decades; he was a recognizable figure well before the phenomenon of Twin Peaks, his sensibility connecting with both the ironic, art-nerd ethos of the 1980s independent music and film scene and the sun-dappled "Morning in America" messaging of the Reagan era. By turns hilarious and disturbing, "Twin Peaks" created an antic world of possibilities - possibilities quickly pursued by "The X-Files" and so many shows to follow.

Lynch recognizes these dark impulses within himself: Take Wild at Heart (1990), with its relentless carnival of horrors, a film that functions not unlike a totemic spirit within his own oeuvre - a cruel vessel into which he's poured all his rage and violence. Wild at Heart, the devil on Lynch's shoulder, even has its opposite, angelic number: The Straight Story (1999), a picture of nearly limitless sweetness and light, and the only other road movie he's made. Another major absentee will be Heather Graham, who portrayed beauty queen Annie Blackburn towards the end of the show's second season.

Those cameos and the appearance of a new anti-hero brought renewed vigour to the storyline, but it wasn't enough. Don't expect any answers to any of those questions until Peaks starts moving, as everyone involved is happily adhering to Lynch's request for maximum secrecy - largely because they have no choice, given how the sprawling Twin Peaks script was divvied out. I love the people in the world.

Dale Cooper will re-open his casebook on May 21st, when the long-awaited third season of Twin Peaks kicks off on Showtime. Such is the anticipation that special screenings and parties are planned.

What is it, then, that makes it such an enduring show?

There are three things. To see that examined intelligently on screen is pretty rare. And, make no mistake, that line runs directly through "Twin Peaks". Knowing what we know about David Lynch, anything is possible at this point. In the show's heyday, NY magazine's John Leonard wrote, "Everybody in the continental United States - including my children, my editors, my enemies - wanted to know about the dwarf". Twin Peaks has a story which works on the surface level as well as that deeper allegory about evil. She said, "I don't know what they're going to do, I'm actually really interested to see where they take it since we know who killed Laura Palmer, and (the actress) is coming back".

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