David Lynch has clearly been reviewed enough on this website. What hasn't yet been acknowledged is one of his most-beloved contributions to entertainment, 'Twin Peaks.' Collaborating with fellow producer Mark Frost, this was one of the quintessential television events of the early '90s.
Let's review 'Twin Peaks: The Complete Series (The Definitive Gold Box Edition)'.
Popular high school student Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) is found dead on a river bank in the serene little town of Twin Peaks. This rocks the community and Special Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) is brought in to work with local authorities. He does so with a firm sense of command and some unorthodox tactics. After some digging, it seems as though Laura wasn't as clean-cut as many thought.
Her father, Leland (Ray Wise) goes off the deep end and her friend Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle) gets involved with young rebel, James (James Marshall). Another person of interest, Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook) becomes involved with a waitress, Shelly (Madchen Amick) who wants a way out of her marriage to the abusive Leo (Eric Da Re).
Meanwhile, Ben Horne (Richard Beymer) wants to take down the town's lumbermill, owned by Josie Packard (Joan Chen), with the help of his secret lover Catherine (Piper Laurie) so he can engage in some lucrative real-estate deals. His daughter Audrey (Sherilyn Fenn) attempts to help Cooper with his investigation.
What needs to be said about 'Twin Peaks'? It was a landmark television series that has as big of a following as any other show one could imagine. There is a ton of subtext, haunting imagery and just the right amount of comedy. Things also get super weird.
If this series would have only been the pilot, the first season, and the first part of the second season, it would rank among the very best shows of all time. Maybe it still does. What holds it back is the rest of that darn second season. It is still entertaining, but network executives forced Lynch and Frost to solve the Laura Palmer murder a few episodes into the second season, much to the creators' chagrin. That defeated the purpose of the show. Were are left with twenty some-odd episodes where the show essentially spun its wheels, introducing less-believable and more convoluted mysteries for Cooper to solve. Again, there is a good amount of entertainment value here but it is much less suspenseful, taut and well-crafted. Plus, and this isn't really a spoiler, things are left on a bit of a cliffhanger.
Every character here has an interesting story and the cast is strong, even if Wise and a few others go a little over-the-top. MacLachlan does the best work of his career. If Agent Cooper isn't a timeless, celebrated character, he should be. There are so many colorful characters here, good luck finding a series with more.
Special features include: deleted audio, a feature length documentary, a conversation between Lynch, MacLachlan, and Amick, a return to the town, a map of Twin Peaks, the Log Lady introductions, Maclachlan's monologue and relevant sketch from his hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, a music video, commercials, promos and rare photos. Add to that, the original and vastly different international versions of the show's pilot (previously not available) and remastered picture and sound. Whew!
If you have wanted to see the series in its entirety, this collection is the way to go. It finally has the pilot and enough features to make your head spin. If you ever wanted to own the show, this is also a smart purchase for you.
Combine it with the imperfect prequel movie 'Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me' and you'll have the whole story, which, all in all, is rather fantastic.
Just don't forget the cherry pie.
Add an extra half star to this review.
Not Rated 1300 minutes Original Airdate 1990-91 DVD release 2007