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Customer Review

on 17 November 2002
"Twin Peaks" is a murder mystery that Luis Bunuel might have made if he were American and highly influenced by Alfred Hitchcock (and possibly also on LSD). First released in 1990, "Twin Peaks" was a ground-breaking TV series, part comedy (edged black), part horror and part fantasy, by David Lynch, America's greatest unconventional director, who has since gone on to make "Mulholland Drive", another surreal fantasy of America life. "Twin Peaks" has many echos of Lynch's masterpiece of small-town American strangeness "Blue Velvet" and in many ways build and extends this achievement.
The Twin Peaks of the title is a logging town in the northern US, near the Canadian border, where the everyday is frequently bizarre and the population more than slightly strange. The series starts with the discovery of the beautiful dead body of Laura Palmer, the teenage "Miss Twin Peaks", who, it is revealed kept a secret diary and had a taste for promiscuity. It ends with the discovery of great evil known matter of factly as Bob.
As with Lynch's other work, the greatness of "Twin Peaks" lies in the rich mixture of normality and strangeness of his characters, which range from straight and true Dale Cooper, the FBI investigator with an addiction for coffee and donuts, to the Log Lady, who carries a log everywhere and offers prophetic remarks. Lynch himself plays an enlarged comic cameo as Cooper's profoundly deaf FBI superior, Gordon Cole. I particularly like the slick and slimy lawyer, Laura's father, Leland Palmer, who has a curious taste for Hollywood song and dance, and the sublimely stupid receptionist at the Sheriff's office, Lucy Moran.
"Twin Peaks" is set in the everyday, small-town America of the golden era of Hollywood (think of "It's a Wonderful Life"), twisted and shot through with strangeness below the surface (and some times on it). Laura's dead body is found to have the bite marks of from mynah bird, for example. One character, the suspiciously masculine, Nadine has her sole purpose in life the development of silent drape (ie curtain) runners.
There are many references in "Twin Peaks" to Middle American icons: Agent Cooper, echos Gary Cooper; the Double RR Diner is run by Norma Jenning (eg Norma Jean); the town big-wig and his slightly weird brother are called Ben and Jerry (Horne), and yet are far from ice cream. Benjamin Horne's Great Northern Hotel is straight out of Kubrick's "The Shining". He also runs a brothel is nearby Canada called "One-Eye Jacks" (a reference to the Marlon Brando western). His daughter Audrey is delicious.
I highly recommend "Twin Peaks" and classic seditionary television. Without it there could have been no "League of Gentlemen."
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