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Twin Peaks (1990) - Lynch, Frost, et al

Twin Peaks (1990) - Lynch, Frost, et al

Television series

Twin Peaks was a cult television series created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, and directed by Lynch, Frost, and others (Lynch invited various directors to guest-direct particular episodes). It was co-produced by Aaron Spelling's production company and ran for two seasons on the ABC network in the United States from April 8, 1990 until 1991.

This was a genre-busting series which explored small-town USA via the eponymous town of Twin Peaks. The pilot was filmed in the real-life town of Snoqualmie, Washington, not far from Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

With a particularly haunting theme tune by the composer Angelo Badalamenti, and songs sung by Julee Cruise, the series set out to establish its credentials from the very outset as hip, urban, ironic, and knowing. The series opened on the murder investigation of a high-school girl, Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). The gradual unravelling of the tale exposed the darker secrets and unreal lives of the town's inhabitants. As with much of Lynch's other work (such as Blue Velvet), Twin Peaks is largely concerned with the difference between the veneer of respectability and the seamier side of life lying beneath the surface. It's also an argument against the rationalism of the mystery genre, since dream analysis and intuitive techniques are treated as valid investigative techniques.

The series is particularly memorable for the performance by the actor Kyle MacLachlan as Special Agent Dale Cooper, who had the most famous line from the series (which became a catch phrase): "That is a damn fine cup of coffee."

The overseas (non-US) version of the pilot episode included additional footage. It was released theatrically overseas as a stand-alone story, 20 minutes longer than the TV pilot, with a different ending added to it to bring closure to the story.

A prequel movie of the series, Fire Walk With Me, was subsequently made by Lynch who co-wrote the script with Bob Engels (a writer from the series). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Peaks [Oct 2004]

Twin Peaks episodes 1-7

    Twin Peaks episodes 1-7 (complete first season except the pilot) [Amazon.com]
    Twin Peaks devotees, who have kept the mystery alive on myriad Web sites, will jump at the chance to return to the spooky town that might just be the anti-Mayberry. Rarely syndicated, the Twin Peaks television series has lost none of its quirky and queasy power to get under your skin and haunt your dreams. So brew up a pot of some "damn fine coffee," dig into some cherry pie, and lose yourself in David Lynch and Mark Frost's murder mystery and soap opera, which unfolds, in one character's words, "like a beautiful dream and terrible nightmare all at once." Twin Peaks was a pop culture phenomenon for one season at least, until the increasingly bizarre twists and maddening teases so confounded audiences that they lost interest in just who killed Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). This series was a career peak for most of its eclectic ensemble cast, including Kyle MacLachlan as straight-arrow FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper, Michael Ontkean as local Sheriff Harry S. Truman, Sherilyn Fenn as bad girl Audrey Horne, Peggy Lipton as waitress Norma Jennings, and Catherine Coulson as the Log Lady. Alumni enjoying current success include Lara Flynn Boyle ("The Practice"), as good girl Donna Hayward, and Miguel Ferrer ("Crossing Jordan"), hilarious as forensics expert Albert Rosenfield (who has absolutely no "social niceties"). This four-disc set contains the first season's seven episodes, minus, curiously, the series pilot. Newcomers will be scratching their heads over the "Previously on Twin Peaks" prologue, but an accompanying booklet sums up the story. Special features include episode introductions by the Log Lady (originally broadcast on Bravo), commentaries by assorted episode directors (but not Lynch), and features from the archives of the fanzine Wrapped in Plastic. --Donald Liebenson

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