You’ve waited 26 years for this: a reboot of ABC’s Twin Peaks. As secrecy reigned supreme in the lead up to the May premiere date on Showtime, fans were going into overdrive trying to imagine just what David Lynch would do with the new season. Then, when the first four episodes premiered, fans devoured them, sometimes in one sitting. As a result, plenty of people loved the Twin Peaks reboot. But, for some fans, there was, ultimately, disappointment.
Showtime premiered their reboot of Twin Peaks on May 21. If you took to Twitter to see what the general reaction was, you found a multitude of people making glowing comments about Season 3 of Twin Peaks. From people talking about how they were glad to see it was still classic David Lynch, to those picking up on Easter eggs and references back to the original two series the ABC aired in the 90’s, Everyone, it seemed was loving the reboot.
However, every now and again, in between all the praise, there were people wondering why they just didn’t like Twin Peaks anymore. Personally, this is the category I fell into. As a teen in the ’90s, I would watch the show, notebook in hand, writing down things that might be important later on. I discussed the program with everyone, school friends, my grandmother, the lady at the check out who was talking about the show to her friend. It was a constant there in my life.
When Twin Peaks aired, it was like nothing else ever seen on television. For those who watched David Lynch movies, it was a tamer version of his big screen delights. Its weirdness and its kookiness seemed to have more to do with the viewing pleasure than the actual mystery of who killed Laura Palmer.
However, 26 years on and what David Lynch is doing with Twin Peaks is revisiting his original concept. Everyone in the show is older, it is set in the present day, yet it feels like we are being teleported back to the Twin Peaks of the ’90s. For many, this is just fine.
Showtime and David Lynch decided to not release pre-screeners of the reboot of Twin Peaks. As a result of this, viewers had nothing to base their opinion on the show other than their own. However, as soon as reviews started filtering in, The Mercury collected them up.
Alan Sepinwall from Uproxx “loved every plodding, baffling minute” of Twin Peaks.
Sonia Saraiya from Variety thought Twin Peaks was “weird and creepy and slow.” However, she did enjoy it.
“The show is very stubbornly itself — not quite film and not quite TV, rejecting both standard storytelling and standard forms.”
“What premiered on Sunday was as accessibly scary, disturbing and audaciously funny as many of the best parts of the original Twin Peaks, and nowhere near as hallucinatory and subtextually distilled as the prequel film, Fire Walk With Me,” Dan Fienberg from The Hollywood Reporter said.
For those who have never before experienced Twin Peaks or the world of David Lynch, the reboot was probably more of a shock than for those who watched it 26 years ago. As PopSugar pointed out, the only experience it could be likened to was an acid trip.
“As someone who has never taken hallucinogenic drugs, I can only assume it’s somewhat similar to being on an acid trip — only without the risk of dying and stuff.”
This was true of the version of Twin Peaks in the ’90s as well. However, back then, David Lynch was doing something no one had ever really done before — and certainly never on the small screen. As a result of this, people flocked to their television sets every week to see just how weird the show could get.
Of course, the culture of watching TV back then was also different. There was no Reddit to flock to in order to find out what was going on or to see if there were any theories you hadn’t come up with yet. Instead, people talked about the shows they watched. The next day, people would gather at the water cooler at work to analyze their shows and to compare notes on what was going on. Twin Peaks was a show that could be considered the ultimate water cooler program. There was so much going on in each episode of Twin Peaks, so much emphasis was placed on every scene, every gesture, ever spoken word, that people reveled in talking about it.
Unfortunately, while David Lynch has returned to doing what he does best with the reboot of Twin Peaks, what has really happened here is the audience has grown older and wiser. Television itself has done the same. We are no longer the people we were 26 years ago when what David Lynch did in Twin Peaks was not epic scene wasting pauses and storylines that meant little — or everything — to the advancement of the plot. However, what David Lynch has done is returned to the same place, to the thing he used to do best, hoping his audience was still on the same page as him.
It is possible many people are still there with him, loving every strange turn of events in Twin Peaks. However, it is also possible people are just tuning in because they feel like, after all these years, they should still love it. If this is the case, it is a shame for David Lynch. It is a shame that he only got one small moment of television glory with Twin Peaks before the networks decided the world wasn’t ready for him and went back to producing cookie-cutter television. After all, imagine just what could have happened if David Lynch had continued on with television and forced the boundaries back in the 90’s. Could you imagine just how amazing television would be today as a result?
Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. As a result, some people are just tuning into Twin Peaks because they feel like they should, and that’s okay. It is also okay to watch the first four episodes and tune out, to never watch Twin Peaks again. It’s okay, it really is, because, as a result of David Lynch pushing the boundaries all those years ago, what we have on television today is actually so much richer for it.
What do you think of the reboot of Twin Peaks? Love it or hate it? Let us know by commenting below.
Twin Peaks is currently airing on Showtime.
[Featured Image by Suzanne Tenner/Showtime]