"That Gum You like is going to come back in style."
Greetings fellow Bog Leeches, it is time to talk about Twin Peaks!
I mentioned Twin Peaks as the obvious inspiration for the fantastic game Deadly Premonition in the Deadly Premonition thread, but since Twin Peaks is a pretty old and somewhat obscure series that's wonderfully nuanced and weird, I think it deserves a thread of its own.
(Warning, spoilers for the series ahead).
Twin Peaks was a 1990-1991 series by David Lynch and Mark Frost about FBI Agent Dale Cooper's investigation into the murder of a popular teenager and homecoming queen, Laura Palmer, in the fictional Washington town of Twin peaks. As the story progresses, we get to know all about Dale Cooper, the local police force, the high school kids, the wealthy, the neglected, and the disturbed of Twin Peaks. Surprisingly, all of the characters are actually quite interesting and fun to watch, including incidental characters who only show up in a few scenes.
Twin Peaks is most famous for its surreal dream sequences and imagery, such as this famous scene:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guwl1w0yFGk
But while these sequences are quite memorable, the real meat of Twin Peaks was its character interactions and odd sense of humour:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS2zU6YPl24
I also think Agent Dale Cooper is one of the most interesting and endearing protagonists of any television series. Here's why:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9kejvxRokg
I could discuss the plot of Twin Peaks in detail, but that would be doing a disservice to the series, as the build-up and storytelling are exceptional. Suffice it to say, it is eventually revealed who Laura's killer is and that a supernatural force is at work. Originally Lynch planned to leave the identity of Laura's murderer a mystery for a longer period, but reportedly the network pressured him to resolve this plot point midway through the second season, due to declining ratings. I agree that this was a mistake, as prior to the revelation it seemed possible that every seemingly unimportant detail or conversation could provide a clue as to what was really going on, but after the big reveal many subplots felt tacked-on and the show struggled a bit to recapture its stride.
However, Twin Peaks did indeed recapture its stride, though unfortunately just before waning ratings forced its premature cancellation. Even so, and in part because it was a downright diabolical cliffhanger, the series finale for Twin Peaks is one of the most memorable in television.
Without giving too much away, Agent Dale Cooper must travel into the mysterious and foreboding 'Black Lodge', the famous 'red room' that appeared previously throughout the series in dream sequences and visions. We learn that the Black Lodge is a place of pure evil, where souls must travel through if they are to ascend into the "White Lodge" (Heaven?). Inside, Dale Cooper confronts his own evil and...falls. Yes, the series ends with the utter defeat of the protagonist. However unintentional the finality of this cliffhanger was, it makes the finale a chilling and disturbing experience.
And hey, it also made for an awesome fan game:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CWivW9Mzjw
The series did receive a kind of prologue/epilogue in the ill-received 1992 movie "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me". The main focus of the story is on Laura Palmer's final days before her murder. I have not seen the film myself, but I mean to one of these days.
Despite its few faults, Twin Peaks is really a remarkable and innovative series. If it sounds at all interesting to you, I recommend checking it out.
One last thing to show; the deeply sublime opening:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oDuGN6K3VQ
"I have no idea where this will lead us. But I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."