Twin Peaks: The Return – Parts 1 & 2

After a long 25 26 year hiatus, the surrealistic mystery drama that was Twin Peaks has returned to a world filled with many of its protégés. Twin Peaks was groundbreaking for many of the surrealism-driven TV shows we see today (Mr. Robot, The Leftovers etc.), and it will be interesting to see just how Twin Peaks fits in with the contemporary. Twin Peaks was quite an oddball when it first came out, but, in a time where there are so many oddballs, how does the new Twin Peaks stand out from the rest? By being even weirder than it was in 1990.

Parts 1 & 2 had barely any tonal similarities with the original Twin Peaks. In fact it had more tonal similarities with Lynch’s films Lost Highway (1997) and Mulholland Drive (2001), but mostly resembled Lynch’s last film project Inland Empire (2006), a film I consider to be Lynch’s worst because of its deliberate abuse of cinematography. Twin Peaks isn’t so abusive but still the picture quality looks noticeably cheap compared to that of most premium cable shows. It’s shot with a digital camera so might not be as aesthetically pleasing, but that might’ve been intentional on Lynch’s part to create a darker, more unsettling, tone.

Plot-wise the new Twin Peaks didn’t give us much to work with here in its first 2 parts. Instead, the 2-hour special was filled with deceptive surrealism, and it would jump from one disconnected scene to another with no really consistent story or, again, connection. In fact the plots viewers were already familiar with (Black Lodge, Log lady) were the scenes that seemed less cryptic, but everything else was so obscure. For viewers I’m guessing it was either obscurely beguiling or obscure to the point of boredom. Either way, the first 2 parts of the new Twin Peaks are confusing and requires your patience.