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A love letter to Twin Peaks 

Postmodernity founder Kayleigh Watson details precisely what it is that she loves about Twin Peaks.

So here we are…

The time has come at last. It has been 27 years since Twin Peaks last graced our screens, and the irony is that I wasn’t even alive when the show first aired in 1990. I was but a bean in my mother’s midriff when the second season got cancelled, and for much of my life the only “Annie” I had concerns for was that of ‘Billie Jean’.

I confess, I had a late renaissance. For a good decade, I wrongly (though sincerely) believed that Twin Peaks was a romantic drama akin to that of a soap, the One Tree Hill or Gilmore Girls of its day (don’t shoot me, please!) Of course, how wrong that opinion was proved to be.

When I finally succumbed to the pilot, after one too many times of being told to, I found myself wholly baffled. The intro felt overblown and self-indulgent (it is), whilst Angelo Badalamenti’s famous score struck me as superfluously saccharine. It bristled every nerve in my body, causing me to tense in discomfort in the way of when something that you dislike is unavoidable to you, like that grating song on the radio, or the prospect of being forced to eat your most dreaded childhood food. Combine that with Audrey’s renegade posturing, Donna’s melodramatic wailing and Laura’s myriad of suitors and the only thing that made sense was the washed up body on the beach.

Dazed and very confused, I no doubt scoffed. I recall not wanting to continue, there was plenty of such drivel on present-day TV after all, so why suffer one that simple oozes overblown 80s eccentricity? Though, I confess, I am nothing if not stubborn. If Twin Peaks were so universally lauded then, by the Log Lady’s log, what was I missing? Why didn’t I get it, when so many others did? Why was I not privy to its secret? Perhaps, I was merely tasteless…

So I persevered in pure spite and somewhere along the way, to my honest surprise, I began to enjoy myself. The two minute long intro was no longer a chore but a ritual of sincere joy, Badalamenti’s music tugging at my heartstrings as every fibre of me longed for the solitude between the pines. I began to appreciate the humour in its pastiche of 1950s-1980s melodrama. Audrey’s vanity in fact hid a vulnerability that I had not anticipated, Donna’s simpering masked a recklessly jealous streak, whilst those aforementioned would be suitors only served to complicate the mystery that was Laura.

The universally adored prom queen lived a seemingly perfect existence – from the outside, yet almost immediately that ideal begins to unravel into something far more sinister in a town far more otherworldly than any of us ever expected. Perhaps it was the duality of intrigue that kept – and keeps – us all hooked, for as we can compute the concept of a young girl led down a path of crime and suffering routine abuse, can we ever hope for enlightenment if the threat is forever unfathomable?

And perhaps that is why we return now. It is the journey that compels us onwards, not the desire to reach the destination, and with the long pined-for season three may David Lynch leave us with more questions than we could ever dream of answering.

Those owls are not what they seem, after all…

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