What It’s About
The grisly murder of a homecoming queen jump-starts one of network TV’s most bizarre and groundbreaking experiments, as idiosyncratic federal agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) descends on Twin Peaks — a small Northwest town full of oddities — to try to figure out who killed Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). As Cooper, the sheriff’s department, and some local teens delve deeper into the crime, the rotting darkness of the seemingly idyllic hamlet comes to the fore. Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, the short-lived ABC series (it ran from 1990 to ‘91) was a genre bender that was by turns a supernatural thriller, a melodrama, a quirky comedy, and a procedural.
How To Watch
First, according to Lynch, you’ve got to binge in order. Start with the pilot, and watch the prequel movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, only after you’ve seen the whole series. Second, Lynch insists that the only way to experience Twin Peaks is to re-create a movie-theater setting at home with a big screen, stellar sound, and absolutely no distractions (put that phone away!). ”Cinema is like a door to a new world. You’ve got to give yourself a chance to really go into that world, and then it ceases to be a surface experience,” he tells EW. ”People think they’ve seen the film on a small screen, but they haven’t, and that’s the truth.”
Agent Dale Cooper, Kyle MacLachlan
An outsider, this dreamy, intuitive Boy Scout of an agent loves cherry pie and a damn good cup of coffee.
Leland Palmer, Ray Wise
A grieving father who’s just as likely to break out into tears as he is into a jaunty song-and-dance number.
Laura Palmer, Sheryl Lee
The dead homecoming queen had an edge and a deep well of sinister secrets that nearly destroy the town.
Killer BOB, Frank Silva
A demon who may or may not actually exist but whose menacing image haunts many in the town.
Sheriff Harry S. Truman, Michael Ontkean
The sensible rock to Cooper’s oddball, Truman knows a lot about his town…but not everything.
Audrey Horne, Sherilyn Fenn
This privileged teen is a femme fatale in saddle shoes. She’s harboring a massive crush on Cooper.
Donna Hayward, Lara Flynn Boyle
Laura’s BFF begins her own investigation with the help of James (James Marshall), a biker with a heart of gold.
Man From Another Place, Michael J. Anderson
A frequent guest in Cooper’s dreams, he dances and gives cryptic clues.