The show that changed TV forever is back – and you can watch it on SkyShowtime

Discover Twin Peaks, the David Lynch's series that revolutionized TV

The show that changed TV forever is back – and you can watch it on SkyShowtime
Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

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SkyShowtime has just landed in Spain and has done so with a ridiculous price. For only €2.99 you can get the platform that comes directly from the United States, and wants to join the streaming battle in which Netflix is losing more and more power. But, in addition, SkyShowtime has a very interesting catalog at its launch, and Twin Peaks is one of its most interesting series.

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Beyond the live-action adaptation of Halo or the novel Bosé, the biographical series of the Don Diablo singer, if there is something interesting in SkyShowtime‘s catalog it is its classic series that they have recovered. Twin Peaks is the most powerful fiction in its entire catalog. But why is this series so important?

Laura Palmer still looms large over Twin Peaks in official poster for the  new revival

The precursor of cliffhanger

Any series that becomes popular today begins with a powerful premise, usually related to a murder or mystery to be solved. One only has to take a look at the most successful teen series on Netflix, such as Élite or Dark, to realize that television fiction has found a formula with which to guarantee success. No matter what each series is really about, a death or disappearance as a premise keeps the viewer’s tension at all times.

But the cliffhanger that seeks to maintain the maximum attention of the viewer, added to the idea of a crime that is solved little by little, does not belong to the new generation of series. It does not even belong to the nineties, since productions such as Miami Vice (1984) were already successful before reaching this era.

However, it was at this time when the series that set the guidelines for narrating and playing with the emotions of viewers emerged: Twin Peaks.

David Lynch desmiente esta teoría sobre el final de Twin Peaks

Who is David Lynch? The director of the abstract

In 1990, when this pioneering series premiered on ABC, David Lynch was already a titan in the world of cinema. Born in Missoula, an American city with a medium-sized population, it took years for the director to decide on the audiovisual format. His first great hobby was painting. Like Man Ray, who switched from painting to photography to get out of poverty, or Hitler, who put aside his greatest hobby to conquer Europe, Lynch was a dedicated painter long before he got behind the cameras.

The comparison with Hitler may sound a bit harsh. But, in a way, it was one of the reasons Lynch became a small artist. Born in 1946, the hangover from World War II hung over his childhood. His family, made up of a traditionally American structure, was overjoyed after the U.S. victory. So, similar to what happened with Hayao Miyazaki, Lynch’s first drawings were of guns, planes and tanks.

BREAKING: David Lynch Has Thoughts on the Dark Side of Fifties Suburbia ‹  Literary Hub

As portrayed in the autobiographical documentary The Art Life, all he saw in his childhood was happiness: blue bicycles, green gardens and white houses. But his perception of the world changed when he moved to Virginia when he was fourteen, a dark place that tinged his perception of the world. Lynch himself points this out in the documentary:

I started having abominable spasms. I was a mess. I started smoking and drinking. I would run away from home at night. It was like I couldn’t control it.”

However, this disturbed vision of his reality meant that he was finally able to bring out everything he had been accumulating since a childhood that his own mother portrayed as “out of the ordinary”. Lynch found in painting a refuge, so he began to carve out a life as a painter after studying Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

David Lynch, ese pintor 'frustrado' - Artelista Magazine

His portraits were bizarre and veered between surrealism and expressionism, but the cinematographic impulse accompanied him throughout his career, until his performances took a path closer to the audiovisual:

“I was painting a picture when I received the inspiration. The painting was totally black, except for some green shoots I had drawn in the middle. Then, through the window came a big gust of air that moved the painting and made it sound. It was amazing! I could make my paintings have movement and sound.”

Motivated by the discovery, David Lynch got a scholarship at the American Film Institute. And, after graduating from the prestigious school, he began to leave his particular mark on all the productions in which he was involved.

From the unforgettable The Elephant Man (1981) to the criticized Dune (1984), the filmmaker managed to get a small mass of fans to follow his steps with interest. Even so, his transcendence did not go much further; the general public found it difficult to understand Lynch’s ideas, or at least that was the case until Twin Peaks arrived.

Un techador aspirante a cineasta, un genio del humor y un maestro en  narices postizas: así nació 'El hombre elefante'

Twin Peaks conquers the world

Starting from his work as a painter, where he already portrayed small towns full of mysteries and characters of the most diverse, Twin Peaks arrived in 1990 as a summary of everything that meant Lynch. Throughout the second season, his most authorial vein emerged as a surrealist madness that caught many by surprise, and during the third -premiered in 2017-, nothing remained of its origin.

But when the series premiered, the public was captivated by its ideas. With the murder of a young woman as a contextual framework, the plot developed as a police and detective adventure, but with the addition of dozens of secondary characters, such as Lady Leño or El Hombre de Otro Lugar, which turned this production into something very particular.

Thanks to its good work with a complex but well-structured script, Twin Peaks achieved an abysmal audience worldwide. The eight chapters of the first season triumphed in its broadcast on ABC, but more curious was its arrival in other countries. In Spain there had never been a precedent like it.

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Dr Jacoby - Twin Peaks | Twin peaks, Twin peaks costume, Twin peaks inspired

Although it had very little to do with the reality of the country in the nineties, families gathered in front of the TV set to watch the show broadcast by Telecinco. Carlos Boyero himself, one of the country’s most renowned (and criticized) critics, defined its international success in the newspaper El Mundo:

“Conventionalism, moralizing, shoddy workmanship, and the usual clichés that are the mainstay of television series have given way in Twin Peaks to the unpredictable and the unseen. […] The collaboration between the lyricism of musician Angelo Badalamenti and Lynch’s emotional murkiness achieves intoxicating effects. […] Twisting has engendered art on the small screen”.

In short, Twin Peaks was the never seen before on television. It had nothing to do with the clichés of sitcoms and not even with the detective productions that were so fashionable at the time. The vision of David Lynch and Mark Frost was totally different from what we were used to and, more importantly, presented a formula that caught all viewers without exception.

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The third season: a contemporary gem

Twenty-five years after the last season, Lynch felt it was time to return to the fictional town of Twin Peaks to tell a new story that would continue the original plot. Lured by the opportunity to explore new techniques and cinematic formats in his return to television. The third season of Twin Peaks presents a complex and enigmatic narrative structure, with several plot threads that intertwine and develop independently.

During the season, Lynch also experiments with the length of the episodes, some of which last more than an hour and others that last less than 30 minutes. It also serves as a tribute to the memory of lead actor Kyle MacLachlan, who reprises his role as FBI agent Dale Cooper.

Twin Peaks' Season 3, Episodes 3-4 Recap: Falling in Space - The New York  Times

Lynch wanted to give MacLachlan a chance to reprise one of his most iconic characters, and the third season offers Twin Peaks fans a chance to see Agent Cooper in a strange new story.

Beyond what the classic series meant, there is no doubt that the third season of this strange and surrealistic fiction that has conquered audiences around the globe deserves to be watched.

Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

Cultural journalist specialized in film, series, comics, video games, and everything your parents tried to keep you away from during your childhood. Also an aspiring film director, screenwriter, and professional troublemaker.

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