Channeling my favorite character from Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper, I will begin as such. Dianne, it’s 5:55 p.m., October 13th. Entering the weighted task of reviewing the reprise of the hit 90s tv series Twin Peaks.
If I was indeed Agent Cooper, before writing this, I would utter short updates into my recorder before heading to the Double R Diner for a damn-fine cup of coffee. Luckily, instead of trying to hack into the mind of one of my favorite characters, he and the majority of the cast from Twin Peaks have returned to the screen in Showtime’s continuation of the show. Fans get the chance to return to the sleepy town of Twin Peaks in Northern Washington and delve into mysteries of silenced town scandals, provoking murders, and a whole lot of spiritual bamb.
David Lynch and Mark Frost, the creators of Twin Peaks, ran themselves, and fans, into a long-haul of a waiting game as in the last episode of the second season, Laura Palmer, teenage beauty queen whose murder was investigated for the original two seasons, speaks to Agent Cooper in a dream-world and says eerily “I’ll see you again in 25 years.”
The hiatus is over, 2017 is upon us, and Twin Peaks returns. The initial scene of the first episode of the new season opens up with the show’s motif– a framed homecoming photo of Laura. Her haunting gaze reminds watchers of the mystery and horror that lay behind her death. The shot then floats back into the dream world, where a (sadly) much older Agent Cooper reclines in an arm chair. Kyle McLaughlin has lost some of his younger self’s beauty points, but he still brings the same tenacity to his character.
Seeing all of my favorite characters again, this time through higher definition cameras, is an unsettling experience. I am familiar and yet, unfamiliar with the cast. They still play the same roles, having the same personalities, idiosyncrasies, and mannerisms, but their physical appearances have altered from the 25 years since I last saw them in the sleepy Washington town. I’m happy that Lucy still remains the doll-eyed, dedicated sheriff’s secretary while Andy her the devoted and gullible husband. Of course, the Log Lady returns, but now she has thin hair and an oxygen tube. Her log remains the same, unaged. Grey hair and facial wrinkles are evidence that time takes a toll, but this doesn’t have to be an entirely negative facet of the new season. The aged characters bring sage wisdom through unknown experiences of the decade and a half that has passed, which adds for more plausible complicated backstories. It’s almost as if completely new characters have been added, which is a fresh take on the familiar show.
New faces have joined the old as well, as Michael Cera and Sky Ferreira join the Twin Peaks crew. These younger actors bring new life to the show, as well as enhancing the complexity of the plot through added storylines for the audience to keep track of, among the typical side-plots of talking giants and mystical owls. This complexity is as per usual Twin Peaks style, diluted by small town issues of unrequited love and high school drama.
Modern elements are interwoven through the show, as Agent Cooper now rolls up in a sleek, new Mercedes (with a long drawn out promo shot) instead of the old sheriff wagon. Characters have adjusted to the modern times, and industries, as Jerry Horne is now a successful marijuana producer. Again, I’m glad that the writers chose to keep their characters versatile, but part of me wants to bottle them up from the old series so that the older-television feeling was kept.
While Twin Peaks welcomes new cast members and plot additions, the same aura of weird mystery still lives on in the familiar town near the Canadian border. I will continue making my way through the new third season, but my heart still yearns for the old show with its grainy shots, dramatic synthesizer sounds, and young and beautiful cast untouched by modern times.