Want to Watch the New ‘Twin Peaks’ But You Haven’t Seen the Old ‘Twin Peaks?’ Give Us 10 Minutes.

A 25-bulletpoint guide to everything you need to know.
By  · Published on May 18th, 2017

A 25-bulletpoint guide to everything you need to know.

You might have heard that this weekend David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks is returning to television after a 27-year absence. To call this a big deal is belittling to “big,” “deal,” and Twin Peaks; this is massive, mammoth, monumental. Some, myself included, consider it the resumption of the most significant narrative endeavor ever undertaken by an American filmmaker, while some are a little confused as to what the rest of us are frothing at the mouth about.

See, for all the hype and significance surrounding Twin Peaks, the fact remains that very few of you have seen the series in its entirety. First, it originally aired more than a quarter-century ago, which in a disposable culture such as ours might as well be a millennium. Second, though the show caught the attention of pretty much everyone in the beginning, by a third of the way through the second season most folks had tuned out to the extent the finale – which is widely considered the biggest cliffhanger in TV history – aired on a Saturday night in the middle of June, six weeks removed from the rest of the series after it had already been cancelled. Third, there wasn’t a DVD release of the series until the mid-2000s, meaning an entire generation of viewers didn’t have real access to it. And fourth, even if you were able to get your hands on all of it, the (unwarranted) hatred around the movie that came after it, Fire Walk With Me, which is a prequel and not the resolution everyone was hoping for, has likely convinced you that Twin Peaks is an exercise in frustration which, admittedly, until the announcement of season three, it kinda was.

But Twin Peaks is also much, much more: it is the birth of prestige television, it is the birth of “cinematic” television, it is the blueprint for every significant supernaturally-tinged series that came after it, and every televisual murder mystery, it is the best ensemble the medium’s ever known, it is the most daring network television has ever been, and last but not least it is – by his own admission – the last film David Lynch will ever make. Big deal? No, this is the biggest deal in television, ever.

So you want to watch it, you need to watch it, but maybe you’re a little intimidated (understandably so) because you haven’t seen a lick of seasons one and two, or Fire Walk With Me, and you won’t have time to before Sunday’s premiere. No worries. I’ve outlined everything you need to know in handy bulletpoint format. This isn’t everything everything, that would take much more time and space, but this is primer enough that you can watch the new season without being totally blind to what’s going on. Ready?


So that’s it, Twin Peaks in the tiniest of nutshells. Did I leave out a lot? Oh yeah, tons, but these broad strokes should afford you the time to chase down any leads you still need to, depending on what season three has in store. If you need any additional help, I know a guy. 

The first two episodes air on Showtime this Sunday night, followed immediately by the release of episodes three and four on the network’s digital platforms. Episodes then run once a week for 14 weeks until the two-hour finale in September. 18 hours in all. It’s going to be wonderful and strange, and the very definition of peak TV.


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