By Mikolaj Puszcza-Szydlowski
It would not be much of a surprise if the idea for the new series, “Twin Peaks: The Return,” came to the mind of its creator, David Lynch, in a dream. It is, after all, a motif of so many of his films.
One of his greatest successes was a TV series in the early 1990s, an engaging masterpiece of storytelling, about (but only on the surface) a murder investigation in a small town of Twin Peaks, set somewhere deep in the evergreen state of Washington.
The series has more depth to it than any attempts at describing its plot could
suggest. Watching the series is a dreamlike experience that is closer to witnessing than it is to viewing. We in no way relate the characters, but are related to them, through the storytelling that follows a logic of a visual image, rather than that of a written text. It is on some level hard to identify a concrete plot—as encounters lead to others, the residents of Twin Peaks follow their own instincts, specific to the world of the series. As the viewers, we begin recognizing it and allow to get pulled in.
The strength of the new series is the degree to which both the admirers of the original and the modern audiences used to the dynamic of the video language can relate to it. What seems refreshing is that there is no attempt to please anyone, not even the fans of the original. It is not hard to imagine newcomers falling in love with it as much as the longtime viewers.
Twin Peaks is a world filled with evil doppelgangers dreaming about the future and a wide range of other elements that are results of the show’s own logic
rather than any fantasy qualities it may have. Characters are introduced and very often never appear again; other times plots we expected to be resolved only thicken. We get to observe the lives of characters across different demographics and of varying intentions. A conversation over a piece of cherry pie is as significant as someone getting kidnapped.
There is much to be said about the compelling psychological portraits of characters in the series, who come and go, fall in love and despise each other as if they were made of flesh and blood; yet it seems almost secondary, when we consider its simple beauty as well as the degree to which challenged are our expectations of modern television, engaging in ways we may have not previously experienced.
Especially visible is the great attention to making it an intense cinematic experience. Lynch is a director who is not only a writer, but also an image maker and a qualified aesthete who allows the imaginations of the talented people working with him to create in accordance with his own.