Twin Peaks: The Return has been every bit of weird and spectacular fun as a fan of the original series may expect. Some truly horrifying and wonderful things have been aired on television thanks to the show. However, reception to this reboot series has not been universal in acceptance, in fact some has been outright hostile and negative. This is fair enough, Twin Peaks has always been a show that tries and tests the audience’s patience, but this recent wave of criticism is unfair in my view. I will try to make an argument as to why we should all sit back, relax and enjoy this strange creature of a show.
Twin Peaks has never been an easy and casual show to sit through, this new iteration is no exception. The show truly is a work of art that defies traditional expectations and interpretations. So what about the series makes this art? The Return is a strange amalgamation of part drama, part soap opera, part comedy and part horror. This combination of genres is unusual and rarely seen in mainstream television. The mood and genre in a scene will often change unexpectedly. The mixture of genres and uncanny use of filmmaking techniques make Twin Peaks: The Return such a strong example of television art.
Another reason to give the show some time to unfold is how it was intended to be watched. The show is structured into 18 one hour long episodes (with the exception of the premiere and finale, which have two episodes air in a night) spread over 16 weeks. This format is not ideal for the structure of Twin Peaks: The Return. David Lynch, the creator behind both original and return series, has said that the show is intended to be and should be seen as an 18 hour long movie. This perhaps can reveal why some people are frustrated with the pacing, the show is meant to be watched as a movie.
I think one of the more fundamental reasons why fan reaction has been so divisive is because the show was designed to be challenging. No information is ever simply given to the audience, instead information is given in hints or broken riddles. An example lies at the beginning of this current season. Cooper, stuck in the black lodge for the past 25 years, is teleported to a meeting with a strange figure. This figure speaks in riddles about things to fear and things to not forget. Absolutely none of this makes sense in the direct context of the early season; however, now that the season draws to a close, some of those clues are starting to come to fruition. This method of revealing the narrative slowly is probably the most decisive part of Twin Peaks: The Return.
Not all reactions to the show have been as negative as one may believe. Some die hard fans tune in every Sunday to catch the latest happenings going on in the town of Twin Peaks. On top of that, it seems the longer the show goes on the more things are starting to come together. Overall though, I’d advocate for everyone sit back, relax and enjoy a damn fine cup of coffee as this show finally plays out.