If the question “Who killed Laura Palmer?” means anything to you, you’re going to want to scoot a little closer to your computer screen. Are you ready? Are you comfortable? Are you in a place a possible yelp of delight will go unnoticed by coworkers or worried passersby? Right, then, here it is: all two seasons of Twin Peaks are streaming for free at CBS.com. Right now. This very second. Totally free. Yelp!
This is, excuse me, a damn fine cup of
coffee news. CBS recently added the full catalog of the beyond-quirky-into-down-right strange series to its online archives, along with several other classic TV shows including The Love Boat, Family Ties, The Twilight Zone, Star Trek and Beverly Hills 90210. I watched some Twin Peaks episodes over Memorial Day weekend and from the moment Special Agent Dale Cooper (the impeccably coiffed Kyle MacLachlan) took his first sip of coffee, I was hooked again.
That eerie theme song with its placid images of the Pacific-Northwest still ranks among the best opening credits of all time. It gives me chills every time I listen to it.
I was obsessed, in mostly a healthy way, with Twin Peaks throughout its two season run back in the early ’90s. This totally weird show about murder, the unexplained and creepy characters was like nothing I’d seen or – to be perfectly honest – have seen since on television. I remember my parents, who were normally unconcerned about the innocuous sitcoms and dramas I watched, looked at me midway through the pilot episode and asked, with some alarm, “What the hell are you watching?”
But they, too, got into the show’s bizarre charm. From this seemingly simple case of a homecoming queen Laura Palmer found wrapped in plastic and murdered sprung a universe of iconic images and kooky characters. And while the show wasn’t my introduction to its creator/director David Lynch, it was what got me to watch, and re-watch, his back catalog and subsequent work.
Did the show always make sense? Of course not. And, really, that was almost the point. In Lynch’s world, not everything has to make sense. Hence the red room and the Log Lady and the cross-dressing David Duchovny and the soul trapped in dresser drawer handle.
I am both fascinated and frightened by the contents of that man’s brain. Though anyone with the foresight to put Lara Flynn Boyle, Sherilyn Fenn and Mädchen Amick (not to mention Peggy Lipton, Joan Chen and Piper Laurie) all in the same series together has to be at the very least a minor genius. Plus it would be unfair to hold him accountable for what has happened to the trio’s careers since.
The short-lived show began to unravel in its second season as the weird got too weird. It also started to give me bad dreams. (Seriously, sometimes I still have nightmares about Bob.) But the real triumph of Twin Peaks was that it got on the air at all. This show wasn’t just odd, it was aggressively, gloriously odd. And now you can relive all the insanity from the comfort of your laptop. Cherry pie and damn fine cups of coffee not included.