Twin Peaks: The Return pushes the ‘Lynchometer’ too high. TV series review

Twin Peaks is, arguably, the best TV show ever made. Mind you, it’s not my favourite – even though season 2 is among the closest ones to my heart – but its influence on quality TV shows is undeniable. As undeniable are its own values.

Twin Peaks 1At the beginning of the 90s, the first two seasons of this iconic TV show had revolutionised the language of modern TV series with the story of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) investigating the murder of homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) in the fictional town of Twin Peaks, Washington.

After season 2 was cancelled, Twin Peaks 3 picked up the events that have been left on hold in 1991. What’s made the first two seasons so fantastic was the conventional mystery/crime aspect combined with uncanny and surreal tone, typical Lynch’s signature.

This constant flirting with mainstream filmmaking that, at the same time, refuses to be orthodox is the key for the success of the original seasons. Return, instead, ignores any sense of audience’s expectations and heightens the level of ‘Lynchism’ to the extreme.

As a consequence, an already complicated plotline, gets even more confused and, somewhat, that seems to be Lynch’s response to the extremely harsh criticism that shot down the second season.

Although I respect and admire David Lynch as a filmmaker, I feel like he pushed it too hard in Twin Peaks: The Return. Surely, the season is still very impactful, but it feels forced in comparison to the previous ones. Yet, some of the 18 episodes should have been cut out, in order to make the story flow better.

Even the acting, in my opinion, is not on par with the performances of the same cast members 20 years ago. Dale Cooper (MacLachlan), however, shines like the years haven’t passed for him; plus, the presence of amusing cameos makes for some interesting and quirky moments.

What remains intact, however, is the mystery vibe. Season 3 keeps the tension up throughout the 18 episodes and makes it even more compelling to figure out what happened since new sub-plots and false trails. The cinematography is astounding as it was in the first 30 episodes and every technical aspect is nearly spotless – Lynch is one of the most attentive directors to the technical features of his creations.

All in all, I felt myself enthralled in Twin Peaks: The Return, a long-waited sequel to the first two seasons that, most certainly, won’t piss off the true fans of this TV show. Nonetheless, my high expectations made me enjoy it a bit less than I hoped: therefore, my final grade for season 3 of Twin Peaks is 7.5/10. Cheers!