Twin Peaks the Comedy

peaks3If I didn’t know any better, this is the darkest and most hilarious comedy I’ve ever seen.  Actually, I’ve never been able to watch the whole Twin Peaks pilot all the way through without nodding off.  It’s so slow it makes an eighty year old man with a walker look fast.  The pace might be leisurely, but nobody gives a crap about the pace because people watch this old TV show for the atmosphere.  Twin Peaks used to be the most riveting and atmospheric television show on the air, before JJ Abrams showed up and copied almost everything this show did right for Lost.

peaks4In the pilot, the body of Laura Palmer is washed up on a beach and an investigation into her death begins.  Kyle MacLachlan plays Agent Cooper, the FBI agent assigned to the case.  He seems to know something about the motis operandi right from the start, and does your typical detective stuff in a rather unconventional detective way.  The dead pan humor in the pilot is the best part and made me chuckle twice as much this time around.

The cast is just the icing on the cake for this episode.  Nobody in this town is even close to being normal.  They’re all nuerotic weirdos and people with a screw loose.  The sheriff’s deputy can’t stop crying on the job.  The police secretary looks like the biggest gossip ever put on Earth and all the kids take after James Dean or Steve McQueen times ten.  In other words, rebels.  All the parents are deadbeat.

peaks5All the twists in this show are perfect.  Sure, it’s a little dry and corny and stupid funny, but the dark twists are perfect.  Agent Cooper gets a clue based on a reflection off Laura’s eyeball in a video.  That’s right.  He watched a video and there was a close-up of Laura Palmer, where he could see a Harley being reflected off her eyeball.  Hilarious.  So he goes to question and track down all the bikers in the area, right?

James Marshall plays the biker and he’s a well-known actor to anybody familiar with movies and television.  Agent Cooper tracks him down and locks him up.  Laura’s boyfriend isn’t too pleased though, because he assumes this biker jerk is suspect number.  Nothing is resolved in this pilot though, so we’re not sure if he’s the killer or not.  You’re right, he’s not.  The episode ends with Laura’s mother screaming, so we’re off to clinghanger land in the pilot episode.  

In all, this early episode has a lot of good stuff, but it’s all over the map with the narrative.   I get that it’s a police drama and a soap opera, but none of it really flows together.  This is probably why the show really was only interesting because of the murder mystery.  Everything else was crap.  Anyway, the atmosphere is good and the dialogue is great, so that somewhat makes up for the problems.  I’m not sure if I can get through two episodes, though.  Good thing they’re shorter than the pilot.