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Featured TV on DVD Review: Twin Peaks

September 18th, 2016

Twin Peaks: The Original Series, Fire Walk With Me & The Missing Pieces - Buy from Amazon: Blu-ray

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks came out more than 25 years ago and it was instantly a smash hit on TV an a cultural phenomenon. A year later it was gone. There was an attempt at a prequel movie, but the less said about that film’s box office numbers, the better. Despite its short and bumpy run, the show’s never really faded out of the minds of its fans and a box set makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time such a box set has been released. I previously reviewed the Definitive Gold Edition when it came out on DVD in 2007, while a Blu-ray edition, The Entire Mystery came out in 2014. Is this one worth upgrading to if you own the previous one? Is it at least worth buying if you missed the previous one?

The Show

I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the plot of the show, because frankly the plot is the least interesting aspect of the show. The TV show is nominally about the murder of Laura Palmer, the homecoming queen in a small town called Twin Peaks. While the cops investigate, an FBI agent, Dale Cooper, comes to town to investigate the murder as well. He’s convinced that Laura’s killer is a serial killer based on the similarities between this murder and another murder the year before. He’s also convinced the coffee is really good.

While the central mystery is what drove the plot of the show, it was the strangeness that kept audiences coming back. The show was co-created by David Lynch, who also wrote and / or directed a number of the episodes in the show’s short run. This isn’t the most... Lynchian of his works, but it was certainly unique compared to what was on TV at the time. This is a lot of what made the show appealing, but also, it was just packed with talented cast and crew.

The first season of Twin Peaks was just 8 episodes long. It was more of a mini-series than a full TV show. The second season was supposed to be just as short. However, the network decided in order to make as much money as possible, the second season would be a full 22-episode season and that the show would have to wrap up the central mystery as soon as possible. ... Ugh. ... Okay, on the off chance any TV execs are reading, if some TV show your network makes becomes a cultural phenomenon, don’t interfere with it. If a show is a success, then you’ve done your job. Congratulate yourself on a job well done. “Done” being the keyword here.

Worse still, not only did network interference kill the show, by the end of season two, it has actually regained its footing and if it lasted a third season, the third season would have likely been really good. Maybe not a classic like the first season, but solidly engaging.

The Extras

On a positive note, the 9-disc set is loaded with extras, most of which I talked about way back in 2007 when the Definitive Gold Edition came out. There are some improvements this time around, including A Slice of Lynch being extended from 30 minutes to nearly an hour. On a negative note, the The Entire Mystery included a tenth disc of more extras. This tenth disc and the booklet are not included in this package. This is a strict downgrade from the previous release and only the lowered price ($50 vs $85) make this one worth looking at if you don’t have the show on Blu-ray yet.

The Verdict

Twin Peaks is a great show that already had a great box set released, The Entire Mystery. This box set is missing substantial extras, so it is only worth it if you missed out on the previous one and don’t want to spend $85 for The Entire Mystery.

Filed under: Video Review, David Lynch, Kyle MacLachlan