Twin Peaks
Pilot

Episode Report Card
Djb: D | 9 USERS: A
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Pilot

Major, honking, chocolate-covered shout-outs with a creamy nougat center to Adam, Josh, Marisa, and the roomies, whose group-tastic approach to collectivist television viewing imbues this Show of Shows with a superlative level of snarky goodness it would not have otherwise possessed.

Yippee-ha! Twin Peaks! Like the kid who owned the wiffle ball bat or the most advanced weaponry to which the Laser Tag genre ever ascended, I remain convinced that the real reason I was given this plum assignment in the first place is because I already had the series on tape and loudly voiced my selfish unwillingness to share them with anyone else. Call Sars. She'll tell you it ain't no lie. Which brings me to a note about said tapes: The tapes off of which I am recapping these episodes are in excess of ten years old. So while we're thanking the gods of all things good and holy in the programming universe for the very existence of the show, let's give a tiny shout-out to my mom, who possessed not only the media savvy to capture this cultural moment on videotape its first time around, but also the technological clairvoyance not to rest her faith in the normative video conventions of the day and render this whole project futile from its inception by recording it on Beta. Which, really, was quite a danger back in the day. Nevertheless, the 99-cent tapes purchased at Genovese in the Spring of 1990 have, due to their analog nature, become a bit worn in certain places. So don't panic if an entire scene passes with no more than the cryptic recap, "Ensconced in squiggly white lines and a blinking red light declaring 'tracking,' Laura Palmer remains, I think, dead. Or something." In fact, fear not at all: there will be many more scenes of a similar nature to follow. I promise. End criminally insane blathering here.

This week on Twin Peaks: Tracking! TRACKING!!

We begin with the decidedly mood-setting and utterly melancholy World's Longest Opening Credits Sequence in the History of the Moving Image. For those of you who have been catching the series this time around on Bravo, thus be warned: the opening credits in this, the Pilot, run just a smidge longer than the definitive version beginning with Episode 1. For this, the two-hour ABC Sunday Night Movie, the credits feature not only the familiar opening bird shot and the sequence at the mill and the waterfall in front of the Great Northern, but also several other establishing shots, one of which contains, well, a large piece of lumber sitting in the middle of a field. And after about eight seconds of staring at said log in said open field, I can hardly imagine that any tears were shed at the thought of the shot of that felled tree getting, er, axed. Ha ha ha. Yikes. Sorry about that. I know that when I watched this show for the first time I was deep in the process of lunging toward the beginnings of puberty, but that's really no excuse for the humor in this recap to be ripped from the pages of Bananas magazine, my reading material contemporary with the original airing of this show. Won't happen again. Cut to shot of the road leading into Twin Peaks, where the Welcome to Twin Peaks sign sports a population of 51,201 (according to numerous show-related FAQs, though if I had to take a guess based on the supplied VHS technology and my ten-inch television screen, I'd have to guess it says, "19b55fork," a slightly less likely conclusion for the Census Bureau to draw), all of whom are about to be individually mentioned by name in this sprawlingly long credits series, now entering its third full minute. Roll credits: Kyle MacLachlan. Yay! Sherilyn Fenn. Yay! Piper Laurie. Yay! Madchen Amick. Ya -- uh, who? Oh, it's Shelley. Hi, Shelley! You're pretty. So yay! Harry Goaz. Yay! Joan Chen. Sigh. Yeah, well, we'll get to that, now won't we?

This episode is written by co-creators Mark Frost and David Lynch, and is directed by David Lynch. With such intensely focused creative minds at the helm of their own pet project, one would think that there would be any other opening shot for the entire series than that of the recipient of The Richard Belzer Honorary Award for Excellence in Proving that No Show is Ever Without at Least One Sustaining Flaw: a mirrored reflection of Josie "Farewell My Twelve-Year-Old-Boy Concubine" Packard applying make-up and humming mindlessly. But we don't know her name yet, do we? Oops. Sorry. No more presupposing knowledge of anything, lest I be accused of spoiler-ific behavior in light of this brand-new show and its many mysteries. Let's just pretend we're seeing all this for the very first time, for the purposes of linear recapping, shall we? So who, then, is this twelve-year-old Asian drag queen man-child, and why are my feelings for him so spiteful and negative -- er, I mean "ambivalent"?

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Twin Peaks

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