Twin Peaks

At 11:30 a.m. Feb. 24, 1989 fictional FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) drove into the town of Twin Peaks.

Cooper was called in to assist local police, who were trying to determine who killed homecoming queen Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee).

The ABC series spanned two seasons in 1990-91, garnering critical acclaim and numerous awards for its blend of horror, mystery, camp and comedy.

The show’s characters were quirky and eccentric, but a decline in ratings during the second season led to the series’ cancelation.

A prequel movie, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me,” followed in 1992, and 25 years later, the cult classic show was revived by Showtime with an 18-episode third season.

The limited series, “Twin Peaks: The Return” took place in present day and brought back many of the original cast members, including MacLachlan.

Originally titled “Northwest Passage,” “Twin Peaks” was created by David Lynch (“Lost Highway,” “Mullholland Drive”) and Mark Frost (“Hill Street Blues,” “The Greatest Game Ever Played”).

At the time of its premiere, the show was something very different. Episodes weren’t a one-and-done, and plotlines weren’t tied up neatly at the end of the hour. Viewers tuned in weekly to see tiny shreds of the show’s mysteries unraveled as they were transported from their couch into the show.

Foregoing an episode (no on-demand playback in the 90s) meant missing potentially crucial plot elements that furthered the mystery.

The hour-long episodes fused together into an hours-long movie about the town, its residents, and yes, finding out who killed Palmer.

As The Atlantic noted in a 2017 article, “Without ‘Twin Peaks,’ and its big-bang explosion of the possibilities of television, half your favorite shows wouldn’t exist.”

The article declared the show “effectively renegotiated TV’s contract with its audience.”

Anyone who wants to binge the series three seasons (the first two are available on Netflix; the third on Showtime) would spend nearly 40 hours doing so. The prequel movie eats up another two hours.

It’s a hefty time commitment for sure – but one worth it to see a show that changed the landscape of television.

Other occasions to celebrate this week include:

n Feb. 18: National Battery Day, National Drink Wine Day, Thumb Appreciation Day

n Feb. 19: Tartar Sauce Day, Friday Fish Fry Day, National Caregivers Day

n Feb. 20: National Love Your Pet Day, National Muffin Day, Clean Out Your Bookcase Day

n Feb. 21: National Grain-Free Day, International Mother Language Day, Single Tasking Day

n Feb. 22: National California Day, National Margarita Day, Be Humble Day

n Feb. 23: National Dog Biscuit Day, Curling is Cool Day, Diesel Engine Day

n Feb. 24: National Tortilla Chip Day, Inconvenience Yourself Day, Twin Peaks Day

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