Welcome to Twin Peaks
I do not remember much of Twin Peaks during its original run on television. But, I do remember the many references to it scattered across other media, mainly gags on episodes of The Simpsons.
My first real experience with Twin Peaks was during my freshman year in college (I’m sure cooler people than I will insert a different word when talking about a first experience in college). A friend of mine, Kevin, had the entire series on VHS (which may or may not have been taped off someone’s Laserdisc collection). Kevin, or one of his friends, even created custom box art for the tapes.
And being single, geeky college freshmen, we did what seemed like The Best Idea Ever — we watched the entire series, thirty episodes, around thirty or so hours, over a weekend (starting Friday night, and finishing on into Sunday). I haven’t been the same since.
We took possession of one of the common rooms in Kevin’s dorm, gathered up a few other like-minded friends, and camped out for hours on end. We sustained ourselves on Mountain Dew, Subway sandwiches and plenty of other junk food. It goes without saying, the room did not smell too fresh come dawn on Sunday.
Twin Peaks is perhaps best enjoyed in such a marathon fashion. By watching episodes back-to-back-to-back, you become very, very attached to the characters. Plus, it is (somewhat) easier to understand just what the hell is going on, and you pick up running gags (the same can be said of Arrested Development).
Being one who enjoys quirky characters, mysteries and super-natural shenanigans, I instantly fell in love with Twin Peaks — its characters, its many quotable lines (“This must be where pies go when they die.”). and the oddly charming Zen moments, like this:
I savored every bizarre frame of the show, and I was very upset when we came to the final episode.
But, thankfully, this was not the only time we partook in our Peak-a-Thon. It even became a tradition of sorts, our “we survived the semester” celebration in college. The locations would vary, as would the attendees, but my love for the show never waned. Watching the shows now, on Netflix Watch Instant, brings back many fond memories of careless college evenings spent with some of my nearest and dearest friends.
And, yes, when we all reached legal drinking age, these gatherings became even more entertaining. I have an amusing photo of a passed out roommate clutching Kevin’s Twin Peaks tapes like they were the last life preserver on the Titanic. Today, that roommate has a Ph.D in mathematics (give or take) and teaches at a rather important university. After graduation, I threatened to have the photo in question blown up and make a road trip to affix the photo to his office door under the cover of night. He was not amused.