One of the most wonderful universes that you can get lost in is Twin Peaks. It takes you into the mystery of the world. It’s strange, but not any stranger than real life. It’s just that the strangeness of real life is heightened so that it is brought to the forefront. One of the things that David Lynch does so well is to create strong emotions. He knows that emotions are abstract, you can’t explain sadness or pain or happiness so much as you can feel it. Through abstract visuals and sound design he creates cinema of intense feeling.
The trick to what he does is that he often allows you to feel two different emotions at the same time. The end of Fire Walk With Me, the movie that takes place in the Twin Peaks universe, is one of the most horrifying sequences I have ever seen in film. It is also beautiful. The fact that it is beautiful doesn’t make it any less horrific to watch. In fact in might make it more so, because it opens you up emotionally to it in a way that no straight horror movie or documentary ever could. David Lynch isn’t afraid to make you feel uncomfortable, but you never ever get the sense he is trying to shock you just for the sake of it.
The TV show Twin Peaks is a combination of different genres. There are characters that could have come out of a film noir and there are characters that could have come out of a soap opera. These more traditional genre elements are laced with episodes of the surreal and uncanny. At the core of Twin Peaks is a murder mystery. However, the TV show especially also features many moments of light comedy. It is again the fact that it is combining different elements that make it so unique.
But I think one thing that truly makes Twin Peaks special is that in watching it, we not only recognize feelings and emotions from reality, but the show somehow heightens the viewers reality as well. When we enter the woods after seeing the show we may notice how dark and mysterious they are in ways we might not have payed attention to. Entering a diner we may notice details and the behavior of people in ways in which we didn’t before. Twin Peaks is great entertainment, but it is also something more. It is a fictional world that makes us aware of the mysteries in our own.