Twin Peaks: The Return Is The Best Show And Blu-ray Of 2017
2017 saw a lot of weird and wonderful things on the big and small screen. Arguably the best on either format was David Lynch and Mark Frost’s much-anticipated, long-delayed Twin Peaks revival. Consisting of 18 unpredictable episodes, every Sunday it was the funniest, nuttiest, most beautiful, and definitely most baffling thing to watch. And, holy shit, David Lynch was back at the helm after 11 years.
More akin to Twin Peaks’ underappreciated feature film, 1992’s Fire Walk with Me, Twin Peaks: The Return was more often than not a very far cry from a CBS television series about a quirky small town trying to solve the murder of troubled teen Laura Palmer.
Much like everything after the show’s groundbreaking first season, Twin Peaks: The Return wasn’t a ratings juggernaut, which is to be expected. This was something for Lynch fans more than Twin Peaks fans. And on that front, this season gave us some of the most purely Lynchian stuff of the director’s career, with Part 8 being the benchmark of boundary-pushing television.
On the complete flipside is Lynch’s signature brand absurdist humour, more or less embodied by Agent Dale Cooper as the brainless but utterly lovable (and lucky) Dougie. As much as Dougie’s shenanigans with family, work, or at the casino felt overly protracted and tangential, these moments were a much needed diversion from the show’s darker moments we knew were always around the corner. Also, although this review doesn’t dive into performances, Kyle MacLachlan needs to win every possible award for his multiple roles here. While we’re at it, give some gold to Naomi Watts and Laura Dern.
There’s so much to say about this series, and I will certainly be revisiting it front to back on a regular basis from now on, but there’s also a brand-new, equally special Blu-ray to explore.
As someone who streamed the entire season, revising it on Blu-ray is a night and day difference. Shot on 35mm film, colours and textures immediately spring to life, giving fans a whole new reason to spend another 18 hours in this totally singular world.
Beautifully packaged in a case that opens up to reveal all the Agent Coopers we’ve met throughout the season, inside are eight discs that are stacked with extras.
Disc one offers the chance to watch the first two episodes separately or as one feature-length presentation, which is how it originally aired on Showtime and TMN. It also contains six quirky Series Promos that preceded the premiere, plus a lengthy three-part featurette called “Twin Peaks: Phenomenon.”
Disc two also presents Part 3 and 4 as separate episodes or as one joint presentation. In addition, there’s a 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panel moderated by Lost and The Leftovers producer Damon Lindelof.
Discs four, five, and six just contain the episodes, while disc seven includes the two finale episodes, as well as a Crew List, a making-of featurette narrated by various cast members called “A Very Lovely Dream: One Week in Twin Peaks,” two more behind-the-scenes shorts, “Behind the Curtain” and “I Had Bad Milk in Dehradun,” shot by actor Richard Beymer, a collection of the show’s many opening Rancho Rosa Logos, and finally a lengthy behind-the-scenes photo gallery.
The biggest batch of extras is found on disc eight, which consists of a five-hour documentary called “Impressions: A Journey Behind the Scenes of Twin Peaks.” Split into 10 chapters, it might be too much to handle all at once (it is), so individual chapter viewing is optimal, as each one clocks in at roughly 30 minutes. More artistically ambitious than your average making-of, don’t expect to see Lynch hamming it up to the camera promoting his show.
Directed by Lynch’s friend and archivist, Jason S., he mostly captures fly-on-the-wall moments of many of the show’s most impressive sequences coming together—he also provides spot-on Werner Herzog-style voiceover. There are even a few moments of Lynch getting infuriated with his crew, but for the most part we get to watch a master at work, and it’s amazing to see him constantly come up with fresh ideas on the spot, like smearing a dozen eggs and creamed corn around a blackened hole in the ground, which he gleefully demonstrates himself to his team.
It’s also wonderful to see Lynch reacquainted with major actors from his past, like Laura Dern and Grace Zabriskie (whom at one point he says “I love you so much” to) and also mystify newcomers like Jim Belushi, who often looks like he has no idea what Lynch is asking him to do. Still, the director is there for his biggest and his most obscure stars every step of way, even when he asks them to do something as weird as recreate a dream he had the other night.
Twin Peaks: The Return is out now on Blu-ray and DVD. Watch a first look clip below. Also, gotta light?