I’ll admit, I entered the world of Twin Peaks only within the past month. I knew the name and the faces behind it (David Lynch and Mark Frost), but I wanted to watch the original series so when the revival premiered I wouldn’t be left twiddling my thumbs at the proverbial water cooler (which nowadays in New York City has become happy hour or brunch with friends as we scramble to see if any of us are, by fate, watching the same shows).
I only knew the basics: there was an FBI agent named Cooper, played by Kyle MacLachlan, who was best known to me as Paul Atreides in Dune and Charlotte’s husband for a hot second in Sex and the City. (That should give you some sense of my entertainment sensibilities.) He came to the remote town of Twin Peaks, Washington to solve the murder of Laura Palmer, the local homecoming queen and seemingly all-American girl.
I also heard rumblings about supernatural elements and remembered some of the signature images that made their way into promotional materials for the new revival on Showtime: Cooper’s glass-shattering breakdown, a little person with some unique dance moves, a woman who could make a knot out of a cherry stem with her tongue, Lynch eating a donut, and that llama.
As it happened, my first episode of Twin Peaks coincided with my first ranked listical. Yes, this is the first time I’ve ever ranked anything online, which for a entertainment writer in the digital space seems to be quite a feat. I tried to avoid it, the same way I prefer to avoid rating anything: many will preemptively ignore a TV show or movie if there’s an average-to-low score attached. Nevertheless, my ranking of the original episodes was an experience, but one that shouldn’t negate any installments that didn’t make the cut. (Note: Sometimes the Pilot is considered Episode 0, sometimes Episode 1; in this list it’s the latter, so always default to the episode title when heading for your re-watch). Spoilers obviously follow.
So here it is. Agree or don’t, as long as you want to go back and watch. [Editor’s Note: You can also check out our Twin Peaks Guide for a refresher that’s safe for newbies and long-time fans]