Every once in a while, a television show comes along that defies the norm and challenges viewers to follow along for the ride. And when David Lynch and Mark Frost debuted their new series, Twin Peaks, 20 years ago this week, viewers followed in droves, as a colorful cast of characters tried to solve the mysterious murder of a teenage girl named Laura Palmer, in the small logging town of Twin Peaks, Washington.
Here’s what viewers first saw when they tuned in on April 8, 1990:
And here’s a clip from the pilot episode, where Laura’s death is first revealed:
Twin Peaks only ran for two seasons, but its innovative and unusual approach would linger long after the series ended, eventually paving the way for modern shows like Lost, with its own mysterious plot twists and eccentric characters at every turn. And the popularity of Twin Peaks to this day is a welcome reminder that not every television show has to be predictable and formulaic. Sometimes there are rewards for daring to be different.
Were you watching Twin Peaks back in 1990? Or do you simply remember hearing the name “Laura Palmer” in every conversation and wondering why everyone cared? Share your memories of this delightfully strange show with all of us at Retroland, as we look back twenty years – at the phenomenon that was Twin Peaks.