There is an old thread on this. I decided to start a new one with no spoilers.
Season 1. Episode 1 (The Pilot) - well for starters I was whooshed for a while. The campy acting with over-reaction to everything and the incongruous diversions had me unsettled, but I guess it’s part of the appeal. I dunno.
Lots of characters and complex interactions among them. I was amused to see Mr. and Mrs. Ross from Seinfeld, as well as Stacy from Wayne’s World.
I’m not sure if I have the patience to watch dozens of episodes with a blizzard of clues and red-herrings. Is there satisfactory resolution? Are there any convincing sympathetic characters or are they all just stiff wooden actors?
Twin Peaks is the kind of show that you shouldn’t watch for the plot, you should watch it because it’s absurd and it’s an illuminating example of a director pushing the limits of TV (at the time) as far as he could get away with. I’ve rewatched it a few times with numerous different friends and when they say “I still don’t understand why [xx] did [y]” I’m just like dude don’t try to follow the plot. Turn your rational brain off. Just enjoy the ridiculousness of everything.
Yes, I remember a documentary (I think it was one of the one’s made by CNN about the 90’s) which mentioned that the ultimate legacy of Twin Peaks was the fact that it was effectively an arthouse movie (or series) that somehow managed to get aired on network television.
If you didn’t care for the pilot, I don’t know that I can really recommend going forward. Things don’t get any less confusing. On the other hand, you will at least get to see what The Simpsons was referencing in this scene:
I like to watch Twin Peaks because they filmed a lot in Snoqualmie and North Bend (Big Si and Little Si are real life mountains nearby, aka “Twin Peaks”) and it’s fun to see places I know. (I used to work in those areas for a while.)
I also grew up watching the show when it was broadcast. So freaking weird.
It is definitely intentional (IMO) and part of the appeal.
The interactions just get more complex from there.
That was the main appeal in the original run. IIRC, it was the first show described as a watercooler show, where everyone would gather around the watercooler the next day to discuss the latest clues.
Yes. There are a couple of resolutions in the main series.
And no. They don’t sit right with everybody.
Very sympathetic. Donna’s soliloquy. Many of Cooper’s observations. Andy and Lucy. Big Ed. Even Bobby, now and again.
A few of the characters never get much better. I won’t prejudice you by naming them, but some you will never care much about, some will grow on you, and some will probably fascinate you from early on.
If nothing else, watch it for the music.
You might get bored with it (and even think that the show has gotten stupid) not long after the first reveal. Join the club. Most of America agreed with you during the original run. I usually skip those parts on rewatching.
Much of the first season, some of the second season, and the last two or three episodes are some of the best TV ever shown. (Again, IMO.) It has two of the most horrific scenes ever shown on television, even to this day, even after Twin Peaks changed television forever.
It is campy. It is also magical. It is a soap opera. It is also groundbreaking. It gets downright stupid. But you’ll never forget it.
I watched it again a few years back, and I was struck by how much of a soap opera it was. Sure, there was plenty of weird stuff, but there was also way too much romantic melodrama and dull corporate skullduggery. To a modern viewer, it feels like one-half prestige drama, and one-half Falcon Crest.
Also, it features the least teenager-like teenagers in television history. Not only do they all look like grad students, they act like no teenagers who ever lived.
OTOH, I loved the Return. No soap opera there, just raw unfiltered Lynch.