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You Should be Watching: ‘Twin Peaks’

If you missed this landmark series’ first run, or if it’s been too long since you visited that mysterious logging town nestled in the Washington woods, there’s still time to watch “Twin Peaks” before its 2017 return on Showtime. Grab some hot black coffee, a slice of cherry pie, and close those red curtains, so you can savor each moment as you binge-watch two seasons of first-rate storytelling.

Title: “Twin Peaks”

Year it began: 1990

Where it can be seen: CBS.com, Hulu, Amazon, DVD, Blu-ray.

Who’s in it: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Sheryl Lee, Sherilyn Fenn, Ray Wise, Joan Chen and Kenneth Welsh.

Typical episode length: 47 minutes

Number of episodes to date: 30

Brief plot description: After the corpse of high school student Laura Palmer is discovered and another victim wanders across the Canadian border, the FBI sends Special Agent Dale Cooper to the small town of Twin Peaks. Working alongside stalwart local Sheriff Harry S. Truman, the indefatigable Agent Cooper leads an increasingly complex investigation. Illuminating crimes and conspiracies within the town, Cooper and Truman’s inquires also reveal external threats related to the mysterious woods surrounding Twin Peaks.

Why it’s worth watching: Twin Peaks” has a sublime cinematic power, thanks to the ambition and vision of co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost. The show features ethereal music, gorgeous locations and stellar directing (including 396 minutes by Lynch). With a deep cast of excellent actors and consistently cutting-edge scripts, “Twin Peaks” successfully blends small-town pastoral and avant-garde ambience. At the show’s core lies the bond between the ruggedly ethical Truman (Ontkean) and Cooper (MacLachlan), who displays an infectious enthusiasm for matters both small (coffee and pie) and great (justice and spirituality). Beginning with the heartbreaking reactions to an exceptional individual’s tragic death, the show quietly develops into a wide-ranging journey that is simultaneously soap-operatic and otherworldly. If you still need convincing to revisit this wondrous show soon, note that Lynch will co-write and direct all episodes of the Showtime run (the exact date of which, like so much in Twin Peaks, remains an alluring mystery).

– Randy P. Schiff

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