On Sunday, May 21st, Showtime will take us back to the small logging town of Twin Peaks. In anticipation, Consequence of Sound will be reporting live from The Great Northern Hotel with some damn good features all week. As excited as we are to catch up with some old friends, let’s face it: Some characters we’d just as soon not bump into again.
There’s is one simple truth on which all Twin Peaks fans can agree: Twin Peaks is not perfect. That’s a product of circumstance more than anything, if we’re being honest. The network interference, the tonal shifts, the lack of clear leadership — much of this wouldn’t have been an issue had the show premiered in our era of “peak TV,” where risk-taking television is becoming as much a norm as sitcoms and procedurals. Nobody had ever seen a show like Twin Peaks before, nor had anyone dealt with the particular type of frenzy it ignited in pop culture. It was doomed from the beginning because, at that time at least, there was no way to sustain the curated oddness and evocative storytelling of its early episodes.
In terms of quality, the show’s enduring mystery and inimitability have aged well, but its incorporation of soap opera touchstones and the sloppiness of season two’s storytelling now resonate as both silly and amateurish for viewers versed in the likes of Game of Thrones and Mad Men. What’s so disappointing about Twin Peaks’ dip in quality is how it rippled throughout the show’s ensemble, nearly all of whom played a pivotal role in the early episodes before dripping into irrelevance in the morass of season two’s world building. That said, not everything can be blamed on that rough second season; in retrospect, certain characters that captured the zeitgeist upon its premiere went on to prove themselves as nothing more than a curious bit of set dressing, good for a glance but little else.
We’re obviously big Twin Peaks fans here at Consequence of Sound, but we figure it’s best not to let nostalgia dictate which denizens of this dark town are our favorites. Who are we happy to be without in David Lynch’s upcoming season? And, if they’re coming back, what can Lynch do to salvage them in the eyes of wary fans? We’ve got some thoughts (and plenty of criticism) below. Here are the worst characters in Twin Peaks.