On Sunday night, May 21, “Twin Peaks” returned for its third season after a slight 26-year delay. It originally aired for two seasons on ABC from 1990-1991 and delighted and confounded its core group of fans. But perhaps it was too far ahead of its time. David Lynch‘s surreal sensibilities would be a tough sell to many audiences even in 2017’s peak-TV era of widespread original programming on cable and online. At the time its ratings declined sharply and it was cancelled on a creepy cliffhanger, but it retained such a devoted cult fan base that its legend survived long enough to spawn this year’s revival on Showtime.
Reviews weren’t publicized until after the show aired, so now that the show has returned to the airwaves, what do critics think of it? Well, the critics seem to be asking themselves the same question. It has a positive MetaCritic score of 75 as of this writing, but that doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to trying to judge David Lynch. It’s both “profound” and “ridiculous.” It’s “weird and creepy and slow” and “very stubbornly itself … rejecting both standard storytelling and standard forms.” To put it in possibly the simplest terms anyone could put a David Lynch project, it’s “pure, uncut, post–’Mulholland Drive,’ mind-f*cking, T.S. Eliot-‘I-will-show-you-fear-in-a-handful-of-dust’ David Lynch.”
Suffice it to say that it might be an acquired taste, but it has been gladly acquired by its fans. Check out some of the reviews below, join the discussion with your fellow TV fans in our forums, and keep up with all the latest Gold Derby entertainment news.
Verne Gay (Newsday): “Was ‘The Return’ profound? Sure. Ridiculous? That, too. Coherent or incoherent? Your call. ‘Twin Peaks’ defies ultimate analysis, and ultimate judgment. That’s its secret and mystique, and why it’s back after 25 years … But the best stuff easily reminded true blue fans — and only true blue fans — why they loved this so deeply to begin with.”
Liz Shannon Miller (IndieWire): “Without delving into spoilers, it’s worth celebrating that Kyle MacLachlan’s talents as an actor, even in the oddest circumstances, remain impressive. The nuances he brings to his work while playing the most complicated and bizarre of characters prove that he’s one of our most under-appreciated performers.”
Sonia Saraiya (Variety): “Fans of Lynch — and fans of the series, who have mythologized its idiosyncratic details over the last two decades — will take in the director’s vision with open arms, savoring its bizarre iconography and nonlinear storytelling … ‘Twin Peaks: The Return’ is weird and creepy and slow. But it is interesting. The show is very stubbornly itself — not quite film and not quite TV, rejecting both standard storytelling and standard forms.”
Matt Zoller Seitz (Vulture): “The return of ‘Twin Peaks’ went more or less as I anticipated, given how series co-creator David Lynch has developed as a filmmaker since the original series aired. Sunday night’s premiere was two hours of what a friend called ‘pure, uncut, post–”Mulholland Drive,” mind-f*cking, T.S. Eliot-“I-will-show-you-fear-in-a-handful-of-dust” David Lynch.'”