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Twin Peaks

Sherilyn Fenn and Kyle MacLaughlin in Twin Peaks ABC Photo Archives—ABC via Getty Images

David Lynch and Mark Frost made something really weird happen, and I’m not talking about Laura Palmer’s murder, a dancing dwarf, a Log Lady or an owl. They turned primetime TV into a giant indie art-house theater, and regular American channel surfers by the millions became its black-turtlenecked denizens. The story of a teen girl’s death in the Pacific Northwest—and the pie-eating, deadpan-soliloquy-spouting FBI agent investigating it—carried on the theme, from Lynch movies like Blue Velvet, of sordid secrets and ancient horrors hid behind a facade of wholesome Americana, proving that TV could equal or surpass film in its storytelling ambitions. Twin Peaks may have had the shelf life of a freshly poured cup of coffee, but it was damn fine nonetheless.

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