Every Girl Who Wants a Secret Second Life Needs to Watch “Twin Peaks”
It’s been almost three years since the return of “Twin Peaks” was announced, but this year, David Lynch’s iconic cult drama is set to make a return.
While alt-obsessives are already aware of how magnificent the series is, it dawned on us that the average person probably has no idea. So we’re here to tell you “Twin Peaks” is not just entertaining, but feminist af.
The entire show revolves around how shit can hit the fan if women aren’t allowed to be themselves. Like most women of the time, the female characters are under pressure to act like mini Suzie Homemakers at all times. They’re not allowed to have sex, drink, do drugs, or question authority publicly — at least, not without destroying their reputations.
So the women act out in private, people die, and the men are left scrambling after them to figure out what’s going on.
But before we really get into that, what the fuck is “Twin Peaks” really?
Well, debuting in 1990, it was basically the first good TV show. At a time when everything was either a sitcom or a glorified soap opera, “Twin Peaks” treated TV like an art form instead of a vehicle for detergent ads.
Created by David Lynch, the iconic director behind thrillers like “Mulholland Drive” and “Blue Velvet,” “Twin Peaks” is funny, spooky, stylish, and surreal, and people are obsessed with it.
The title doesn’t give away much, except the location: Twin Peaks, Washington, a small af logging town in the middle of the woods. The show follows the investigation of the mysterious murder of Laura Palmer, who was the town’s cliché popular girl and homecoming queen.
FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper leads the investigation surrounding Laura’s puzzling death. It’s discovered that Laura had been living a double life. Basically, little miss perfect was a coke-head who had been selling sex to feed her habit.
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Although you might not find her actions technically feminist, she was using men to basically get whatever she wanted. That’s pretty radical and instead of shaming her, the show focuses on how she had to hide her true identity to fit into her small town.
On the surface, Laura was a gleaming jewel of conformist perfection. In private, she fulfilled her own desires instead of society’s. Consider how outrageous it would have been in the 90s to see the popular girl’s double life exposed to only find out she had been involved in all this crazy shit!
But Laura’s murder proved that when women have to fulfill their desires in secret, the consequences can be tragic. If Laura was allowed to be herself without judgment — if she could test out drinking and drugs and sex in a safe space instead of going completely out of control — maybe she would have survived.
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Laura was not the only female character whose circumstances forced her to act one way for society and another for herself.
Shelly Johnson, a young waitress at the local diner in Twin Peaks, dropped out of high school to marry a truck driver named Leo Johnson. Leo is abusive and sadistic, but shortly after she marries him, Shelly realizes Leo didn’t marry her because he loved her, but because she would take care of his house for free.
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Obviously, the woke thing to do would have been to divorce him. But that’s easier said than done, especially back in 1990. Society’s expectations of what a housewife should be kept her from doing it.
Another character who rebels against society’s expectations of women is Laura’s best friend is Donna Hayward. She basically becomes obsessed with figuring out who killed her BFF. She pushes all the boundaries, and even goes as far as to fake a relationship with a hermit to squeeze more info out of him. In this way, she uses her femininity and sexuality to assert her independence. She’s adventurous and unafraid, often leading the charge and figuring shit out way before the cops do.
Audrey Horne also uses femininity to get what she wants. Her father is filthy rich and owns the hotel in town called the Great Northern Hotel. Unfortunately, because of his business assets and work, he neglects her. Audrey only really wants her father to love her, and she’s always armed at the ready with a quippy comeback for anyone who thinks less of her for being a woman. She’s also is very inquisitive and dead set on solving Laura’s murder. At one point, she even disguises herself as a prostitute to get the information she needs.
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Through it all, the male characters on the show are always two or three steps behind the women. They’re supposed to be fixing everyone’s problems, and even though they pat themselves on the back and consider themselves the town’s guardians, they have no clue why the women are acting the way they do. And most tellingly, the men get to indulge their desires without having to conceal themselves.
That’s all I can really tell you about the plot without giving any spoilers away. From the soundtrack to the sheer mystery surrounding the entire investigation, every turn is met with some sort of suspense. “Twin Peaks” is a great example of what happens when women are forced to the brink and you have got to watch it.
While we don’t have an official release date yet for the new show, Showtime says the new show will come out in the first half of 2017.