So I’ve been going through the first two seasons of 90210 on Netflix and since season two of Twin Peaks just got released, I thought it appropriate to discuss these two glorious programs a little bit.
As you may or may not realize, 90210 and Twin Peaks came out right around the same time, and both were insanely popular. In fact, Twin Peaks actually came out first and had been running for a few months by the time Brenda and Brandon moved to Beverly Hills from their bitterly cold home of Wayzata, Minnesota (a suburb of Minneapolis) and there are several references to it.
I’m writing from memory right now, so I fully apologize if some of these quotes are not verbatim, but during the episode “Stand (Up) and Deliver” in the first season, Kelly approaches Brenda and says, “Hippie witch is out, Brenda,” to which Brenda responds, “It’s called Twin Peaks, Kelly, and it’s very in right now.”
If you’re a modern Twin Peaks, watching that little gem of genious unfold is absolutely hilarious on so many levels.
Now, when that was aired, Twin Peaks was still in its early episodes, way before they had solved the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer. At that point the series was weird, but it didn’t go off the deep end until about episode fifteen, and until they resolved the murder plot it was very popular. After they wrapped that up, it got crazy, everyone stopped watching and it got cancelled.
Knowing how bizarre it was at the end and seeing it get shouted out in a prime time teen soap opera is absolutely priceless. And also looking at it now, aside from myself and my friends, I would expect that it’d be pretty difficult to find avid fans of both series. Did I say “avid”? “Fanatic” might be a better term, at least in my case.
But it makes sense that in West Beverly High, Brenda is the one who’s the fan. Brenda wants to become an actress and they portray her as the “artsy” character, even though she’s about as artsy as Ben Affleck, and just as talented at acting.
In the second season, Kelly’s on the phone with someone talking about her mom and David Silver’s dad starting to date. “I feel like I’m in a David Lynch film,” she says to describe the situation. I’m guessing that it’s probably right around then that the black lodge started coming up and the owls were discovered to be not what they seemed (I apologize if you have not seen Twin Peaks and have no idea what I’m talking about. Please go back and watch it and then reread this article. I swear you’ll think it’s funny.).
That’s the last mention of Lynch or Twin Peaks that I’ve heard so far, but I’ve only just finished disc two of season two.
Now let’s talk a little bit about the actors’ attractiveness in these shows.
Watching 90210 now, it’s funny that none of the characters would be considered attractive by today’s standards aside from Kelly. At the time they were all over every teen magazine and they were considered the hottest thing in TV. I wonder if this just goes to show how much of our taste in looks is affected by popularity and/or time period.
Now, later on in the series they brought in some extra characters who were crush-worthy, but in the first two seasons the pickings are slim.
The Twin Peaks actors, however, are almost all good looking. I know that at least Coop is considered attractive by females, and as a male I can personally testify that all the female actors have held a place in my heart since my first run through when I got the series on VHS in high school. Some of those 90’s beauties aren’t looking so great today due to aging, eating disorders and plastic surgery, but from April 8, 1990 to June 10, 1991, they were timeless and stunning.
So why draw the comparison between the two at all? Because they’re so similar that people don’t even realize it. The reason people like Twin Peaks so much is that it’s a Lynch creation, which is usually not comprehensible and utterly strange, that’s as watchable and engaging as 90210. You have to pay attention while you’re watching it, but mostly just to keep the plotlines straight.
In my first experiences with David Lynch, incluiding Twin Peaks, I remember trying to determine the meaning of all his weirdness. What’s the meaning behind coffee? What’s the meaning behind what the backwards-talking little person just said? What’s the meaning behind what the giant just said? A unicorn? But in the end, it’s all just Lynch being weird. None of those things ever get paid off. A friend of mine was saying last night that he views those odd things as character development and that’s it. I’d say that’s pretty perfectly stated.
In the end, I would have to recommend both of these shows for everyone who has time. Unfortunately that may be a little difficult for the time being. Now that season two of Twin Peaks is out, the first season is unavailable on DVD. Once again, weak sauce. 90210 is going strong, but still only the first two seasons are on DVD, the third is scheduled for December 11, 2007. The rest are not listed on Wikipedia, but I would guess that they’ll continue come out every six months or so.