I’m moved to write this because many, many years after everyone else, I watched Twin Peaks. And I saw all of The Killing this spring. These shows have the same hook: a young girl in the northwest is murdered and all the townspeople are fascinated/involved/changed. The girl in both cases is attractive, popular and involved in prostitution-like activities, but the shows are very different.
First, in Twin Peaks a whole world is created: a world of frosted doughnuts, warm hues, music you snap to or sway with, and unique, three dimensional characters. If I said to myself “I want to go to Twin Peaks” my mind could take me there effortlessly. I’d be sitting in the RR with a slice of huckleberry pie, a cup of really good coffee, and Audry Horn dancing to a jazzy jukebox tune. In the Killling, we’re supposedly in Seattle, but who are we kidding? It’s Canada. And generic Canada at that. Canada pretending to be its neighbor. The only thing specific about this world is that it’s always raining. I mean, always. But rain alone does not a world create. And why don’t the people there use umbrellas? Why don’t they wear raincoats?
Secondly, in Twin Peaks, Agent Cooper is competent. He’s weird. He’s unconventional. He’s new age-y. But I know I’m in the best possible hands when it comes to getting to the bottom of Laura Palmer’s death. With The Killing, I feel like Detective Linden is going out of her way to NOT solve this crime. I knew the Muslim teacher didn’t do it within five minutes. My beagle knew it. That guy didn’t have it in him. So why did it take Detective Linden and Mr. Hoodie like 3 to 5 episodes to figure it out? There’s so much sloppy police work here that I started to wonder if Linden didn’t get promoted because of her flashlight wielding skills and phenomenal ponytail. (This is nothing against the stunning Mireille Enos of course, whose turn as the twins on Big Love is downright breathtaking, as is her hair.)
Finally, in Twin Peaks we are allowed to get to know the secondary characters. The audience develops a relationship to Laura’s best friend, her therapist, her boyfriend, the guy she’s cheating on her boyfriend with, the meals on wheels people, etc. All of this leads to us actually care and wonder about Laura. In the Killing, we are introduced to a couple of Rosie’s peeps, but not for long. They appear in one or maybe two episodes. Take Rosie’s best friend Sterling. Can you even remember what she looks like, let alone why she and Rosie are friends? What about that jerky rich boyfriend? Or the skater rat? They’re stereotypes. As a result, Rosie feels…distant. And “the case” starts to feel irrelevant.
Who is Rosie? I don’t know. Laura Palmer, however, I have met in my imagination. And she makes my heart ache.