‘Twin Peaks’ Revival: Here’s What the Critics Are Saying

David Lynch’s show returned to Showtime on Sunday, 26 years after the first season premiered

“Twin Peaks” returned to TV on Sunday, 26 years after David Lynch’s original, and the jury is still out.

All in all, many critics are praising the different turn the show is taking, with new characters and a radical form of storytelling. Many are excited to see where the show will go after the two-hour premiere of the revival, which was a “strangely welcome return to a familiar world.”

“And for a program that never fit in a neat little box, Lynch and company have seemingly found the right time and place to reappear,” wrote CNN’s Brian Lowry in his review.

Other critics have called it “thrillingly alive and fresh,” and wrote that “‘Twin Peaks’ has made a twisted, triumphant return.”

TheWrap’s Tim Molloy, said he loved the revival “the way I love pie,” praising its “sensory pleasures” whether or not the mysteries ultimately resolve.

Yet, Time’s Daniel D’Addario wrote a pretty negative review, writing that the bigger and odder story has “so far choked off what made ‘Twin Peaks’ work all along.”

Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” revival was created by Mark Frost and David Lynch as a continuation of the 1990-1991 series of the same name. Lynch directed the show entirely, and cast members include Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Jim Belushi and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

See 9 reviews of “Twin Peaks” below.

Corey Atad, Esquire

“New locations and new characters fill out the story in ways which feel scattershot, but somehow neatly so. What all the various plots have to do with each other is anyone’s guess at this point, but then that’s not the point to begin with. As was the case with the original ‘Twin Peaks,’ meaning could be found in mood. With 16 hours to go, Lynch has plenty of space to play around with that mood, but from the start it’s clear his interest in the horrors of true evil has taken on a more modern, more technological bent. In these first two hours at least, the show has provided a strangely welcome return to a familiar world unsettled by the passage of time. It looks different, and it feels different, and that’s more than a little scary, but you get the feeling that’s exactly what David Lynch wants.”

Brian Lowry, CNN:  

“It’s too soon, ultimately, to conclude whether ‘Twin Peaks’ will justify the investment or, like many a revival, should have stayed in limbo. The first two hours should, at least, pique any fan’s curiosity. And for a program that never fit in a neat little box, Lynch and company have seemingly found the right time and place to reappear.”

James Poniewozik, The New York Times

‘There’s enough unshakable imagery to promise a few months of unsettled Sunday nights’ sleep. The original ‘Twin Peaks’ was powered by two questions: ‘Who killed Laura Palmer?’ and ‘What the hell am I watching?’ The reincarnation doesn’t have the first. But it still knows how to get you to ask the second.”

Mark Lawson, The Guardian

“With this series, though, he must entice a new crowd while also satisfying those superfans who have spent the last 26 years drafting the show’s return in their minds. By gathering up loose ends and shaking them even looser, the first two hours seem more likely to please those already in the unknown. But this is a show that radically raised the creative ambitions of TV – we should give it time to reveal if it can be a game-changer again.”

Daniel D’Addario, Time

“‘Something is missing,’ intones Catherine Coulson’s “Log Lady” near the start of Sunday night’s ‘Twin Peaks’ season premiere on Showtime. ‘And you have to find it.”‘ This insight (gleaned from the log that communicates with her) felt all too apt. The new season of ‘Twin Peaks,’ the mystical soap opera whose fast-burning two-season run on ABC from 1990 to 1991 helped define what TV would become, shares, so far, precious little with what had come before. It’s not just that the few returning characters we see are (with fitting surrealism) 26 years more wrinkled than when last we saw them. The show, which derived its power from the aftermath of trauma in a small community, has chosen to tell a story that’s odder and bigger–so big, in fact, that it has so far choked off what made ‘Twin Peaks’ work all along.”

Liz Shannon Miller, IndieWire

“Beyond the cast, the show was beautifully shot by Peter Deming, and Angelo Badalamenti’s score is as iconic as ever. The pieces of this puzzle inspire rapture. But when you try to assemble them, what kind of picture do you create?”

Alan Sepinwall, Uproxx

“‘The Return,” though, never felt like a brand cash-in — Lynch and Frost returning to their most famous creation for lack of other ideas — nor like a show that had no business existing outside its original time and space. We may get there in time, especially if we start spending more of it with the original gang and less with the citizens of Buckhorn, South Dakota. But for all of its self-indulgence with pacing and content, and for all off its opaqueness even by ‘Twin Peaks’ standards, this felt thrillingly alive and fresh, even as it was continuing a story that Lynch and Frost had to abandon back in 1991 due to low ratings and various bad creative choices like the drawer knob.”

Michael Ausiello, TV Line: 

“Having seen the 18-part continuation’s super-sized premiere installment (which bowed Sunday at 9/8c), it’s hard not to feel like I’ve been completely, utterly duped. The two-hour kickoff did not repair the damage wrought by Season 2. If anything, it was like taking a sip of damn fine coffee after learning that someone had stuck a fish in the pot. To say I was disappointed by the revival’s indulgent, incomprehensible, taxing opening act would be a towering understatement. I won’t even attempt to break down the central storyline because, well, there is no central storyline.”

Mayer Nissim, Digital Spy

“Recent cinematic returns have taken different paths on the comeback trail. ‘T2 Trainspotting’ was little more than an exercise in nostalgia, albeit a successful one. A remix that hit all the right notes. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ more impressively pulled off a clever handover from the old to the new, if the jury’s still out on ‘Alien: Covenant.’ At least in its opening two episodes, ‘Twin Peaks’ has done more. It has successfully melded the past world of ‘Twin Peaks’ with the future to make a truly modern, cinematic, 21st century TV show. Whether it can keep this up for the full season we’re now excitingly finding out, but for now ‘Twin Peaks’ has made a twisted, triumphant return.”