‘She’s filled with secrets’: Hidden Worlds, Embedded Narratives and Character Doubling in Twin Peaks

  • Janine Matthees


When Twin Peaks was aired in 1990, it soon acquired a reputation as being one of the most innovative TV series ever. It offered a large number of bizarre characters, a complicated puzzle involving the murder of a pretty young girl, and various absurd features like FBI agent Cooper’s recurrent praise of the local cherry pie. These features soon established the cult character of the series. The initial enthusiasm of the viewers lessened quickly, however, after it became clear that Twin Peaks was not just a new detective series. The postmodernist features of the series, especially its tendency to abandon traditional narrative structures and to go off into a new, unexpected direction every few episodes, proved too much to secure the public’s lasting interest.1 In addition to the viewers’ expectations derived from the genre of detective series, one can also assume that viewers were going to form certain expectations on the basis of the name David Lynch. This director, who is well-known for the high level of absurdity and the lack of closure in his feature films, could be expected to use similar features when he created Twin Peaks. While the viewers’ response was generally enthusiastic during the first season, ratings dropped dramatically in the second season once Laura’s murder had been solved, and the series finally came to an abrupt end after 29 episodes.2


Detective Series Soap Opera Fictional World Twin Peak Supernatural Force 
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© Janine Matthees 2005

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  • Janine Matthees

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