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OP-ED: Um Actually, Your Favorite Show is Just a Twin Peaks Ripoff


Photo by Needhi Mehta

The following letter was found earlier today, taped to your bedroom door in your quad apartment in Gregory College House.


It’s your hipster suitemate. I know that we don’t talk a ton and that I usually go straight to my room and lock the door as soon as I get home, but I really need to get this off my chest. This isn’t easy for me to say, because I hate being self-righteous and holier-than-thou, but your favorite shows are just ripoffs of the hugely-influential, early 90s David Lynch series Twin Peaks.

Over the past week or so, as I lay in bed listening to Joy Division and pondering the finer points of Camus’ canon, I couldn’t help but overhear your TV habits through the paper-thin walls of our apartment. Not that I would know, but it was pretty clear that you were deep into the first season of Riverdale. I know you think that a teenage noir about the mysterious death of a beloved high school student and the ensuing spiral into the dark underbelly of white suburban America is unique, but our Lord and Savior David Lynch actually pioneered the genre. The parallels aren’t even clever. Instead of the Homecoming Queen, Laura Palmer, washing up on the riverbank, the Homecoming King washes up. Clever. I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, but Archie’s hot and no one was hot in 90s television.” Normally, you’d be right, but Kyle MacLachlan actually invented being hot when he gave his performance as FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper.

I hope my point is well-taken, but I’m not done. I know you also love the overrated hodgepodge of 80s thriller tropes, Stranger Things. I definitely didn’t binge the entire second season in one afternoon, but if I did, I’d know that you’re full of shit for liking that show without first watching Twin Peaks. Again, it’s just about a bunch of suburban kids who try to solve the mysterious disappearance of their dear friend, awash in nostalgia of a lost time. And the “upside-down,” an alternate dimension of darkness and evil? That’s clearly just a ripoff of the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks. Stranger Things is one backwards-talking guy in a red suit from being a shot-for-shot remake of Twin Peaks. Learn a little about the origin of cinematic television before you pretend that you like it.

I also noticed that you go to Penn, which is located in the city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia was actually founded in 1992 for the filming of the brilliant prequel/sequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. David Lynch needed a location to film the culmination of the first act and the idea for the city Philadelphia came to him in a fever dream about a woman dancing in a radiator. If you're going to go to school here, you should really educate yourself.

I hope that I got through to you because it's just not fair to the rest of us for you to appropriate good television without learning about its roots. If you want to talk more about it, you know where to find me. I'll be in my room pretending I don't care.


Your Hipster Suitemate