Twin Peaks, the revival of a beloved early ‘90s TV property, succeeds as a triumph of anti-nostalgia—or, more accurately, as a show that radiates ambivalence about revisiting the past. Kyle MacLachlan’s Dale Cooper returns, after a fashion, but though the actor is all over the 18-hour revival, the beloved character doesn’t get much more than a cameo, evolving into the inadvertent villain of the piece for his complete inability to move past his glory days, and his willingness to draw others back with him and into their darkest moments. There’s more going on here, of course—Twin Peaks itself gets an appropriately cracked origin rooted in one of humanity’s darkest moments, and dozens of characters (new and old, alive and dead, wacky and serious) pop in to advance the town’s story, alongside an impressive array of musical acts. Ultimately, it’s the characters who can move forward who get anything resembling happy endings here, suggesting that there’s value in checking up on old friends, but danger in living for and in the past. The Return also marked a series of poignant final acts for several actors who gave some of their final performances here (including Catherine E. Coulson, Warren Frost, Peggy Lipton, Miguel Ferrer, and Harry Dean Stanton), lending added, if unintended, layers to the themes of moving on. It’s an impressive feat that justifies its existence by reminding us to be careful what we wish for.
How long a wait? 25 years.
Where to stream: Fubo, Showtime