The Use of Aesthetic in Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks was a TV series that ran from 1990 to 1991 and has 2 seasons of air time, written by Mark Frost and David Lynch. The show takes place in a small village deep within the mountains of Washington State, known as Twin Peaks. The storyline follows the main protagonist of an FBI agent investigating the murder of Twin Peaks High Homecoming Queen, Laura. The show takes on a soap opera air and is well-known for its aesthetic. With its 1960’s fashion, the rustic log cabins, pastel color coordination, and the incredible nature surrounding the internally saddened characters, the use of aesthetic in Twin Peaks has become an icon in the Internet world of Tumblr, Instagram, and even inspiration for other shows and video games.

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Twin Peaks is Tumblr worthy; in other words, it fits into the world of Internet Art, which is in today’s world probably the most recognized art of the generation. It’s no secret that Twin Peaks quickly received a cult following when it was debuted, even though the show was canceled after season 2, that was mostly due to the fact that television series weren’t easily accessible on Netflix like it is today and so it was hard for the audience to follow. Tumblr is iconic for its representation of fandoms and cult followings so it is no surprise that images and scenes from Twin Peaks made their way to the Tumblr scroll. Tumblr is also recognized highly for its aesthetic, as a good friend of mine and myself can also say, “I have one of those annoyingly meticulous aesthetic blogs” (*whispers* you can follow us, @littleghostlyfriend and @small-blooms).

So, how did Twin Peaks get this aesthetic that is so appealing and worthy of a cult following?

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First, it blends the dimensions between reality and fantasy. Twin Peaks is a fictional world but it seems like it could also be real. There is no magic or dragons, instead there are real people with real experiences that some of us could relate to. The surroundings that the characters are involved in can also remind us of some small and rustic towns we may have been able to see or experience at some point in our life.

Secondly, it presents an element of nostalgia. Twin Peaks is clearly in a more modern setting because they have televisions and use cell-phones but the fashion and background have a 1960’s feel to it with the red lipstick, the phonograph Audrey listens to, and the modest dress. It also has that soap opera style that many of us may have seen on the television if we ever visited Grandma’s house when we were children. Additionally, that jazz music reminds you of a time long past doesn’t it?

Finally, the characters are so cooky and unique that it’s easy to bring a cult following to the show. To us, the characters seem strange and out of the ordinary, such as the Log Lady, or the FBI agent who has a frank obsession with coffee (although, I can actually relate to that), but the characters in the show act like it’s just a normal day in the neighborhood. With this surrealistic quality to the characters a cult following and even a want to dress as the characters in cosplay can follow.

Twin Peaks and its use of aesthetics is a quality to be taken note of for up and coming filmmakers looking to understand the world of aesthetic a little better and incorporating it into their films to maybe one day be Tumblr-worthy.

Some information was taken from The History of Twin Peaks – glitboy by The Gamer from Mars




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