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Twin Peaks

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Why it’s worth your time:

This is a classic and a cliché for a reason. Nobody has quite managed to duplicate David Lynch’s combination of quirky small-town camaraderie and surreal horror, although Stranger Things certainly gave it a shot. The beauty queen of a sleepy Catskills community turns up dead on the lakeshore, wrapped in plastic. The only one who can solve the mystery is an FBI agent who’s like Buddy Holly with psychic powers and a quick trigger finger. Corny jokes are juxtaposed with mystical visions, and the characters enter a strange land. In the end, it’s a meditation on what happens when we try to ignore the dark elements of our societies. Spoiler alert: bad things happen. Just don’t watch the recent reboot, and know that the second season meanders a little bit before an epic closer.

The takeaway:

Imaginative paranormal drama that paved the way for today’s golden age of TV, with a lot of lovable yokels talking approvingly about pie and coffee.

Watch it with:

Friends who like their pulpy nightmares served with a side of kitschy retro cheer.

Worth noting:

It’s from the early 90s, so it’s a little slower-paced than, say, Breaking Bad. But once you get into it, you’ll find yourself binge-watching anyway.

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