May 25, 2022

David Lynch’s television masterpiece, Twin Peaks, is widely regarded as one of the greatest TV shows of all time and has solidified its forever place in pop culture history since it first appeared on the clunky television sets of 1990. It is known and acclaimed for its fusion of drama, crime, and psychological horror and its dreamy cinematography and mystifying plotlines that are well-expected in much of Lynch’s repertoire. During its limited run, the show subsequently gained a heavy cult following, even with a cliffhanger that lasted for 25 years, and remains a strong influence on television, video games, books, and films today.

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Trying to find another show that replicates the same esoteric feel as Twin Peaks is difficult, as the unique blend of surrealism and suspense is hard to come by. Thankfully, shows with strong Lynch-esque themes still exist today and are all well worth the watch; here are five new shows you should check out if you love the same kind of weird found in Twin Peaks.

‘Search Party’ (2016 – 2022)

One of the best dark comedy series in the last decade, Sarah-Violet Bliss’ Search Party is a perfect story mix of mystery and satire that will twist and turn in ways that you would never expect, not unlike Twin Peaks. Led by four friends who are all equally self-obsessed, ignorant, and suffering through the same pitfalls of real-life millennials today, Search Party is a biting social commentary mixed with a surreal representation of the trials of young adulthood that exist in today’s growing superficial world. How each character reacts to every meta, strange, life-altering event is hilarious, and the show knows how to balance generational self-criticism without becoming too patronizing or unfair.

Though maybe not as dark as Twin Peaks and set in the hip neighborhoods of New York City instead of the misty mountains, the show still does incorporate many Lynchian, dream-like sequences that only get eerier and more bizarre as the series goes on, as well as many plot twists that will genuinely surprise you. Search Party fabulously melds the absurd with the all too familiar, resulting in a cryptic comedy that is still frustratingly relatable to any twenty-something and takes you on a journey where you have no idea you’ll end up next.


‘Russian Doll’ (2019 – present)

Another show set in the dazzling and insomnia-ridden world of New York City, Russian Doll follows the adventures of Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) as she attempts to escape and solve an infinite time loop that forces her to relive her 36th birthday party, kills her in specific and surprising ways, then transports her back to the same event at the same time over and over. The main charm of Russian Doll, apart from Natasha Lyonne’s husky-voiced, masterful performance, lies within the mystery of the time loop and watching Nadia try and uncover its secrets and the cheeky, uncaring universe she inhabits that kills and revives her on a whim.

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The show is fascinating because it uses the trope of a time loop to create a deeper exploration of how repressed and psychological trauma shapes us into the people we become; only through addressing and trying to understand that trauma can you finally begin to heal. Russian Doll shocks equally with its casual portrayal of gruesome deaths and sudden emotional epiphanies, yet still possessing all the same eccentricity as Twin Peaks. The second season has only recently come out on Netflix, so there’s still plenty of time to catch up and begin your time loop journey.

‘Gravity Falls’ (2012 – 2016)

Equally a clever mix between the mystery of Twin Peaks and the charm of Scooby-Doo, Gravity Falls, is a light-hearted, animated story about family, secrets, and confusion that comes with growing up. Created by Alex Hirsch and set in a town not too different from Twin Peaks, Gravity Falls is about two identical twins, Dipper (Jason Ritter) and Mabel (Kristen Schaal), as they encounter and try and solve the many paranormal mysteries that lie within the peculiar small town.

Like David Lynch, who molded an eerie atmosphere and sense of unease into the entirety of his show, Alex Hirsch creates a similar uncanny world shrouded in mystery, leaving clues and caesar ciphers for his audience to solve. Kyle MacLachlan, Special Agent Dale Cooper himself, also makes a cameo appearance in the series’ final episode, displaying a direct homage to Twin Peaks. More of a playful take on the surreal; it’s a fun show to check out if you still want some suspense without all the existential confusion.

WandaVision (2020)

The global success and popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the unique, esoteric charm of Twin Peaks are almost like night and day, with many pearl-clutching hipsters being quick to disparage any rumors that the MCU is in any way similar to the cult favorite. Super-hero media don’t always examine the human psyche in the same intense and unconventional way David Lynch does, but WandaVision succeeds in humanizing one of its most powerful heroes by putting her through a metaphorical (and literal) emotional prison.

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The show focuses on Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olson) and her past. Through the inclusion of unsettling meta themes that blend the realms between time, reality, and pop culture, which are used to represent Wanda’s own damaged mental state. WandaVision even has strong Twin Peaks influences through psychological horror and countless existential questions. With a strong base in examining grief and healing, WandaVision is a unique show that explores the super-hero genre in unorthodox and Lynchian ways.

‘Black Mirror’ (2011 – present)

Now over a decade old, the British anthology series Black Mirror is a creative response to technology’s hold on our everyday lives. Equally as science-fiction and dystopian as it is an eerily cautionary tale that hits a bit too close to reality, Black Mirror influences fellow weird predecessors such as Twin Peaks and The X-Files, and The Twilight Zone. Charlie Brooker’s show takes no linear narrative route, and each episode instead focuses on the dark ways technology (both modern and fictional) can infiltrate and destroy a person’s life in many different ways.

Fans of Twin Peaks should check it out if they haven’t already and should include the episodes “Crocodile,” “USS Callister,” and “Be Right Back” on the must-watch list to see that enigmatic charm that sits with you long after you’ve watched it. Filled with twists and surprises that will rock you to your core, Black Mirror is a show worth all the hype and has all the electricity of Twin Peaks to keep you well entertained.

KEEP READING: From ‘Silent Hill’ to ‘Life is Strange:’ 10 of the Best Video Games That Are Influenced By ‘Twin Peaks’


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