Twin Peaks

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Twin Peaks TV Poster Image
'90s cult fave reboot just as odd, arresting as original.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive messages are few and far between in this surrealist drama in which violence is used as a means to an end and mysterious goings-on sub for realistic action. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are complex and have hidden motives. Even the show's heroic characters have dark sides and sometimes do terrible things to people who don't deserve it. 


A man brutally kills a woman on-screen, punching her several times in the face before shooting her in the head (the impact of the bullet is hidden behind his body); the woman is in a bra and underwear for the scene. Lions eat their prey in a clip from a gory nature show. A gory, bloody decapitated head is shown next to a headless body on a blood-soaked bed. Expect sudden deaths and violence and disturbing imagery: A tree with a brain-like talking protrusion; a glass box in which a naked animalistic creature suddenly appears before bursting out to kill a couple in the midst of sex; a woman who takes off her face like a mask, revealing a white light beneath. 


Graphic sex talk: A man feels a woman's genitals and makes a frank comment about her being aroused. A woman is murdered in her bra and underwear. A couple has sex with moaning and thrusting; her breasts are briefly visible; they are killed suddenly by a beast-like creature while in the act. Expect dating, kissing, references to sex, and sexual content twinned with violent and disturbing imagery. 


Many instances of "f--k," "f--king," "hell," "bitch," "dammit."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One character smokes cigarettes incessantly; scenes take place at bars with everyone drinking cocktails and beers. Two characters run a marijuana-distribution business. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Twin Peaks (aka Twin Peaks: The Return) is a surrealistic and strange drama about a group of characters who came to know each other in the 1990 cult drama/murder mystery Twin Peaks. This retool is every bit as confounding and weird as the original, but it's more intense and violent now that it's moved to cable instead of network TV. Expect gory and disturbing violence: on-screen deaths, stabbings, shooting, bludgeonings, bloody dead bodies shown at length, a decapitated body with a disembodied head next to it. Some violence additionally has a sexual tinge: A couple is killed during sex (her breasts are briefly visible) by a beast-like creature who suddenly appears in a glass box/mysterious portal; a woman is punched in the face and then shot dead by her boyfriend while dressed in a bra and underwear. Expect dating, kissing, references to sex, on-screen sex (with no genitals shown), and some very frank sexual talk. Cursing includes many variations on "f--k" as well as "hell," "dammit," and "bitch." One character smokes cigarettes; two others are marijuana distributors, and many scenes take place at bars with patrons drinking. This show is much too disturbing for young viewers, and parents may want to watch first before showing to teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylentax2 November 9, 2020
Parent of a 2 and 12-year-old Written byZoethustra February 17, 2019

So Disappointed

The original Twin Peaks is my favorite TV show of all time so I was pretty excited about this new season. I was so disappointed after watching it that it almost... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous December 3, 2018

Complex, Mature and Absolutely Brilliant

While The Return is a direct continuation of the original series, set 25 years later, the content and level of maturity is more akin to the film, Fire Walk With... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bysamantha19 June 15, 2018

What's the story?

Helmed by Twin Peaks co-creators David Lynch and Mark Frost, TWIN PEAKS (also known as Twin Peaks: The Return) is a "refresh" of the 1990s cult series that stars many of the same characters and actors as the original. Kyle MacLachlan returns as Agent Dale Cooper, whose consciousness has been bisected: Half is stuck in the notorious Red Room that first appeared in one of Cooper's prophetic dreams with Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee), half is a murderous leather-jacketed brute intent on committing a particular shadowy crime. Meanwhile, back in the town of Twin Peaks, Audrey Horne (Sherilyn Fenn) is still a ne'er-do-well rich girl while her uncles Ben (Richard Beymer) and Jerry (David Patrick Kelly) are still owners of the Great Northern Hotel (though they're not making extra money distributing marijuana). Shelly (Madchen Amick) and Norma (Peggy Lipton) are still waitresses at the Double R Diner; Lucy (Kimmy Robertson) and deputy Andy (Harry Goaz) are still at the sheriff's office. There are plenty of new characters, too -- this remake has a 217-strong cast list -- but the weird goings-on in the town and among its characters haven't changed a bit. 

Is it any good?

Menacing, atmospheric, and surreal to the point where it resists simple summing up (and straightforward reviewing), this rocket from the crypt captures the spirit of the original. The reboot takes its inspiration from the 1991 finale in which Laura Palmer told Agent Cooper, "I'll see you again in 25 years." Here we are, 25 years later, and Cooper is still receiving cryptic directions from Palmer, and we're still wondering what it all means. At least one thing seems clear: While the original focused mainly on Palmer's murder and the subsequent criminal investigation, Twin Peaks: The Return has no such central focus. Instead, several interconnected threads make up the story: Red Room Cooper has an evil doppelgänger loose on a killing spree, while somewhere in a Manhattan room there's a glass box kept under constant surveillance to see if anything appears (spoiler alert: Something does). 

Meanwhile, South Dakota police have arrested a high school principal for a double murder, Agent Cooper is getting advice from a talking tree, law enforcement officer Hawk (Michael Horse) has found a mysterious portal in the woods, and Twin Peaks partiers are hanging out at the Bang Bang Bar roadhouse, where Shelly Johnson runs into her old flames James Hurley (James Marshall) and Bobby Briggs (Dana Ashbrook), both of whom still carry old secrets. There are trains, there are neon signs, there is coffee, there is pie, there are diners and (gently aged) actors you used to know. OG fans are likely to be as confused and intrigued by this remake as they were by the original. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why this show that originally aired in 1990 has been remade in 2017. Are remakes of shows popular in another era common in this one? Why? Why would a remake like Twin Peaks be more appealing to a network than a brand-new idea? What built-in appeal do remakes have? 

  • What does "surrealism" mean? What’s an example of a surrealistic moment in an episode of Twin Peaks? What's the difference between imagery and events that are surreal and those that are used as metaphors? 

  • How does the violence in this show affect you? Does it seem more or less violent than other mysteries or legal dramas you've seen?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love mysteries

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