10 Shows 'Twin Peaks' Inspired, From 'The Killing' To 'Bates Motel'
Alright folks. I'm about to make a bold statement. Twin Peaks is easily one of the most influential shows of our time. Don't believe me? Just ask most of the major television thrillers of the last few decades. The thing that I've noticed from watching way too many TV shows, it's that the effect of Twin Peaks can be seen all over the entertainment world, from our favorite movies to random scenes in video games. So it's almost too obvious that it would impact television as well, and even more than that, spawn full television series that shared either a similar storyline or tone with Twin Peaks. And it all starts with the death of Laura Palmer.
Twin Peaks began as a mystery series in which the town of Twin Peaks was rocked by the murder of Laura Palmer, whose body was found wrapped in plastic. The murder continued to Season 2 where the killer was revealed and sadly the show was cancelled after that season. But the initial impact of seeing Palmer body after opening the plastic wrapping is still one of the most important moments on television. There are the obvious series that share similarities with Twin Peaks' original murder (The Killing definitely comes to mind), but there are just so many other series that took their cue from David Lynch's wonderfully twisted creation and we should all be thankful.
The most obviously similar series out of the bunch, The Killing and the original Danish series from which it is based, Forbrydelsen, begins in the same fashion as Twin Peaks. A young teenager named Rosie Larsen is killed and the series follows the police investigation into her murder. The series spawned into something different as it progressed, especially because it was cancelled and revived so many times, but that initial plot is exactly like the death of Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks.
Sure this may not seem likely, but think about it. The show begins with an unexpected death, in this case it's the suicide of seemingly happy Mary Alice Young, but it's really more about the inner workings of a strange neighborhood. How is that not similar to Twin Peaks? That series was all about the inner workings of a strange town, and Housewives eventually did have all kinds of other violence, including murder. There's no way Marc Cherry and the Desperate Housewives team wasn't inspired by Laura Palmer's death.
Pretty Little Liars
The Pretty Little Liars initial storyline may not seem all that similar to Laura Palmer's death, but the book and TV series seems to have been inspired by David Lynch's series thanks to the disappearance of Alison and the creepy mystery that has followed the girls in the clique since. Also, trying to figure out A is like trying to figure out who Laura's killer was or who Bob was possessing, though probably not nearly as drawn out and frustrating. Seriously, do we know for sure who A is yet?
The murder of Lily Kane in the complicated town of Neptune was absolutely similar to the murder of Laura Palmer. While the shows' similarities may begin and end (for the most part) there thanks to the other seasons focusing on other plots and Veronica's personal life, that initial storyline has to be thanks to Laura Palmer's death.
Obviously Bates Motel was influenced heavily by the original film featuring Norman Bates, Psycho, which is much older than Twin Peaks. But the settings and the murder aspects of the shows are similar. In Season 1 of Bates Motel, Norman and Norma move to a small town in Oregon which has its own mysteries like Twin Peaks did, but the most obvious similarity to Laura Palmer's death comes when Norman's teacher Miss Watson is killed and her past starts to unravel with the rest of the town's secrets during her murder investigation. While we get an inside look at the killer's mind and life on Bates Motel, the similarities are still very present.
Broadchurch & Gracepoint
The murder that begins the show here is actually that of a young boy in the small town of Broadchurch, but the idea is the same as Laura Palmer's death. Thankfully, Broadchurch took that original Twin Peaks idea and ran in a different direction with it, giving us a tighter family drama and a psychological drama about the investigation more than anything else.
Top of the Lake
The almost death of a young girl, Tui, brings a sheriff back to a small town in Australia to investigate. While Tui tries to kill herself and does not succeed, the initial shock of the case has the same feel as Laura's death. And while Agent Dale Cooper was not from Twin Peaks originally like Detective Robin Griffin, her arrival to the small town shares some similarities as well, as does the idea of a shocking violent act in a small town like Twin Peaks.
Two detectives investigate the murder of a prostitute in a ritual killing. The discovery of the body and its initial investigation is pretty much the only similarity to Laura Palmer's death, but it's enough to make the list. The rest of the show is many miles away from Twin Peaks, but both made excellent television.
Aside from The Killing, this quickly cancelled series shared many similarities to Twin Peaks. The initial crime on Happy Town begins with the murder of a man so while the genders may be different, the comparison still makes sense. The show then delved into the supernatural, stating that the crimes could be caused by a man who seems to have almost mystical abilities, much like Bob. The trailer even brings up Twin Peaks!
Les Revenants & The Returned
The Returned(and its French original version Les Revenants) may not seem similar to Twin Peaks' big Laura Palmer death at first but I think it the inspiration was there, just done in reverse. There is not a murder investigation that starts off the chain of events in The Returned like Laura's death. Instead a young girl is shown to have come back from the dead and the mystery begins there. Basically it's like if Laura was murdered and then brought back to life. The show also has some mystical, supernatural elements, much like Twin Peaks did especially in Season 2. But I believe there had to be some influence of Twin Peaks in the creation of this show.