Despite only running for two seasons initially, David Lynch's series, Twin Peaks, was an instant cultural phenomenon. Thousands tuned in to find out the truth about Laura Palmer's murder. The show was one of the first big murder mystery series that also involved mysterious supernatural and occult elements.
Nowadays it's hard to find a show that doesn't focus on murder in some capacity. The influence of Twin Peaks on pop culture is palpable more than twenty years later. The series even got a revival season last year with David Lynch and most of the cast returning. But for those of you that loved Twin Peaks, yet still felt baffled by its many oddities, here are some other shows you might want to check out.
10 Hemlock Grove
The show begins with the mysterious deaths of two teenage girls, not dissimilar to Twin Peaks own beginnings with Laura Palmer being the core mystery. Hemlock Grove is more straightforward than Twin Peaks but it's plenty weird. The series is a supernatural horror with werewolves and other freaky beasts of the night roving around.
It has frequently been compared to Twin Peaks due to its setting in a small town where everyone has sinister secrets waiting to be revealed. It has a more straightforward horror approach than Lynch's series but Peaks fans will surely find lots to like here. When speaking with Collider, Famke Janssen, star of Hemlock Grove, even talked about her love for Twin Peaks.
Based on the popular film of the same name, Fargo is a crime anthology drama series currently airing on FX. The series has been praised for its acting and storytelling since the first season and raked in numerous accolades. It is currently in the progress of putting its fourth season into production that will star Chris Rock in 1950 Missouri.
If you liked the murder mystery element of Twin Peaks and the black comedy then Fargo is a perfect follow-up. It's a fairly traditional crime show so you won't have to contend with any complicated mythology here. Plus it stars big names like Martin Short, Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Billy Bob Thornton, and more.
8 Bates Motel
Bates Motel aired for five seasons on A&E and was universally praised during the entirety of its run. Based on the iconic slasher film, Psycho, Bates Motel was a prequel series about Norman Bates and his mother, Norma. Bates Motel never shied away from the uncomfortable relationship between the mother and son duo.
It's worth watching if only for Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore's iconic performances. But the series will fill the Twin Peaks hole in your heart because it has a similar tone, it gives you the eerie sensation that secluded small town stories always do while retaining the sinister underbelly.
7 True Detective
While all three seasons of True Detective offer similarities to Twin Peaks, the first season will probably be the best one to watch in this case. The first season of this crime anthology drama follows Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives set to investigate the murder of a 28-year-old prostitute whose body was found crowned with deer antlers.
Like Twin Peaks, the first season of True Detective has elements of the occult mixed in with its murder investigation. The series has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards. All three seasons have the same dark, brooding tone, but the first season is definitely the one you can't miss.
6 Top Of The Lake
Top of the Lake is yet another crime drama series. It stars Elisabeth Moss as a Sydney detective investigating two distinctive murders in both of its two seasons. Like Twin Peaks, Top of the Lake relishes in a certain element of surrealism and deals with dark secrets amidst a seemingly idyllic town (in both seasons but especially in the second one).
In addition to maintaining a vibe Twin Peaks would be proud of, it explores similar themes like domestic abuse and female sexuality. The second season even features an incredible performance from heavyweight actress, Nicole Kidman. Definitely check this one out if you get the chance.
Carnivàle was an enigma of a series. It was a show about a traveling carnival troupe centering around the "freaks." Like Twin Peaks, it dealt with weird themes of supernatural and darkness. Also like Twin Peaks, Carnivàle has complicated mythology and it was canceled before it got the opportunity to explore those ideas to their fullest potential.
In terms of being less confusing than Twin Peaks, it definitely is, but it might still leave you a little bit baffled. However, there have been rumors about Carnivàle getting a revival someday in the future. With Deadwood making a grand return this year, anything is possible.
4 Wayward Pines
Wayward Pines is, in its own way, a spiritual successor to Twin Peaks. The series was executive produced by another notably odd director, M. Night Shyamalan. The series is based on a series of books by Blake Crouch. It follows the story of a strange small town known as Wayward Pines where the citizens are being watched and kept under strict surveillance.
They're kept in by an electrified fence. Ethan Burke, played by Matt Dillon, arrives to investigate the disappearance of two fellow agents. The series was unfortunately canceled prematurely, just like Twin Peaks, but it's still more than worth the watch.
3 Gravity Falls
You might be surprised to see a cartoon on this list but Gravity Falls is one of the best animated series of the last few years. Even though the series is geared towards a young audience, many adults have become fans of the show for its intelligent, and often dark, humor.
Plus, you won't have to worry about unanswered questions or unresolved plot lines. The show creator, Alex Hirsch, ended the show after two seasons on his own terms. The show follows two siblings who go to visit their uncle in the weird town known as Gravity Falls. There are Twin Peaks parallels aplenty and they're completely intentional!
Riverdale is completely indulgent in the idea of seedy Americana. The series is a teen drama on The CW that transforms the beloved and iconic Archie comics characters into hardened, angsty, teenagers who are constantly embroiled in serial killer murder mysteries and weird cults.
The show contains many obvious nods to Twin Peaks and certainly wouldn't exist without it. The first season also centers around a murder that kicks off all the darkness in Riverdale. While it isn't nearly as intelligently written as Twin Peaks was, Riverdale is still lots of fun and it does a good job of keeping its audience guessing.
1 Stranger Things
Stranger Things might as well be the modern day Twin Peaks. The show is a modernized version of the story with more sci-fi elements. It follows strange happenings in the town of Hawkins, Indiana when a young boy named Will disappears.
A group of kids unites to find Will and in the process, they discover a lab that conducts horrendous experiments and another dimension known as the Upside Down. It's Netflix's big blockbuster hit and the influence of Stranger Things on pop culture can already be felt. It's not nearly as confusing as Twin Peaks although it definitely provides its fair share of mystery.