Remember When Twin Peaks Inspired Both Psych and Darkwing Duck?

Today is a momentous occasion. After 25 long years, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s supernatural murder mystery series “Twin Peaks” returns to the small screen with a third season on Showtime. A continuation of where the series left off, we return to that charming Pacific Northwest town and the delightful characters within, only now there are more mysteries that need answers…and more pie and coffee that need to be consumed!

The impact of “Twin Peaks” cannot be understated. It is, perhaps, one of the most influential television shows of all time. By pushing the boundaries of what storytelling could offer, the show inspired the likes of “The X-Files”, “Carnivale”, “Hannibal”, “Lost”, “Stranger Things”, and so many more. Its blend of humor, eeriness, wonderful characters, engaging stories, and euphoric music crafted a series that is timeless, one that will enchant viewers from now until eternity.

Two shows that took direct inspiration from Lynch and Frost’s series were the children’s cartoon “Darkwing Duck” and USA’s comedy series “Psych”. Since we’re going to return to “Twin Peaks” tonight, I figured I’d spend today cherishing the shows that kept the spirit of Agent Cooper and Co. alive after all these years.

“Psych” – Dual Spires

The 12th episode of the 5th season, Shawn and Gus are invited to a picturesque town during its Cinnamon Festival. While there, they investigate the death of a local teenager Paula Merral (an anagram of Laura Palmer), who drowned and was found wrapped in plastic. Featuring guest appearances from “Twin Peaks” stars Sherilyn Fenn, Dana Ashbrook, Sheryl Lee, Robyn Lively, Lenny Von Dohlen, Catherine E. Coulson, and Ray Wise, the episode was a direct nod to “Twin Peaks” in style, visuals, characters, references, and more, including Julee Cruise’s reinterpretation of the “Psych” theme song.

“Darkwing Duck – Twin Beaks

Admission: when I was a child, this episode haunted me. Something about it actually was actually frightening in my mind and I refused to revisit it for years. Then, one day, I told myself that I was much older and that this couldn’t frighten me any longer. And it didn’t! Now I was able to appreciate this episode for its surreal quirkiness and downright adult moments (seriously, no child should watch this episode).

The 44th episode of the 1st season, “Twin Beaks” sees Darkwing Duck investigating the recent escape of Bushroot. After some strange shenanigans occur with Honker and his parents, Darkwing Duck and Launchpad go to the town of Twin Beaks in see if they can find Bushroot. However, something in the town is strangely amiss and there seems to be a strange obsession with cabbages…

Once again, there are multiple references to “Twin Peaks”. Our heroes find a seemingly dead Bushroot wrapped in plastic, there’s a field of cows that has a launchpad with a message that reads “The cows are not what they seem”, and Darkwing Duck does some investigating in his dreams. If that isn’t a direct nod to Agent Cooper, I don’t know what is!

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Jonathan Barkan

Lifelong horror fan with a love of music on the side.

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