I saw Twin Peaks for the first time in 1991, when it was broadcast on Silvio Berlusconi's short-lived French "La Cinq" channel-- a great channel, with lots of good movies and '80's TV series.
I was just out of high school and starting college.
I did not see the pilot episode; I faintly remember missing the first episode, but that they ran it again.
Anyway, I loved what I saw. I am pretty sure I knew The Elephant Man, but Lynch's name was not really familiar to me yet.
My mother later bought the whole British VHS set (in 1992?), but after viewing it once, we took it back and got a refund because the video quality was really poorer than on TV.
Thus, all I had for about ten years was the British tape of the pilot episode, whose quality was better; I was dumbfounded by the international ending, which did not even make much sense on its own.
I also got the Welcome to Twin Peaks guide, and The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, plus Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks CD-- I love film music, and his main theme is sumptuous; it is a great score, and the songs are superb.
A friend copied me the Dale Cooper tape, but I cannot find it-- darn.
The one thing missing in my Twin Peaks experience is Fire Walk With Me, which I have yet to see.
I was not interested in getting a LaserDisc player because it was too expensive and I thought it could use some improving-- those LP-like discs were cumbersome and could not even hold a regular movie on one side; I was confident they could improve on this drastically.
I purchased Artisan's Season 1 set as soon as it was available, then waited eagerly for the rest of the series to be released, and at long last, got it all with the Gold set.
As mentioned in another topic, due to various reasons and unfortunate circumstances, I had to wait till now to watch it; I am currently watching it every evening, three episodes at a time. I also listened to the commentaries on the very first set; it's a pity there are not any on the new set, it was very interesting.
Of course, I also bought the second CD.
It has thus been a good 15-16 years since I last saw the second season, which means I am pretty much rediscovering it all, though I do remember certain facts and scenes very well.
In fact, before taking the VHS set back to the store, I watched some scenes again, and transcribed some bits of dialogue, such as Laura's killer's speech in the cell.
I don't remember how Audrey's adventures at One-Eyed Jack's end, however; important as this is, I have somewhat forgotten.
It's good to be back in Twin Peaks-- and to be able to experience it all over a short, mostly uninterrupted period (only one episode of N.C.I.S. and two of C.S.I. to watch on Fridays and Sundays before watching some Twin Peaks).
It is as excellent as way back then-- even more so, since I can now appreciate all the subtleties better, and thus appreciate even more how unique Twin Peaks is, and the high quality of every component (narrative, casting, acting, music, ...).
What a shame Lynch & Frost could not develop it the way they intended, over a longer period, and that it ended in such a way (at the time, I hoped in vain for another season, another few episodes to wrap it up all and make things right again)!
It's not just even a matter of Frost & Lynch being too much in advance on their time; I don't think they would stand a better chance nowadays: Mulholland Drive was rejected as a pilot for a new series and had to be made into a movie, and the poor way so many people react to Lost's unconventional story and blend of genre (from a straightforward Robinson Crusoe/Swiss Family to fantasy to science fiction), storytelling (flashbacks & flashforwards, a blurring of good and evil) and long developing arc (mysteries within mysteries, discoveries and answers opening up onto yet more questions and riddles-- precisely like Twin Peaks) show (too) many people still cannot accept anything relatively complex that requires some attention and thinking, that strays too far from the clearly delineated genres and storylines, upsets them ever so slightly, and rejects the "slam! bang!" approach of having rapid fire so-called one-liners every minute (if possible, emphasized by a laugh track), two storylines per episode at the utmost, and, above all, a complete resolution at the end of the episode.
Such stories/series as Twin Peaks require much involvement on the viewer's part, and and it's way to much for many: the fantastic elements baffle people because they are presented in a very Lynchian way (no systematic, clear explanation; high stylization); you need Cooper's open-mindedness to accept and embrace this quirky universe and its odd characters; more than suspension of disbelief, a certain mindset is required, to let yourself be immersed in all this weirdness, to float along and absorb it all; and of course, you have to be able to keep focused on something more than five seconds in order to relish the slow rhythm, the carefully, leisurelly paced storytelling and filming, the quiet, dreamy, melancholy music, and the moody shots and scenes.
God bless David Lynch & Mark Frost, the writers & directors, the actors & the crew, and Angelo Badalamenti, for creating such an excellent series, such a wonderful and unique experience, as Twin Peaks!