It’s time for Brad and Anthony from Double Feature VS to give their quick thoughts on Twin Peaks and The Sopranos pilots.

Brad’s Review
When it comes to these two pilots they both stick out for completely different reasons. Starting with Twin Peaks we have a mystery drama from the minds of Mark Frost and David Lynch. The pilot for which is an hour and a half long giving plenty of time to get to know the characters, settings, and where the series is going as a whole just in that first episode. So much is packed in, but there is no rushing to get from each person to the next, instead it takes its time building up these people and giving an eerie sense throughout the episode that things just aren’t right here. This mixed with the over the top acting that makes some of the characters such as FBI Agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle MacLachlan) come off as more cartoonish than the others characters in these serious situations. This adds to the uneasiness of the pilot as a whole which follows the events of the murder of a high school student. There’s always a sense that the people who surround this case all have things to hide, even if not about the murder. It’s a first step into a new show that throws as much at you without it being overbearing, giving just enough information on each thread that’s going to be woven into the overall series to keep your interest and make it nearly impossible to not push play for the next episode as soon as possible.

Then we have the complete opposite with The Sopranos. This time from the mind of David Chase we have a crime drama following the DiMeo crime family. In it we follow one heads of the family Tony Soprano (played by James Gandolfini) as he goes through his day to day life. He is getting overstressed and has a panic attack due to struggles he goes through with his wife, his mom, and his job. He see’s a psychiatrist who he tells about his day while leaving details regarding his business a secret. With this we get to see Tony as himself around his family, associates, and while he is doing his work. The show transitions from real time to flashbacks with the psychiatrist that give a better understanding of the character and allow scenes to transition smoothly and show what kind of person Tony actually is. What really makes this pilot stick out is that it is so self contained it could work as a movie as it is. With impressive cinematography, amazing acting, and following a compelling character it has everything needed to get you hooked to the series almost right away. There’s plenty to enjoy about this pilot episode, that makes you want to see more just because of how well its presented. It makes sense this The Sopranos is seen as one of the best series on television and anyone who hasn’t seen it needs to.

Overall its hard to compare these two as they are both trying to accomplish different things. Twin Peaks is building up a mystery and trying to make a show that comes off as very eerie, with a sense that things aren’t right in this world. On the other hand The Sopranos is bringing a more humanized approach to a crime movie by showing the real struggles someone high in the family goes through with balancing a life without his family and his work. Both have their highs, and very minimal lows, which makes them both perfect in their own ways. For anyone looking for a new show to pick up and watch give one of these a try and then when you’re finished there is no better time to pick up the other one.

Anthony’s Review

“Twin Peaks” and “The Sopranos” served as two great touchstones for television – network and cable. David Lynch and Mark Frost turned the soap opera and mystery genres on their head with unique, surreal brainchild “Twin Peaks”. As the mystery of “Who Killed Laura Palmer?” lingers in the classic pilot (and in many episodes after), it’s not the only thing that gives “Peaks” its lasting charm and impression in just its premiere episode. The amount of mythology and world building that goes into the pilot episode is remarkable in breath and scope. It also marks the moment where the meeting of the minds of Narrative (Frost) and the Subconscious (Lynch) can come together to make a beautiful piece of art.

“The Sopranos” marked a change in cable television – a change brought by a channel that has redefined the term of “prestige television” time and time again – HBO. David Chase’s magnum opus opens with a peculiar, intriguing hook for a would-be dad joke: “So a mobster walks into a psychologist’s office…”. From there, we meet the charismatic, humorous, vicious mobster-in-crisis Tony Soprano in his first meeting with Dr. Melfi. Tony has a laundry list of issues: trying to balance his family of wife and kids with his “family” of mobsters; dealing with an overbearing mother while trying to get her into a retirement community; a testy uncle who plans to do a “hit” outside his best friend’s restaurant which could cause problems for his friend’s business, etc. On paper, the show sounds like an expansion on Harold Ramis’ “Analyze This” comedies but it’s the performances, the drama, the montages as well as the narrative flow that puts this series more in the “extraordinary drama” column rather than the “peculiar comedy” column.

If one were to choose a better gamechanger, there would have to be an edge towards the “Sopranos” for the performances alone. The purposeful over-the-top performances in “Twin Peaks” are great (with an excellent Kyle MacLachlan as the lead) but it’s the serious, incomparable, influential performances in the “Sopranos” (from James Gandolfini, especially) that leave more of impression on the audience and have a special place in the television pantheon of great performances.



Blak Cinephile
Blak Cinephile is a cinephile who both loves film and loves to write/talk about it. He has a genuine respect for the art of cinema and has always strived to find the line between insightful subjectivity and observant objectivity while constructing his reviews. He believes a deeper understanding (and a deeper love) of cinema is borne through criticism.

Movies For Breakfast A QUIET PLACE PART II Review

Previous article

Movies For Breakfast PIG Review

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Reviews