Prepare yourself a “damn fine” cup of coffee: Twin Peaks has returned to our screens.
Even if you weren’t born when the show premiered 27 years ago, you probably have some vague recognition of its pop cultural legacy — whether that be Laura Palmer’s prom photo or the significance of a slice of cherry pie.
Twin Peaks‘ influence is evident in plenty of TV shows that followed it, but the last one I expected to find any parallels in was Gilmore Girls.
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Yep, the towns of Stars Hollow and Twin Peaks have a lot of weird cross-overs.
This first came to my attention last year as I rewatched Gilmore Girls and realised the characters of Sherry and Anna were portrayed by the same actresses who played Shelly and Audrey in Twin Peaks.
Then, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life came along and there were even more parallels. When Ray Wise (who played Laura Palmer’s dad Leland) showed up as Emily Gilmore’s lover, and Rory referenced those famous words “wraaaapped in plaaaaastic”, I knew this couldn’t be mere coincidence.
A quick Google search confirms I'm not the only one.
Flavorwire writer Elisabeth Donnelly posits that all evidence points to Gilmore Girls being a Twin Peaks tribute show. Meanwhile, at Hello Giggles, Stephanie Watson puts forward a conspiracy theory that the two shows exist within the same universe.
One fan has even gone to the effort of merging the opening credits of both shows... and they mesh surprisingly well:
Here are the weird and wonderful parallels between the two worlds that you might not have noticed.
The shared cast
As mentioned, actors Madchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and Ray Wise all starred in both shows — but further investigation revealed there was a fourth.
Kathleen Wilhoite played sisters to major characters in each show: diner owner Luke Danes in Gilmore Girls (Liz), and receptionist Lucy Moran in Twin Peaks (Gwen).
The 'same actress, different hair colour' trick.
Here's a weird one for you: both shows use one actress to play two different women — one blonde, one brunette.
We see this in Twin Peaks with Sheryl Lee, stars as both the blonde-haired murder victim Laura Palmer and her brunette cousin Maddy Ferguson.
In Gilmore Girls, it's Sherilyn Fenn (yes, the one who plays Audrey Horne in Twin Peaks - confusing, I know) who pulls it off.
She first appears as Sasha, the blonde girlfriend of Jess Mariano's dad, then later portrays Anna Nardini, the mother of Luke Danes' daughter — and, you guessed it, a brunette.
Listen: The Binge podcast recaps the first episodes of the Twin Peaks revival. (Post continues after audio.)
The unhealthy obsession with coffee
Special Agent Dale Cooper and Lorelai Gilmore don't have much in common at first glance.
But if there's one thing that binds our two protagonists, it's their evangelical love of coffee (and idiosyncratic speech patterns).
Barely an episode of Twin Peaks or Gilmore Girls goes by where the characters don't wax lyrical about their favourite brew.
Cooper's "damn fine cup of coffee" line has gone down in pop culture history, and it's impossible to count the number of times Lorelai (and her mini-me Rory) badgered Luke to top up her bowl-sized mug.
...oh, and pies.
The two leads also share a love of baked goods, namely pie.
We all know what kind of pie Cooper favours, and Lorelai? Well, she once declared, "I am attracted to pie."
(You know, I'm starting to think these two would really get along...)
The weird small town vibe.
There's no denying the towns of Stars Hollow and Twin Peaks, while aesthetically beautiful, are seriously weird places.
For one thing, they're filled to the brim with oddball characters — Twin Peaks had the Log Lady and a giant, among many others; Gilmore Girls had Kirk and Taylor Doose.
As Elisabeth Donnelly notes at Flavorwire, while the two towns and the shows they appear in differ in atmosphere (one is sunny, one is sinister), there's a common message.
"The takeaway is the same: it’s a strange world that we live in, and you’ve got to leave the small town before it changes you forever," she writes.
So there you go. You'll never watch either show the same way.
Have you noticed any other similarities?