Why We Love Twin Peaks, Reason #1: Audrey Horne

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At long last, I’m commencing another “Why We Love…” series. And, you know what, I think I needed a new show—but not just any ol’ show: a spectacular one—to wash out the memory of… that other show (you what I’m talking about, so I won’t invoke it here). Of course, I’m taking you back 25 years this time, but Twin Peaks is a classic; without it, there would be no X-Files or Northern Exposure (two other outstanding TV series from the 1990s). I’ll begin with a little paean to Audrey Horne.

I had the biggest crush on Sherilyn Fenn back in the early 1990s. Yes, she was in some real stinkers—Ruby (1992), and that weird atrocity, Boxing Helena (1993). (How did Julian Sands not get cast in Twin Peaks?) But she was also “Audrey Horne,” one of the many extraordinary creations of David Lynch.

Audrey.

Cheeky and glamorous, weird but charming (weirdly charming? charmingly weird?). Is this why I named my cat Audrey? Coincidentally, both Audreys have black-and-white feet. We see a lot of Audrey’s feet (I mean, Twin Peaks Audrey): she’s always sashaying down or along something, swaying to Angelo Badalamenti in a diner… that’s probably the iconic moment for Audrey Horne.

Though her trademark footwear are those black-and-white Oxfords, she slips into other shoes, playing the gumshoe, for example, when she passes on information to Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan). She steps lightly when she has to, plays the clown—and even the dutiful daughter—when it suits her purpose.

The music in Twin Peaks is terrific, but I always like the “Audrey Horne” music the best: noirish, slinky and sly. “God, I love this music. Isn’t it too dreamy?” (Here’s a taste of it.) That’s Audrey, in the third episode of the first season, sipping her coffee at the “double-R.” She seems to talk and behave like a woman from a different era—but I think she makes it her own: she makes that older era somehow fresh again.

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