Dont call this a comeback...
Don't call this a comeback... Showtime

Four hours of David Lynch's 18-hour Twin Peaks: The Return aired last night on Showtime. And of course everyone wants to know one thing: Is it as good as or better than the original? Though I didn't watch Twin Peaks, which aired in 1990, and will probably miss the reboot, I, too, want know if Lynch is a old hat or if he still has that something-something. Here is what the critics have to say...

David Bianculli on NPR:

Sometimes this new Twin Peaks almost seems like a parody of itself. Other times, it just feels wrong, with scenes that could have been written more solidly or eliminated entirely. But then there are times, in all four of these opening hours, when this new show feels so right, so dreamlike, so ... so very Twin Peaks.

In short: it's not as good as the original at this point.

Richard Brody of the New Yorker:

Lynch may well have revitalized television with his artistry, may well have set the stage for a new generation of television-makers; in the process, he both revealed and exhausted the best of his art. Twin Peaks: The Return will run 18 hours—a thousand and eighty minutes, or about 10 times the length of a usual feature film. Though the creakily mechanical exposition runs 90 minutes, into the second episode, it fulfills the function of, say, nine opening minutes in a feature. That’s why I’m not going to stop watching, and why I’m impatient for the rest of the series. The return of Twin Peaks is of far less importance than the return of David Lynch, and what he does with the series is far less fascinating and far less moving than what he may find in himself.

In a word: not as good as the original.

Leilani Polk of The Stranger:

Unfortunately, the things that made the show familiar and beloved to me seemed to be missing, like the cohesive parts tying all the weird shit together, and the ubiquitous music that signaled playfulness, doom or hope. Not much remains that you can feel attached to, not in the characters or the story, and not much remains that makes you want to come back to it. The weird shit added supernatural color to the drama, whereas in the revival, it’s all weird shit, littered with moments of a storyline.

To sum up: not at all as good as the original.

Sonia Saraiya,Variety's TV critic:

[I]t is difficult to know where to begin with Showtime’s Twin Peaks, which premiered its first two parts Sunday night. Fans of Lynch — and fans of the series, who have mythologized its idiosyncratic details over the last two decades — will take in the director’s vision with open arms, savoring its bizarre iconography and nonlinear storytelling. They will undoubtedly find a lot to be happy with in this two-hour premiere, which is parts 1 and 2 of Twin Peaks: The Return (though there is no clear delineation between parts).

At the end of that review:

Twin Peaks: The Return is weird and creepy and slow. But it is interesting. The show is very stubbornly itself — not quite film and not quite TV, rejecting both standard storytelling and standard forms. It’s not especially fun to watch and it can be quite disturbing. But there is never a sense that you are watching something devoid of vision or intention. Lynch’s vision is so total and absolute that he can get away with what wouldn’t be otherwise acceptable .

In a nutshell: it doesn't say if the revival is better or not. What matters is your fidelity to Lynch's genius.

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James Poniewozik of the New York Times:

[A]fter nearly three decades, Mr. Lynch’s visual imagination remains inimitable... [and his] mastery of tension persists. The script, by him and Mr. Frost, recognizes the power of silence and anticipation. And Mr. Lynch, who is directing the entire revival, still has his penchant for dualities and eerie beauty.

The skinny: if you love Lynch, the return will be as good as the original.

A concluding note: Though I missed the first Twin Peaks, I did fall in love with its soundtrack and even bought Julee Cruise's dreamy and dark LP, Floating into the Night (her song "Falling" was featured on the show).