Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Color Me Amazed: Some Thoughts on a New Twin Peaks

The last few days have been tumultuous, to say the least.  It has been an emotional experience, processing the news about the return of Twin Peaks.  I've been nostalgic about the old series and re-energized about the potential of the new show.  Here's are a few thoughts that stand out, now that the dust has settled a bit:
  • Mark Frost's involvement is the most exciting aspect of the announcement.  Don't get me wrong; I'm thrilled that David Lynch will be directing the nine new episodes; there could never be a Twin Peaks without him.  But a return of Twin Peaks to serialized format requires the storytelling discipline and structure that Mark Frost brings to the project.  With Frost and Lynch working together, the new series has the potential of matching the momentum and urgency of the first season.  That would be something to see! 
  • A weekly format is the way to go!  At first, I expected the new Twin Peaks to be available on Netflix (or something like it).  That would allow for the whole series to be available at once.  But that format doesn't fit classic Peaks.  (I like that, "Classic Peaks." That's what I'm going to call the old series.)  If the new show features a central mystery akin to "Who killed Laura Palmer?" then the best way to build interest, narrative momentum and viewer engagement is with a weekly series.  Like the old days, this approach will give us all a chance to parse each episode, predict future developments and offer our own theories.  That's what was so much fun about the original airings of Classic Peaks: the involvement we all felt with the show, the energy we brought to thinking about it week-to-week.  These are vital ingredients to the success of TP-on-TV.
  • I expect the laughs to return.  Fire Walk With Me was dark, disturbing, and stripped of the eccentric humor intrinsic to the show.  (Yes, there was some in the film, but it was muted.) And it didn't start there: the final episode also lacked the oddball behavior and delightful story elements found in the rest of the series.  A big part of TP's appeal came from its endearing characters and amusing asides.  Humor gave Twin Peaks a certain charm.  I hope much of that comes back.
That's enough for now.  I'm still wrapping my brain around the idea of new Twin Peaks.  I have many more thoughts--specifically questions--about Laura Palmer, FWWM, the new Missing Pieces and how all of that fits into--and impacts--a new series.  I'll save those thoughts for next time.


  1. Agreed. I'm very excited that Lynch and Frost are doing all of the writing. (No disrespect to any of the other writers). This could not happen, in my opinion, without Lynch and Frost fully on board. And I don't think they would do this unless they had some great ideas. Showtime gives them a lot of freedom. So do they go classic Peaks or FWWM? The latter was magnificent but I'm hoping for the former.

  2. With it airing on Showtime, I assume the show will be able to go darker and more strange than it was on ABC - though I imagine making it darker and more strange will be quite the feat! I also want the quirky humour back, though. That's part of what makes rewatching it a pleasure, it's genuinely funny a lot of times.

  3. Hey there John! Its great to see you posting your thoughts on Twin Peaks again. I look forward to seeing your review of the Missing Pieces too. For me, I always had as much build up and anticipation for each new issue of Wrapped In Plastic hitting my mailbox back in the day as I did trying to keep up with all of the schedule changes ABC threw at the Twin Peaks second season. I agree that this return of the series wouldn't be quite as intriguing if Mark Frost wasn't involved in order to try and keep David Lynch focused.

  4. Hi John. I have also been reawakened to the entire Peaks canon, and was abuzz for days after the renewal anticipating new Lynch-directed episodes with Frost's equal involvement. On occasion, I have to remind myself this is actually happening. Also, new music!

    It's going to be a different experience this time around with the Internet among the trees. Reactions will be immediate, tweeting and blogging abundant, onset production photos on Instagram (?), film sites exposed to the world, et al.

    I like the 2-yr wait. Gives us a good while to reacquaint with various collected materials while prepping for the next incarnation of the series. I have found nearly a dozen recent dissertations and theses on Peaks while converting my research notebooks to a digital archive.

    Just want to say glad you are back and look forward to conversing again. The world is a better place with Peaks in the air.

  5. Will Wrapped in Plastic come back? It could be done as an E Magazine these days.