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.