Something Strange And Wonderful

I have a few unstructured thoughts for the return of my all-time favorite TV show. I want to get them out before It's Happening Again; I might turn this into something more structured eventually.

  • The last time David Lynch spend time in Twin Peaks was Fire Walk With Me. A lot of people don't like that movie, because it's very different from the show. It's cold and harsh to its characters. We also don't spend the entire time confined to the general Twin Peaks area. Instead, we get a glimpse of the weirdness that lies outside that narrow lense (especially if you add the Missing Pieces, which expound on a lot of the earlier scenes.) It's the town of Twin Peaks before Laura Palmer dies. Before Agent Cooper arrives. Her death is the catalyst for all the events in the show, both direct and indirect. It gave a sense of community to a place that wasn't very nice. It pulled those people closer together, and made them aware that there was a world outside their windows.

  • The last time Mark Frost spend time in Twin Peaks was the Secret History of Twin Peaks, which was his version of the show's mythology Frost and Lynch have a very different sense of what's important and interesting about Twin Peaks. Lynch is interested in the internal; the emotional landscapes, the lingering dissatisfaction at the heart of the American Way Of Live. Frost deals with the external: The mechanics of a small town, the politics, and the strange ideas that lie at the mind of the American Way Of Life.

  • The last movie David Lynch made was Inland Empire. Most people have the impression that David Lynch is weird, but they have that impression off things like Blue Velvet, or Wild At Heart. While these movies are weird, they are not Inland Empire Weird: The film almost three hours long, it doesn't have much of a plot, feels very improvisational, and is shot on early 2000s digital cameras which are handheld a lot of the time. It's a hard movie to sit through for people who don't appreciate experimentation. But it is, in many ways, a return to his earliest days of filmmaking. It's much closer to Eraserhead than anything he's done in between.

What I'm trying to get at is this:

There is no way the new Twin Peaks will be anything like the old one.

From what we can tell from the outside, neither David Lynch nor Mark Frost are interested in doing a cheap rehash. They are not interested in cashing in; if they were, they could've just executive produced a reboot or something. They have a story to tell, a story about a lot of the same people, but twenty-five years later. They have grown as artists and gone into different directions. I think people who think about Lynch solely in terms of Blue Velvet and the original run of the show will be in for a rude awakening. Don't expect to see a lot of knowing nods to the the old show. I think it will be bigger, both thematically and logistically. There have been reports that portions of it will take place outside of Twin Peaks, and it wouldn't surprise me if Cooper had been absent from the town for the past twenty-five years. It also wouldn't surprise me if they actually contradicted things that happened on the original run.

Explainers are a big thing on the web now. Hundreds of websites churn out articles that explain, or just retell everything that happens on modern shows in the so-called "Golden Age Of Television". I don't think that industry will have a lot of fun with Twin Peaks. You can't explain to someone why the Man From Another World is frightening. You can't even do it justice with a clip or a gif. You only understand it in the context of the show. The mood Lynch sets in his films/shows isn't easily translatable to other media, which makes his filmmaking so appealing. I predict a fiery debate about what good television is, which is why I decided to turn off social media for the duration of the run (there's other stuff, too). I'm not interested in that debate in that form. I just want to drink coffee, eat pie, and enjoy my stories.