Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Twin Peaks Revisited

After decades - yes decades - of rumors and empty promises, David Lynch and Mark Frost's cult classic, Twin Peaks, is scheduled to be revived on Showtime in 2016. On October 3rd at 11:30am, the show's co-creators simultaneously Tweeted, "That gum you like is going to come back in style. #damngoodcoffee."

Fans went nuts. 

Not only was the reference to chewing gum and "damn good coffee" an obvious tease that the show might be resurrected, the twin posts by its co-creators was a nod to the duel themes and personalities that encompassed the show. It meant that finally, Lynch and Frost were serious about returning to the snowcapped mountains of Washington's mythical town, Twin Peaks.

With multiple superhero universes rebooted well within the time that Peaks has been off the air, it may seem farfetched to expect a Season 3 twenty fives years after the ABC series was cancelled in 1991. 

But "the owls are not what they seem." 

In other words, don't expect David Lynch, Philadelphia's original Master of Horror, to be anything but unusual. 

Fans of the series understand the significance of 2016, and it's hard not to wonder if the show's revival was all part of its creators' master plan: a lengthy, twenty five year work of art that is part cinema, part audience anxiety. 

When the show ended in 1991, it left countless unanswered questions. Did Audrey survive the explosion? Is Cooper trapped in the Black Lodge? And how old is Heather Graham, really?

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was released as a feature film a year after the show's cancellation, and fans were hoping it would answer all of our most pressing questions. Instead, befitting the frustration that trails behind David Lynch's works of art, he offered us a prequel posing even more questions. 

Despite the critics and popular opinion, Fire Walk With Me was David Lynch without the restraints of network television. It was Twin Peaks, and it proved that inexplicably B-list actors were truly great under masterful direction.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the story we've been left to wonder. Some fans had given up, enjoying speculation, fan fiction, and the annual Twin Peaks Fest. But the truest of Peak Freaks held out hope that the series finale in 1991 was nothing more than television's longest "To Be Continued."

And why not? David Lynch told us that twenty five years ago. The show's final scene took place in the Black Lodge twenty five years later. The show didn't end in 1991, it ended in 2016. Through sheer luck or absolute brilliance, David Lynch was either waiting for an audience that could appreciate a show decades ahead of his time, or he knew that audience would finally emerge.

Season 3's nine episodes will be written by Lynch and Frost, and directed by Lynch. So expect the best of the best of what you remember. Netflix is currently streaming the show's original seasons. If you were a fan who remembers the show through rosy (or Doctor Jacoby's 3D) glasses, sit down and watch them again. 

It gets incredibly soapy. Nadine goes off the deep end. And, really, how old is Heather Graham? 

There are a lot of twists even the staunchest of fans have probably chosen to forget. But Season 3 has what it needs to be Lynch and Frost at their best. On Showtime, it will be free from network executives and test audiences. It will likely be loved by fans, and surely loathed by critics. It will be Twin Peaks.


Appropriately timed, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is hosting a David Lynch exhibit, The Unified Field until January 11th. Lynch, who attended PAFA and lived in Philadelphia from 1965 to 1970, has credited the city as his greatest source of inspiration.

"All of Philadelphia had a kind of coal-dust patina and a mood that was just spectacular. There was violence and fear and corruption, insanity, despair, sadness, just in the atmosphere in that city. I loved the people there. All these things, whatever way it was, was my biggest influence.” - David Lynch

In case you don't remember, the show's hero, Agent Dale Cooper, was from Philadelphia.

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