Peak peak Rumination 19: It’s gonna happen again

by Morgan Davie

Let’s begin with an index.

Peak peak Ruminations, in order:
Pilot: Starting at the start
Eps 1 and 2: Damn fine cup of coffee
Eps 3 and 4: Laughing at prayers
Eps 5 and 6: Invitation to Love
Ep 7: Biting the bullet
Ep 8: We want to help you
Eps 9 and 10: Bury her deep enough
Eps 11 and 12: Sometimes the Can-Do Girls Can’t
Eps 13 and 14: Missoula, Montana
Eps 15 and 16: That gum you like
Eps 17 and 18: Blessed with certain gifts
Eps 19 and 20: Halfway through living it
Eps 21 and 22: And the hippie too
Eps 23 and 24: It’s a pretty simple town
Eps 25 and 26: Verses of the same song
Eps 27 and 28: Which way is the castle?
Ep 29: Wow Bob wow
Fire Walk With Me: We live inside a dream

I figure every other Twin Peaks anticipation post is gonna headline their piece quoting the Giant on the night Maddy was killed, It is happening again. I’m simply being contrary by quoting Gordon Cole just before he mashes on a receptive Shelly Johnson. But maybe, now that I’ve made my choice, there’s some logic in it – quoting David Lynch himself, no less, and in a rare boastful mood. Make our jaws drop the way Bobby’s did, Mr Lynch!

New episodes land on Sunday. (Which works out to Monday, here in NZ, where you can catch the new eps on Sky’s SoHo channel.) There is Twin Peaks excitement everywhere, but astonishingly for 2017, almost nothing is known about what is ahead of us. Should be a fun ride.

To close out our Peak peak Ruminations series, here’s Andrew Watters writing about these upcoming episodes. A few final notes from me will follow his words.

What do I want from Twin Peaks?

It’s a simple enough question, which I hope has a simple answer. Although that simple answer is somewhat elusive. The *easy* answer is “new Twin Peaks” of course, with a best case of *good* new Twin Peaks. But I probably need a bit more than a “Brexit is Brexit”-style tautology, which while effective in politics is somewhat lacking when considering something far more meaningful.

So to try to better answer the question perhaps I should consider what Twin Peaks has been for me. Twin Peaks was an American network TV show that ran from 1990-91. Twin Peaks was heralded as “the future of television” (or something, the memory is hazy). Twin Peaks ended as a joke (and as a punch-line on The Simpsons, as happens to all things). Twin Peaks was a genre-breaking/character-drama/murder-mystery/comedy/parody/supernatural-thriller/backwards-dancing-dwarf incomprehensible hot mess of network television. It was a victim of high expectations and network meddling. It burned brightly and burned out.

Twin Peaks was my favourite show when I was 12. Strangely I don’t remember purposely watching it at first, but somehow I got hooked to the point where I ended up owning an “I shot Agent Cooper” t-shirt between the 1st and 2nd seasons.

Perhaps the best answer is that Twin Peaks was a swirling mass of incongruities set to a haunting Angelo Badalamenti score.

So why is the show worthy of being brought back? Cynically I know that an answer is “some accountant decided enough people would watch it”. But most importantly it’s a show that so many people are *still* talking about after so many years, despite originally deemed a failure. While it may not have reached its original promise (whatever that was), it has become woven into the fabric of television. The mixing of the supernatural with the every-day, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A series based around a central mystery, Desperate Housewives. A frustrating jumble of genres, Lost. The X-Files is practically a spin-off.
Twin Peaks *was* the future of television, it just wasn’t its present.

So now that we’re living in the future with flying cars and astronaut food and new Twin Peaks is a mere few weeks away. So what *do* I actually want? (Answer the question Andrew, ANSWER THE FRIGGING QUESTION.)

I want Agent Cooper. Audrey. Strobe Lights. Red curtains. A Varied Thrush. Andy & Lucy. Fire Walk With Me. Small-town horrors. Murder. Sex. Intrigue. Cherry pie. Donuts. Julee Cruise in a biker-bar. Owls. Logs. Dancing…

From the details that have been revealed so far we’ll get easily 95% of the list come 22 May. And while it may be an ingredients list it’ll hopefully come together for a satisfying slice of pie. What I *really* want is Twin Peaks that fulfills its promise and potential, and it’s only because of the past 25 Twin Peaks-influenced years that such a goal seems reachable. I want a story that builds off the original run, and doesn’t just linger in nostalgia. I want to be surprised, and to find that something new and hopefully unique can be made from Twin Peaks.

But mainly I want new Twin Peaks, and hopefully good new Twin Peaks. I guess the answer really is that easy.

Andrew Watters sat through too many film papers in university and now can’t stop using the term montage and auteur. Originally from Canada, he has been forced to live in Australia ever since questioning the artistic merits of Goodbye, Pork Pie.

Amen to that, Andrew.

We have no current plans to continue Peak peak Ruminations to cover the new series… but you never know. For now, at least, it’s a farewell. If you’ve found us by looking for Twin Peaks stuff, I encourage you to click around the rest of The Ruminator, there’s all kinds of great stuff to be found here. Thanks to Dave for hosting us! Thanks also to Paul Scoones for his research efforts and for writing a great post, and a gigantic and special thanks to Grant Buist, who turned out a whole pile of gorgeous illustrations, provided hilarious and smart live-tweets of every episode, and knocked out one of the best essays in the bunch to boot. Thank you Grant! (Someone better hire him for something off the back of this!)

All right, we’re out. Watch out for fish in your percolators, don’t look too hard at any doorknobs, and whatever you do, don’t put on that weird green ring.


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