Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Will The Internet Kill Twin Peaks?

Let's have a think on it!
With the fantastic news of Twin Peaks returning in 2016 announced this past October, there has been a surge of Twin Peaks mania going on. However with all this unbridled social media enthusiasm are we unintentionally setting ourselves on a path of inevitable criticism and unrealistic expectations?

In a recent interview David Lynch said, "I’m not talking about Twin Peaks now. Not until 2016." and this got me thinking. Maybe with today's instant gratification everything via the internet Twin Peaks could be spoiled, in particular for first wave fans like me. However I am guilty of the very thing I am writing about so how's that for hypocrisy? 

I started this blog the day after the news was announced. It was actually an idea that I had been playing around with for awhile, but the news of the series returning sort of kicked my butt into gear. I imagine this was true for many fans who have also started blogs, Facebook fan pages, Twitter feeds, etc. in honor of their love of this terrific show. I think all the renewed interest for the show, especially because of the fans both old and new, is why it's returning. With that in mind, I'm sure you could imagine that thinking all this passion could somehow soil Twin Peaks kind of made me sad.

Holding back the tears!
Laura Palmer told Harold Smith in Fire Walk With Me that Bob had been having her since she was 12. Well ironically, Twin Peaks has been having me since I was 12. Not in the same way Laura was referring to of course, but in the context that I've had a feverish obsession with this show since I first watched it. Adolescence really is an ugly time of life, isn't it? At least for me it was and that made my connection to the series even stronger.

I stated in a previous post that it was very hard for me to follow this series consistently when it originally aired, which I think led to a little of the fun and the frustration. I was able to watch the pilot through Maddy's murder. After that I didn't see a thing about it again until Fire Walk With Me was released. I had the pleasure of seeing FWWM in the theater and with a very young and open mind. I loved it and was so moved by Laura's story that it became a mission to find out anything and everything about the series. I wanted to have a complete picture.

I began a hunt for the VHS tapes, The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer and any memorabilia I could get a hold of. I tracked down a copy of one of the Twin Peaks Gazette newsletters and looked for a way to order items, but wasn't able to get anywhere. At that time The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer was out of print and I couldn't find the complete series anywhere. So between 1992 when the movie came out and the spring of 1995, I thought Twin Peaks would forever feel incomplete. 

Finally I found the entire series, minus the pilot, at Sam Goody one day and quickly purchased it. I recall spending my entire Spring Break binge watching it. It was amazing. On that first full watch I don't think it fully occurred to me how bad certain sub plots in the second season actually were. I was so in awe of the show that John Justice Wheeler's twangy music and atrociously bad sweaters seemed just fine. I never liked Thomas Eckhart or Sue Ellen Mischke as his side kick. Nor was there a time when Evelyn's poor dialogue and cliche' storyline pleased me, but I always loved Twin Peaks in spite of it. In fact some of the bad stuff is actually in hindsight pretty endearing. I always laugh at Nadine and Mike's unconventional love affair. David Duchovny as Agent Denise Bryson is priceless and my personal favorite is the always hilarious Ernie Niles!

Super hyperhidrosis
To get back on topic, it was hard to be a Twin Peaks fan back in the day. It took some work and devotion to acquire anything. I was too young to be allowed to travel across country to the festival so I accepted that my "fanatical" fandom was my own private obsession. I did however have a dear friend give me the FWWM movie poster and several pictures from the series one Christmas as a surprise present. She took the time to frame everything for me and I still have all of it to this day in excellent condition. 

I remember another friend of mine from high school in the 90's once asked, "can you imagine what losers spend their whole day on the internet?" I just kept my mouth shut, because to me it seemed like fabulous untamed land that I wanted to explore. If people thought that made me a loser, I really didn't care. Instant access to unlimited information seemed very appealing to me. In the early days I was plagued like most of us by the trials of dial up and often hearing AOL say "goodbye" when I was in the middle of stuff. However as we all know, it got a lot better.

Sleep tight!
In the late 90's I was able to acquire the above t-shirt from Ebay and I still wear it to sleep often. Although the black has faded a bit, I consider it to my coolest and the longest lasting of my TP related gear. As I moved into the 00's, I received the first season of Twin Peaks on DVD and then the second season and after that the complete series. I've now turned one of my best friends into a true TP fan. Now I have the Missing Pieces set (which is amazing) and I'm good until David & Mark release the inevitable next complete set after the new episodes air.

So where am I going with all of this? Well over all of these years the internet has evolved right along with a whole new generation of Twin Peaks fans. Fans now have instant access to the episodes, YouTube videos and of course social media. As our privacy has been greatly reduced with our individual online presence, our ability to quickly discover just about anything we're interested in has greatly increased.

It's easier then ever to be a Twin Peaks fan now. There are tons of people all over the world who love this show and they're all over the web talking about it, sharing thoughts and discovering new ways to appreciate Twin Peaks. I've thoroughly enjoyed chatting with fans online who love this show as much as I do. Not feeling weird for completely "geeking" out on TP is such a relief. However I fear it's not all good. 

I think there is an argument to be made that episode spoilers will ruin a lot of the mystery. In addition to the added critiquing of the actors, writers and producers. Let's face it, the autonomous nature of the internet/social media gives all of us big balls and a feeling of entitlement when it comes to our opinions. Haven't you ever read the comments in reviews of other TV shows you liked and felt disappointed that so many people are just plain stupid? I won't even touch how angry online politics makes us. How will all of this effect the new episodes of Twin Peaks is still unknown, but I think it will be very interesting. Personally I think it's too far gone now so you either have take the ride or get left behind. 

How do you feel? Did I do a lot of mindless rambling here or is our favorite show about to embark on a bumpy ride? 

Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. He is Bob, eager for fun...everybody run!

  2. The thing that annoys me about the rise of social media is the lack of surprise it causes for many shows. Take 'A Game of Thrones' as a recent example: many plot developments for the next season have been leaked already merely by people taking pictures on their phones. I hope that when filming of the new Twin Peaks season takes place next year (on location?), we won't see a deluge of instagram and tumblr spoilers.

    1. I think it will be nearly impossible for spoilers and pictures not to be leaked, but hopefully DL & MF will be able to keep most of it under wraps.