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Monday
Feb242014

25 Years Since "She's dead... Wrapped in plastic!"

Diane, 11:30 AM, February 24. Entering town of Twin Peaks. Five miles south of the Canadian border, twelve miles west of the state line. Never seen so many trees in my life. As W.C. Fields would say, I'd rather be here than Philadelphia. It's 54 degrees on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Weatherman said rain. If you could get paid that kind of money for being wrong 60% of the time it'd beat working. Mileage is 79,345, gauge is on reserve, I'm riding on fumes, have to tank up when I get into town, remind me to tell you how much that is. Lunch was $6.31 at the Lamplighter Inn, that's on Highway 2 near Lewis Fork. That was a tuna fish sandwich on whole wheat and a slice of cherry pie and a cup of coffee. Damn good food. And if you ever get up this way, Diane, that cherry pie is worth a stop."


If you're like me and are a bit of a Twin Peaks nerd, then today is a big day. It has been exactly 25 years to the day since Laura Palmer was murdered, to be found some hours later amidst the lonesome sound of a foghorn, wrapped in plastic and washed ashore on a pebble beach in the town of Twin Peaks. Furthermore, just three days ago on the 21st was the 25th anniversary of David Lynch and company starting directing the scene. Although the famous pilot episode (which I maintain is better than 99.9% of films released before or since) wouldn't air for another year in April of 1990, it's February 24, 1989 that Twin Peaks mythology tells us is the day everything changed.

 

The number 25 is, of course, very important to the series. It was the number of years given in a dream that could help unlock several mysteries, although (much like everything else in the show) who can honestly tell? To celebrate the 25 years, the series is finally making its way to Blu-ray in a box set alongside the much-misunderstood prequel, Fire Walk With Me, and the rumoured deleted scenes that fans have been begging for for years and years.

 

Like I said at the top, I'm a bit of a Twin Peaks geek. I went to the annual convention in North Bend, WA, where the pilot and film were made (there I am to the left at Snoqualmie Falls where the exteriors of the Great Northern were taken). It was an incredible experience and I wrote about it for an Australian magazine called The Big Issue (you can read it at my website). I thought of Twin Peaks yet again upon reading Emily Nussbaum's incredible New Yorker article about True Detective and this weird, instinctual necessity to claim every new gritty, man-centric show as the greatest thing ever. Even us die-hard fans no the second season was loopy, but it remains a rather unfathomable moment in time that a show like this - murder mystery meets high gloss soap opera - could capture audiences in the way that (at least) season one did. One can only imagine the op-eds that would be written about Twin Peaks now: "David Lynch Endorses Teenage Drug Use!"; "Twin Peaks Makes Me Ashamed To Be A Woman!"; "Too Much Girly Stuff, Not Enough Men Smashing Stuff!". "Twin Peaks Soap Opera Shenanigans Too Boring!" etc etc.

If you're feeling deflated by television right now - I'd suggest that anybody who claims TV is better than film clearly doesn't watch the 95% of TV that is unwatchable garbage - then give Twin Peaks another watch. It's a series that actually rewards revisits, unlike most series that everyone just has to be watching right now so they can claim they're the best/worst thing ever. It's a show that remains so alive and full of strange, quirky, fascinating, engaging, subliminal, scary, funny, weird, happy, sexy, bizarre and gorgeously beautiful images. Laura Palmer changed TV, and on the 25th anniversary of her (fictitious, sure) passing, I think we should all go back and revisit why.

  

 

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Reader Comments (12)

One of the things I'm actually happy about considering my age is that I've been able to go through the binge era of television after having binged shows that influenced the great television of today. Twin Peaks, Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, and Six Feet. Watching each of those you can just see how they influenced this so called "Golden Age" of television.

Especially going back to Twin Peaks, you can tell how the writing in the foresight of that show influenced everything that was to come (I think specifically to Breaking Bad).

I'm on my second run through of TP and it gets better each time.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterQueermyntcritic

i haven't watched TWIN PEAKS in a really long time but i use to just live for it. i should probably start again

February 24, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I first watched this show when I was ten, and I don't think my artistic sensibility would be anything like it is now if not for that. Someday I am going to make it to the festival.

I hope they show us the deleted scenes, but they've been leading us on for a decade-plus about that, and I've stopped believing they ever will.

Fans used to speculate Lynch would do something now at twenty-five years, since now is when Laura said she'd see Cooper again(?) Lynch has said it's "dead as a doornail" though, and that might be for the best. It's probably best seen as a lighting-in-a-bottle show that can't be re-done.

I think every major artistic show since has been informed by TP, and I think I've caught references to TP in quite a few. Breaking Bad, in my mind, puts a lot of Leland Palmer into Walter White, right?

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarsha Mason

I remember being in a creative writing class where the professor made the mistake of airing the pilot for the class. I'm very manipulative when it comes to watching Twin Peaks. The class got to episode 5 in just under 3 sessions before she realized I derailed her curriculum. What? It was an idea development class. What better way to explore real world applications than the brilliant first season of Twin Peaks?

And then she still showed us 28 Days Later and Tarnation in full instead of ditching films for lectures/in class workshops.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

My first reaction to that headline was "omg we are so old!" But it was the most brilliant thing to hit television at the time.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMikey67

and my first reaction was "yaaaaas, I'm so happy you guys are writing about this!!"

I love this show. I was born in 1990, so when Twin Peaks aired in Brazil (1994 or 1995) I was too young to watch it. My family would send me to bed early so they could turn on the living room's TV to Twin Peaks, but I'd stay hidden for a little while, watching mostly harmless parts of it - that is, until Bob or something really scary would come along, then I'd look away immediately and run to bed. When I finally saw it (2 or 3 years ago), I was already a huge fan of David Lynch's filmwork, but I still wasn't ready for how good Twin Peaks was and is, being a 90's TV show and all.
Besides having great characters, a great "mythology", lots of mystery and interesting scenery, and cherry pie and cofee... besides all that, this damn show is quite simply the scariest thing I have ever watched in my entire life. The one-armed man, those owls, the trees, the red room, the Palmer house, those stairs, that damn old man and his Giant dream-self... and Bob! Oh man, Bob! It must have something to do with the fact that I have these childhood memories of watching glimpses of it while in hiding, disobeying my parents, etc. I don't know. The fact is: Bob's my biggest nightmare, and no Hannibal, no Jack Torrance, no Norman Bates will ever be as scary to me as he is.
Can't wait for the blu-ray with these damn deleted scenes! Thanks for the post.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClara

about True Detective: I like it, I'm interested and I'll definitely be watching this whole season. But I think Nic Pizzolatto should really practice some editing in his dialogues. He often leaves things too explicit, he often exaggerates on his effort to expose the differences between the two main characters and he often seems too eager to share views and commentaries on social and religious experiences of the South, so much so that there's no room to a viewer's interpretation. He could benefit from how Lynch and Frost handled mystery, characters and even social commentary.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClara

Remember that gorgeous Rolling Stone cover with Lara, Sherilyn, and Mädchen.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMB76

mb76 -- YES!

Clara -- you're probably right. I like that show but I am a bit surprised at the reviews/ecstacy because in some ways it's very HERE'S EVERYTHING instead of letting the audience intuit and extrapolate and wonder, you know?

February 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Patricia Norris won an Emmy for that pilot!

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Favorite scene ever: Audrey in the coffee shop dancing.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Peggy Sue, when I attended the Twin Peaks convention I asked a question at the Q&A (with Jennifer Lynch, James Marshall, Catherine Coulson, Kimmy Robertson and Charlotte Stewart) about Patricia (Kimmy called her "Patty") and they regailed some entertaining stories. James (who played the motorbike-riding James Hurley) spoke of how they were out drinking in a bar during filming of the pilot and they asked a biker if James could try his jacket and they liked it so much that the biker let them keep it. If I am remembering correctly I think they found drugs in a pocket during filming.

February 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

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