I Don’t Know If I’m Ready to Return to Twin Peaks
What I want and what I need are two different things, Audrey.
A new teaser trailer for Showtime’s Twin Peaks revival has me wondering if you can ever really go home to the uncanny town in Washington state again.
I’m all at sea about Twin Peaks’ return, and the teaser above—the very definition of a teaser, as it flashes us through well-known sights but shows nothing more—doesn’t ease my worries.
After the show’s much-lamented cancellation by ABC in 1991 in its second season, longtime fans—and the new fans who continued for decades to discover Twin Peaks through word-of-mouth, VHS tapes, DVDs, and finally Netflix—have hungered for more. The announcement that Showtime was bringing back one of the most revered and weird series of all time felt like peak revival had finally been achieved. If everything under the sun was getting another chance at life, why not the supernatural saga sparked by Laura Palmer’s death?
I mean, Laura herself predicted it.
But I remain conflicted. I feel torn in half: half of me is absolutely screaming, Sarah Palmer-like, for new episodes of the David Lynch-fueled creepy cult classic.
The more cautious half of me, however, is aware of being burned by disappointing revivals, reboots, and rejiggering of old, beloved properties on movies and TV alike. In fact, as I type this, I’m struggling to remember a revival that has felt worth it to me, that has met the expectations we’ve crossed fingers and waited fervently for. (I’m staring pointedly and with tears in my eyes at you, The X-Files.)
Twin Peaks seems like a near-impossible phenomenon to replicate. When it aired, there had been nothing remotely like it on television before. It was strange, compelling, inexplicable, experimental, horrific, funny, endearing, and overall, odd. Even now, it’s almost impossible to explain to the uninitiated, but on the other hand Twin Peaks has seeped into the zeitgeist, with most people having heard the name Special Agent Dale Cooper (my friend’s beagle bears the moniker), or hipsters on tumblr catching a gif of Audrey Horne going past and thinking: goals.
Goals. (image: ABC)
Twin Peaks is still too strange, too much of an acquired taste, and at the same time, it’s become larger-than-life in the public consciousness. How will the revival be able to satisfy our nostalgia while bringing in a whole host of new viewers who never knew the Log Lady?
OK, so maybe I’m being too judgemental in advance—I’ll withhold Final Opinions until we get to see the episodes beginning on May 21st (there will be 18 hours worth in total). There are 217 people in the cast, including, according to EW, “Laura Dern, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Monica Bellucci, Michael Cera, James Belushi, Tim Roth, Robert Forster, [and] Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder,” and while Lynch isn’t forthcoming about exactly which members of the original cast are coming back, we do know that Kyle MacLachlan’s coffee-drinking, cherry pie-eating FBI agent is a lock, and we’ll be seeing a lot of him. We’ll also be seeing Sherilyn Fenn (GOALS), Madchen Amick, Sheryl Lee, and David Duchovny.
Considering the growing pains the new Twin Peaks production went through, with David Lynch joining and leaving the project and recently his mysterious, maddening press conference, I’m going to stay on the side of caution for now. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised by Twin Peaks in a new era. Maybe the whole thing will fall apart under the harsh light of day and too-weighty expectations. I’ll try to keep myself in a positive state of mind until then. But I may need assistance.
(images: ABC, Showtime, EW)
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