Monday, October 06, 2014

Twin Peaks

So, it's official - Twin Peaks will be returning to television, on Showtime, with 9 episodes directed by David Lynch, in 2016.

So now we have two years to debate the question: is this a good idea?

First things first: I'm comfortable saying that Twin Peaks was a legendary show; in fact, that it was one of the landmarks in the history of the medium.  But such a bold statement comes with a very major caveat.

Consider these lines of dialogue from Blade Runner:

Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long - and you have burned so very, very, brightly Roy.  Look at you: you're the Prodigal Son; you're quite a prize!

Roy Batty: I've done...questionable things.

Tyrell: Also extraordinary things; revel in your time.

If there was ever a show that could be said to have done extraordinary but questionable things in a very short time, Twin Peaks was that show.  I have no qualms whatsoever saying that the first season episodes, and the second season through the resolution of the Laura Palmer storyline, were among the most compelling ever shown on television.  I also have no qualms whatsoever saying that after that, the show went off the rails to such a degree that it was practically unwatchable.  By the time that Lynch was brought back to direct the finale, it was far too late - the images on the screen may have been as visually and aurally thrilling as they ever were, but there was no longer any point to the exercise.  In that sense, the show went from legendary to having jumped the shark in a shorter period of time than any other.

Can you catch lightning in a bottle a second time, 25 years apart?  That is the question that no one can answer today.  And despite having both Lynch and Mark Frost back on board, there's no guarantee that Twin Peaks can once again capture the zeitgeist in a way that True Detective did this year (I for one don't think it's a coincidence that the resurrection of Twin Peaks comes so soon after Detective).

We can only hope, and wish for the best.

No comments: