by Benjamín Harguindey
As reported ealier this year, Twin Peaks is finally getting its third season. The first two out of eighteen episodes air May 21st on Showtime, and as the date draws near I find myself losing my initial skepticism and getting hyped for its fabled revival. In an era of cash-in nostalgia, here’s why I think Twin Peaks 2017 is the real deal (mostly).
Pro – David Lynch and Mark Frost
While the series was famously created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, the two didn’t have all that much direct control over the 1990-1991 run. Out of the original 30 episodes, Lynch and Frost only wrote 3 episodes together; Frost would write 7 more throughout the show’s two seasons while Lynch would personally direct 6 episodes (including the pilot and series finale). Contrast that to the coming 18 episodes, all directed by David Lynch and co-written by Lynch and Frost. That’s the kind of hands-on oversight they never had, so we know the integrity of the show is safe.
Pro – “I’ll See You Again in 25 Years”
Thus Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee) bids farewell to Special Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), her failed would-be redeemer. It’s a grim finale: both are trapped in the Red Room, a limbo of sorts, while Cooper’s demonic doppelgänger has taken his place in the real world. If the show hadn’t been untimely axed by ABC, that cliffhanger would’ve probably been solved early in the third season (compare the sensational season one finale to the beginning of season two), and that bit of spoken arcana would’ve been rendered meaningless. By reviving the show now, the creators aren’t just finally solving the cliffhanger, they’re honoring that cryptic promise as literally as it is possible… 26 years later.
Pro – The Return of David Lynch
It’s been how long since Lynch’s last project? That depends how you’re counting. Following the cancellation of Twin Peaks, Lynch and Frost came up with a sitcom called On the Air (1992), which lasted one season and most of it went, ironically, unaired. Lynch then teamed up with Monty Montgomery and directed a three-part mini-series called Hotel Room (1993) – to this date, Lynch’s final TV venture. It’s been 24 years since Lynch had a hand at television and for that matter 11 years since his last film (Inland Empire, 2006). The auteur has indulged in many a short subject and internet experiment since then, but the fact remains the world needs more Lynch in it and none of that casual tiptoeing will suffice.
Pro – Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Technically speaking Lynch already had a go at Twin Peaks after its cancellation with Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992). Actually a prequel, the movie starts off by giving us an ersatz Cooper named Desmond (Chris Isaak), then drops him altogether to chronicle the last 7 days in the life of Laura Palmer, whose murder provides the catalyst for the show. This obfuscated newcomers, and disappointed the fans aching for payoff following the show’s cancellation. Not to mention the lack of the show’s trademark offbeat humor, and a cast that was either missing, replaced or reduced to cameo roles… if the so-called Twin Peaks movie is a pro in favor of the show’s revival, it’s because with it Lynch and Frost (hopefully) got whatever they wanted to get out of their system and are done dilly-dallying. This one’s for all the marbles.
Con – No Going Back
This one is personal and rather nitpicky, but remains a valid lament nonetheless. It’s been 26 years and many of the original cast members are dead or retired, so the show evidently has been written around them rather than naturally picking where it left off. Many of those cliffhangers now have foregone conclusions, considering the death or absence of some actors. But how do you write around the death of Frank Silva, who played the villain BOB? Meanwhile, some regular characters are being replaced while others are being scheduled for single-service appearences. Is this another case of Fire Walk With Me, where Lynch goes rogue? It’s going to be interesting either way.
Benjamín Harguindey / Managing Editor, Writer (Mar del Plata, Argentina – 1989) Screenwriter graduated from Universidad del Cine, Buenos Aires. Benja’s worked for EscribiendoCine as a film critic since 2010, covering the Biarritz, San Sebastián and Venice festivals. He judged the CILECT Prize and won several writing & criticism contests. He’s published one novel, Noches de Tartaria (2006).