Twin Peaks: A Cultural Phenomenon (Part 2)

Hi all,

Just a quick apology to those waiting on Part 2. I’ve had a busy couple of weeks and simply have not gotten around to posting this. Anyway, my apologies and I hope you enjoy this post. 

Thanks again.

gordon

Gordon?

The ‘need to know’ among viewers drove the show into a second season due the lack of conclusion and clarity over the death of Laura Palmer, this time, for a lengthy 22 episodes. More episodes mean more directors and the need for a bigger crew. Many consider this to play a fundamental part to the show’s downfall. David Lynch and Mark Frost became less involved with Twin Peaks and other directors took the helm. Week after week passed and ratings dropped with the investigation into the main plot still no closer to a conclusion.

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Attention spans were drifting and so ABC wanted answers. Head of ABC at the time Bob Iger demanded that Laura Palmer’s killer was revealed mid-way through the season. This was everything that both David Lynch and Mark Frost did not want. Lynch has been quoted saying that the show was like a goose that laid golden eggs. What ABC did when they pressured them into revealing Laura Palmer’s killer was cut the head off of that goose. It’s a great analogy and truly does put into perspective just what the network did to the show.

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Iger, our fate is in your hands.

Once Laura’s killer had been revealed, many viewers dropped off from the show. This was most likely due to the sense of closure that the episode gave to the ongoing mystery. It did make way for a new plot, with new characters, but it did not have the same aura around it that it did for the first season. This was also impacted by the change of scheduling. The show was moved from a Thursday night broadcast, to all different times. Interest dropped off pretty quickly after that and many, myself included, consider Bob Iger’s decision to be the hands down worst decision that anyone in the TV business has ever made.

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So what happened to Iger after that? Destroying a cultural phenomenon that many loved surely would lead to a decline for this guy? Surely he would be left out of more executive decisions because he doesn’t understand both the text and the audience? Nope. Iger is now currently the C.E.O of Disney, yep, Disney. So this man now holds the fate of Star Wars, Marvel and all other cult favourites. Although they are not really cults anymore are they? They are the face of popular culture. Merchandising of these products makes it almost impossible to avoid the gaze of the Disney eye. So realistically, don’t hold your breath for the next Star Wars installment as it might signal the end of the franchise we all know and love.

tlj

Who knows what this will hold…

The blame for the show’s demise can be spread throughout impatient audiences, irrational network bosses, drifting storylines and confusing scheduling. It can be summarised in the simplest of terms that TV was simply not ready for a show like Twin Peaks. However, lessons were learnt. The introduction of HBO meant a whole new platform for TV in the shape of big budgets and larger than life shows. With the introduction of HBO, audiences were introduced to the concept of ‘quality TV’. From the demise of Twin Peaks, came The Sopranos, Sex in the City and The Wire to name a few of the network’s successful shows. These helped shape TV as we know and love today.

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Possibly the greatest show to emerge from the cancellation of Twin Peaks.

In essence, Twin Peaks took one for the team. Since being cancelled, the fanbase has grown and there is still an annual festival held in which cast members and fans from around the world can revel in the world of Twin Peaks. Sort of like a comic con specifically for Twin Peaks. It is now seen as a prestigious landmark in the history of television.

So, twenty five years after the series ended on a dramatic cliff-hanger, Twin Peaks has had the greenlight for a third season. This is the longest gap between seasons ever in a show’s history, allowing the show to continue to break records. Who knows what boundaries the third season will break? Maybe the show will expand its fan-base even more and lead to more content, either in the form of television or even film. Either way it is gratifying to see a show get the recognition it deserves, especially after the original broadcast being so long ago.

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Season three poster

Prior to the new season, Mark Frost has released a novel; ‘The Secret History of Twin Peaks’ allowing keen fans of the show to delve into a hidden past of the fictional town that the show never really dipped into (with the exception of the lack lodge). Frost has also announced that he is planning on releasing another novel after the show’s final episode is broadcast. ‘Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier’ will most likely give viewers the conclusion to the show that they have waited patiently for.

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‘The Secret History’ 

Something tells me that this will not be the last we will see of Agent Cooper and Twin Peaks. Its legend will not be forgotten and I predict that fans will simply refuse to let the series die. There is a whole world of possibility to be explored, both mysterious and strange.

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