Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wrapped in Plastic: 'Twin Peaks' Keeps Its Secrets Ahead of Return

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wrapped in Plastic: 'Twin Peaks' Keeps Its Secrets Ahead of Return

Article excerpt

In spring 1990, a small group of friends in the Post-Dispatch newsroom began gathering on Friday mornings to discuss a television show. Sometimes, we had pie.

That show was "Twin Peaks," and it was a thing. A big thing. Looking back 27 years, on the eve of David Lynch's revival of the series for Showtime, it's hard to believe what a big thing it was.

These days, some show every year or two inspires a fan frenzy. "Lost," with its countless mysteries, was one; "The Leftovers," now in its final season on HBO, is another.

But "Twin Peaks" took over the collective imagination of a chunk of the country before social media made sharing obsessions with strangers easy and before the internet itself was widespread.

"Twin Peaks" was the definition of a watercooler show, even if fans mostly gathered around coffee urns. There was plenty to talk about as we tried to figure out what the heck was up in the weird little town of Twin Peaks, Wash.

Our group, like many in offices from coast to coast, debated everything, not just the central mystery who killed teen queen Laura Palmer and left her "wrapped in plastic"? but also such questions as whether nubile Audrey Horne would manage to capture the affections of coffee-loving FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper.

We loved the Log Lady and were deeply suspicious (for good reason) of Laura's father, Leland Palmer. By the time we met the Dancing Dwarf and learned about Killer Bob, we were mostly lost but still infatuated.

This was all in the first eight episodes. "Twin Peaks" started out with a bang on ABC, but enough viewers drifted away, terminally confused, that there was initially some question of whether the series would come back.

The Post-Dispatch fan group marked the Season 1 finale with a pie potluck. The Double R Diner in the town of Twin Peaks had fine pie, especially the cherry, along with "a damn good cup of coffee," as Agent Cooper remarked.

ABC did order more episodes, but Season 2 imploded halfway through. If you haven't watched it since 1991, you might forget just how badly it crashed and burned.

By the time we wound up in the Black Lodge, met the Man From Another Place and tried to puzzle out soul-swapping and doppelgangers of the dead, the end, after 30 episodes, was something of a relief.

And don't get me started on 1992's "Fire Walk With Me," a movie prequel that reunited most of the series cast and featured a drug orgy and a cameo by David Bowie, not at the same time.

For years, "Twin Peaks" was available only on VHS, minus its original two-hour pilot, locked up in a rights dispute involving a European film version and available only as a bootleg. A 2001 DVD set was also missing the pilot, which wasn't available legally until 2007.

The new "Twin Peaks" boom arguably started in 2011 when "Twin Peaks" began streaming on Netflix. …

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