Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The Post about Twin Peaks

On the second to last day of 2019 I decided to press play on a 30 year old television show, Twin Peaks.

I wasn't able to watch the show during it's initial airing in 1990 - 1991. I think I saw a few episodes with my parents, but I remember my Dad thinking the show was just to weird to watch.

Along with all of my friends, I read the Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, borrowed from the library across the school from our high school, during my 9th and 10th grade, and bought a copy removed from distribution from the library (probably because it was so beat up by us all reading it so much). I finally let go of that book in the last few years as I've been purging my book collection.

I did finally get to watch the show more regularly when it aired again on Bravo a few years later. By then I also had my own VCR and television and was able to tape the episodes. I watched the first season and up to the discovery of Laura Palmer's murder in the second season, but for some reason I didn't keep watching after that. I couldn't tell you why, but I'll chalk it up to watching Northern Exposure and I guess I only had enough room for one quirky small town in the North West of the United States (the extreme North West in the case of Northern Exposure)

Not only did I watch that firs season and half when it was re-aired on Bravo, I watched my recordings of it and even went so far as to do a media studies project on the show in 1996. Those first 16 episodes are like an old sweater I forgot I had.

I tore through Season One and the first part of Season Two in a few days and then I got to the episodes I'd never seen. How exciting to spend time discovering more stories with characters I knew as a teenager! I went through the last dozen or so episodes even faster than I'd gone through the ones I knew so well.

My goal with re-watching the original series was planned to culminate with watching the special limited series which was released a couple of years ago. Back then I had wanted to do an original series re-watch, but I didn't have legal access to the episodes then. It wasn't streaming on Netflix, I had no other service I paid for. As it turned out I couldn't watch the new season then either because it aired on CBS All Access which I wasn't prepared to pay for.

But now, thanks to Veronica Mars Season 4, I am a subscriber of Crave. You can blame a lot of things in my life on my love of Kristen Bell and Veronica Mars.

So there I was over the holiday season with a lot of time on my hands and three seasons of what I know to be amazing television.

But something surprising happened when I finished Season Two of Twin Peaks. I was not ready to move on. I was not as excited about plowing forward with the new limited series.

I've been listening to Damn Fine Podcast during the days and watching episodes in the evenings so I thought maybe I just needed some time to catch up on the second season companion podcast episodes before moving on.

I moved through listening to 12 or 13 hours of podcasts and decided to throw on Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me the next evening to pass the time. Until listening to the companion podcast I hadn't planned to watch the movie but plans can change.

Two days after being without any new Twin Peaks to watch I turned on Fire Walk With Me. I wish I hadn't.

I wish I hadn't because I recognize that there is good in the film, but I struggled to enjoy it. I was not prepared to go back to the Laura Palmer story. I was finished with the Laura Palmer story. What I wasn't finished with was all of the rest of season two.

Fire Walk With Me came out almost a year and a half after the end of Twin Peaks. A year and a half later, fans of the show wanted anything, any crumb. And I suspect that every fan was happy to see an Agent Cooper in Fire Walk With Me who was an Agent Cooper from before the events of the series finale. But just a day after the series finale, it was not the story I wanted to go back to.

So here I am, only a few days after finishing watching the last half of season two of Twin Peaks, watching it again.

Who knows when I'll be ready to move forward into the 2017 limited series?

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