Pop Culture aficionados the internet over collectively lost their shit last week when a casting call for a ‘Twin Peaks Promo’ went up online. The series’ revival has since been debunked by co-creator Mark Frost, but it’s been rumoured for as long as Nadine Hurley has been working on her silent drape runners.
I absolutely love Twin Peaks. It’s as dark as it is hilarious, and the nightmarish dream sequences and depth of depravity lurking beneath the smalltown veneer have made it an iconic exercise in experimental and suspense driven television, but I really couldn’t be more pleased it isn’t being brought back. Here is why:
1. It would more likely than not look absolutely crap.
No one seems to want to acknowledge how phenomenally shit it would be. We’re not talking about lost episodes that have surfaced. I’d be as excited as you lot then. We’re talking about them making new ones. Now. In 2014.
The show was gigantically of it’s time. It’s so turn of the 80s/90s decade it’s really only just getting to a point where it doesn’t still look completely naff. Cast your mind back to how you felt about scrunchies and stonewashed denim about 4 years ago. Yeah? Exactly.
Period drama is a genre that’s massively upped its game in recent years. Between Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire and The Hour, there are some incredibly well observed and impossibly stylish shows out there. For Twin Peaks to come back in the way that everyone knows and loves it, it’d have to become a period piece, and that’s where I can’t get on board.
Where the aforementioned shows are harking back to a time, transporting you to an era through painstakingly researched costumes, sets, and props, Twin Peaks aired at the beginning of the 90’s, and was set and filmed in 1989.
We’re in a bit of a limbo where we’re far enough away from the 90’s for nostalgia for the decade, but not really far away enough from it that it can be observed well enough to be recreated without looking utterly rubbish. Between the wobbly typeface and Angelo Badalamenti’s impeccably spooky synth in the opening credits, the exquisite eyebrows and lipliner, the awe-inspiring curtains and blowdrys in the days before straighteners, the high waisted suit trousers and massive shoulder pads, not to mention David Duchovny in drag, there’s so much about Twin Peaks that is amazing to look at now it has passed, (bits of which have become stylish again with the passage of time), that would also be beyond naff if it was recreated now.
Of course there are some exceptions here - Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and the This is England series have both recreated fairly recent periods to accurate effect. But then part of what makes Darkplace so hilarious is how well it nails toe-curlingly earnest low budget 80’s TV. They’re also not trying to recreate an earlier incarnation of themselves and pass it off as the same era - the casting call asking for a girl with a ‘period face’ (stop laughing) rather suggests that’s what they’d be looking to do, rather than Twin Peaks in the present day. Spare the thought.
2. What the fuck would even happen?
Obviously I don’t have the vision of David Lynch (frankly, who does, the man is crackers and that’s why we’re so endearingly baffled by him) but I really don’t see where they could go with a new series. Lynch was pressured first time round to wrap up the ‘Who Killed Laura Palmer’ arc, which had until then single handedly redefined the watercooler moment. He concedes that the show rambled a little aimlessly after that. It’s kind of like if Walter White had been caught halfway through Season 3 and the rest of Breaking Bad followed him slowly dying of lung cancer in prison. It’s not really what you signed up for. The ratings reflected it and the show was cancelled.
The problem with revisiting the long gone is that you can tarnish the impact of the original run. Spoiler coming up, (just in case we’re still being bellends about spoilers for EVERYTHING IN THE HISTORY OF EVER - by the way, in the Bible, Jesus dies) but the finale of Twin Peaks is without doubt one of the most chilling endings you’ll ever see, with BOB, the manifestation of ‘the evil that men do’ taking Agent Cooper for his next host as he smashes his head into the mirror. What happens next is left to your imagination, and knowing that this is where it ends makes it all the more gut wrenching - seeing what happened next would narrow all that imagination back down to definite events, and frankly kill a lot of the mystery and oddity around the show and it’s backstory and setting.
I don’t understand why we can’t just let things lie. Appreciate what they were and that they’re fantastic as a crystalised body of work. Basically don’t flog a still horse that’s alive and well and enjoying a great retirement until it actually dies, ya dig?
Amongst the reboots, adaptations and remakes, I reckon we’re probably just a bit starved of something original, and while Twin Peaks was certainly that once upon a time, lets root for something brand new, instead of retreading old ground.