Twin Peaks has an absolute cult following.
Launched in 1990, it lasted less than a year before being cancelled due to poor ratings. I’m not doing a great job of selling it yet, I know. But wait on.
Ultimately a murder mystery, the new series – revived by Showtime, and taking place 25 years after the original – holds its audience tight with an explosive cross-genre expedition into soap-opera territory, with a supernatural undertone.
It may seem like it’s trying to do too much.
But if you’re a bit confused? That’s absolutely fine. It might even be the point.
Listen to Twin Peaks cult-follower Holly Wainwright explain why she found the Twin Peaks revival initially difficult to stomach on The Binge. Post continues after audio.
You see, the original two seasons – the ones that aired in 1991 – were shot by Director David Lynch in one, continuous 18-hour shot. Like a really long movie.
Those original seasons were cut and chopped in an impressive effort to sculpt them into a television series.
As Laura Brodnik, host of Mamamia‘s television podcast The Binge aptly puts it: “I don’t think you can expect it to follow a linear story line. David Lynch is not here to reel you in by giving you new information at certain spots.”
It was – and still is – mysterious and unorthodox in ways other shows simply aren’t. Therein lies its cult following.
Holly Wainwright, Head of Entertainment here at Mamamia, is a member of that cult following. And for her, Showtime's Twin Peaks revival has brought about a bit of an epiphany.
"I was very excited for the reboot, and what it's made me realise is that we've all changed."
She goes on, "I was sitting there going, 'Oh my God, nothing is happening, this is really weird, this is really slow'... but it has always been deeply weird. Deeply slow. Deeply artistic."
"I think that these days, even me - my attention span is so much shorter that I found it very hard to get back into."
She's not wrong.
With the explosion of Netflix, Stan and ABC iview, we're all about the TV series. The slow burn of cinema is almost dead. We need action. Gratification. Now.
We need to traverse the emotional spectrum of a feature-length drama film in the time-frame of a 23-minute TV episode.
It's what we've come to expect. Anything less, we simply can't sit through.
"We watch TV differently now," says Holly. "We expect it to move at our pace: we want it to be fast so we can do other things at the same time."
Like scroll our Facebook feeds; clean the house; prepare meals.
"That's just not what Twin Peaks is like."
It might take a bit of getting used to. But it's by no means beyond salvation.
"By about the third episode, I was back," Holly says.
It just involves a little bit of re-calibrating.
You can listen to this week's full episode of The Binge, here:
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner ABC iview.
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