How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

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LostInTheMovies
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How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:51 am

That sounds like a question about the critics, but I'm actually more interested in the general press the show will get, and the level of audience interest. Right now Twin Peaks is still very much a cult show (was just thinking of this as I saw a Hulu ad mentioning tons of shows on the channel and they didn't mention Twin Peaks and I thought, well why would they?). Its popularity among young viewers has soared in recent years, something that probably wouldn't have been predicted a decade ago (likely there is more excitement & anticipation among a younger demographic than the one that was actually watching it was it was originally on) - but these are still young viewers "in the know" turned on to something that most of their peers probably aren't into outside of a niche group.

When it returns, we could expect it to be marketed and received in a way appropriate to that cult following. With maybe some of the original viewers murmuring among themselves, "Oh hey, remember Twin Peaks? It's on a premium cable channel now, maybe I'll check it out."

Except for 2 things.

1) This has been a huge investment and risk for Showtime and they probably want to make this a flagship show, and I expect their marketing department will push hard to revive interest.

2) Perhaps more importantly, many people who still write in the media - and many more people in positions of authority, as editors or publishers - remember the frenzy surrounding the show back in 1990. Even then, when the TV movie was very highly-rated, Twin Peaks was always more a media darling than an audience darling (the bulk of season 1 did not have amazing ratings). It always hit a sweet spot for the "right" crowd, and it made for a great story. Will we see history repeat itself in 2017? Or does the more bottom-up nature of the media now make such elite appeal less relevant? (A show like Girls might be analogous although that hype - which seems to have died down an awful lot - was always dogged by a "but who really watches this show?" question.) Especially when ratings even for top shows like Game of Thrones can't touch what a run-of-the-mill network series could achieve 25 years ago?
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby Mordeen » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:12 am

My intuition tells me that the risks they're taking (monetarily, limited cult following from decades ago, etc.) is hinged upon Showtime being presented something so incredible as far as story and creativity that they decided (twice) it's worth their risk.

Based upon that notion, if a product is that good it gets a lot of pre-release chatter, and then explodes onto the market. They're trickling out teasers far in advance of the show's return, and they'll build upon that more and more as it gets closer. I expect they'll try to mimic the original marketing campaign, choose a tagline ("What is happening in Twin Peaks?" or whatever, similar to "Who killed Laura Palmer?"), and then just saturate media with the ads.

They may not draw a lot of new subscribers due to the cult aspect, but as the show rolls out and gains momentum they can look forward to a huge payoff from merch/DVD sales, and use it as a platform to showcase additional new programming.

It's going to be massive. Then Lynch drops the mic, publishes his memoir, and meditates off into the sunset.

-Mordeen
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby MasterMastermind » Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:31 pm

Hulu has multiple ads they run of their shows, one does include Twin Peaks. I think the show will be a successful enterprise for Showtime and Lynch, capture a lot of buzz and good press, followed by overwrought think pieces, all of which help sustain the show's momentum, but it won't hit Game of Thrones ratings.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby Rudagger » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:58 pm

It's not going to take the world by storm in the way the original run did, naturally. The landscape of television is just far more competitive, as we're really in a golden age for serialized drama.

But, I think it's going to do very well for Showtime (if Penny Dreadful can do well on their channel, then I think there's room for the strange world of Twin Peaks in their audience), and frankly, I'm in the camp that believes this run will surpass the original critically, if just in consistency alone.

But, it's not going to be a phenomenon in the way the original was, nor do I think it's going to blow up like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead or True Detective Season 1.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby mfleite » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:45 pm

Do you think it does well enough to receive a fourth season?
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby MasterMastermind » Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:55 pm

I think it'll do well enough to where the ball will be in Frost and Lynch's court.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby N. Needleman » Mon Oct 19, 2015 8:17 pm

I think we already have a fourth season, if this goes beyond 7-13 episodes. Anywhere in that range or beyond and they can split it between two years at least. True Detective was, what, 7 or 8?
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:18 pm

Rudagger wrote:It's not going to take the world by storm in the way the original run did, naturally. The landscape of television is just far more competitive, as we're really in a golden age for serialized drama.

But, I think it's going to do very well for Showtime (if Penny Dreadful can do well on their channel, then I think there's room for the strange world of Twin Peaks in their audience), and frankly, I'm in the camp that believes this run will surpass the original critically, if just in consistency alone.

But, it's not going to be a phenomenon in the way the original was, nor do I think it's going to blow up like Game of Thrones, Walking Dead or True Detective Season 1.


I think True Detective s1 was also a case of critical hype/media chatter outstripping actual audience, though (in a way GoT & WD clearly are not). Looking at wikipedia, the highest number for True Detective was 3.25 million viewers vs. 8.11 for Game of Thrones (granted, it started much lower and took several seasons to get up there) and 17.29 for Walking Dead (wow, didn't realize it was that much more viewed than Walking Dead)...or Breaking Bad which hit 10.28 for the finale (although it also started much, much slower - one s1 episode - directed by Twin Peaks' own Tricia Brock! - had less than a million viewers).

Critically, the new series has nowhere to go but up given how savage the backlash was in Twin Peaks' second season. I'm really interested to see how they talk about the show, since it still gets described as this meaningless, postmodern show in most retrospectives with season 2 and FWWM getting brushed off even though I think the new show will be much more in their spirit.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:21 pm

mfleite wrote:Do you think it does well enough to receive a fourth season?


I just can't imagine Lynch/Frost (especially Lynch) WANTING a fourth season! It seems like this is Lynch's opportunity to finish what was left open by circumstance, and also to "get right" what went astray the first time as he couldn't maintain real creative control. It also seems like, given the roller coaster ride of the first series which quickly overstayed its welcome, he might want to do a one and done and quit while he's ahead.

Then again, I also couldn't imagine them wanting a third season before it happened, so who knows...
Last edited by LostInTheMovies on Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby John Justice Wheeler » Mon Oct 19, 2015 10:31 pm

My issue with a continuance beyond what we'll have is that I just cannot imagine Lynch handing off the reins of this, his most personal and clearly dearly beloved of projects, to a bunch of other people to take in whatever direction. This may get split into two quasi-seasons if the episode amount is large enough but I really think it's done after that and, frankly, should be.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby james » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:55 pm

John Justice Wheeler wrote:My issue with a continuance beyond what we'll have is that I just cannot imagine Lynch handing off the reins of this, his most personal and clearly dearly beloved of projects, to a bunch of other people to take in whatever direction. This may get split into two quasi-seasons if the episode amount is large enough but I really think it's done after that and, frankly, should be.


You really feel Twin Peaks is more personal to Lynch than his other films? Eraserhead or INLAND EMPIRE? That's an interesting idea!

About it being constrained to just a limited run, I see no reason for that if the quality can be kept very high. Everyone is pessimistic I suppose because of the ABC experience and how badly FWWM was received by critics.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby N. Needleman » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:07 pm

I may well be in the minority but I've said it before - I would be open to other directors taking the reins after the initial Lynch run of a season or two, however many it ends up being, if Lynch and Frost choose to want it to continue. Which I currently doubt.

People forget and often dismiss some of their other incredible directors on the original series, many of whom were handpicked and came from acclaimed independent and arthouse film of the '80s - Tim Hunter, Tina Rathborne, Caleb Deschanel, James Foley, even Uli Edel. (Lesli Linka Glatter, meanwhile, got her start with an acclaimed short film but made her name off shows like this and a thousand others before going on to be the cream of the crop in premium cable TV today, and I think her episodes are some of the very best of the non-Lynch ones.) These people were doing television and at that time that was often unheard of, at least in this country. Now we have all sorts of promising and niche film directors doing all sorts of TV all the time.

I would still want Lynch/Frost heavily involved, but if they wanted to hand part of it off to other very talented directors and/or writers to help contribute to an ongoing story I wouldn't be averse in the future. I'm sure it would be pilloried by many, though, just on general principle, and would probably turn a bad page for people who decide they've seen this play out before.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby james » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:14 pm

Of course most fans see Lynch as irreplaceable. Of course, that's true because of how much he shapes the finished work. But, there are options out there.

Bring in his daughter and two sons!

Yes to all the past directors coming back too, as well as new ones. I'd always want Lynch and Frost to be writing though for it, as well as old writers like Peyton. Come on, this would be ACES!
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Wed Oct 21, 2015 3:18 pm

james wrote:
John Justice Wheeler wrote:My issue with a continuance beyond what we'll have is that I just cannot imagine Lynch handing off the reins of this, his most personal and clearly dearly beloved of projects, to a bunch of other people to take in whatever direction. This may get split into two quasi-seasons if the episode amount is large enough but I really think it's done after that and, frankly, should be.


You really feel Twin Peaks is more personal to Lynch than his other films? Eraserhead or INLAND EMPIRE? That's an interesting idea!

About it being constrained to just a limited run, I see no reason for that if the quality can be kept very high. Everyone is pessimistic I suppose because of the ABC experience and how badly FWWM was received by critics.


That and I think Lynch would be very skittish about letting something out of his hands again the way Twin Peaks got out of his hands. Whenever he discusses Twin Peaks, he specifically mentions that aspect even while politely saying how great the directors were: "it's not what you'd do." The fact that he is going out of his way to have complete ironclad control over this series suggests to me that he would demand the same of any future series. And shooting it as a movie also suggests something with a preordained beginning, middle, and end, an entity that exists unto itself (in addition, of course, to following up on something that already exists).

This Twin Peaks is just way too different from regular TV shows for me to envision it turning into a regular Showtime series. Of course I'll admit I could be totally wrong. Lynch always said that one of the draws of TV for him was that the idea of an ongoing story where you could just disappear into that world with no end in sight. Given his history in TV, we've never quite been able to see him actually fulfill this idea. Maybe this will be his opportunity? But I do think that means, even at 70, directing everything himself probably in the same method he is taking for this season (seasons?). Which is a pretty tall order to ask.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby MasterMastermind » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:30 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:
james wrote:
John Justice Wheeler wrote:My issue with a continuance beyond what we'll have is that I just cannot imagine Lynch handing off the reins of this, his most personal and clearly dearly beloved of projects, to a bunch of other people to take in whatever direction. This may get split into two quasi-seasons if the episode amount is large enough but I really think it's done after that and, frankly, should be.


You really feel Twin Peaks is more personal to Lynch than his other films? Eraserhead or INLAND EMPIRE? That's an interesting idea!

About it being constrained to just a limited run, I see no reason for that if the quality can be kept very high. Everyone is pessimistic I suppose because of the ABC experience and how badly FWWM was received by critics.


That and I think Lynch would be very skittish about letting something out of his hands again the way Twin Peaks got out of his hands. Whenever he discusses Twin Peaks, he specifically mentions that aspect even while politely saying how great the directors were: "it's not what you'd do." The fact that he is going out of his way to have complete ironclad control over this series suggests to me that he would demand the same of any future series. And shooting it as a movie also suggests something with a preordained beginning, middle, and end, an entity that exists unto itself (in addition, of course, to following up on something that already exists).


Yeah, this pretty much speaks for itself. David Lynch doesn't seem to want other people to direct Twin Peaks. His actions and words have said as much.

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