How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby the haystack » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:49 pm

N. Needleman wrote:
the haystack wrote:You're hitting it on the head when you speculate the decision to design S3 as a capable stand-alone for the benefit of the un-enfranchised (er, newbies), or be dependent on prior education (ergo, newbies scratch heads), is a big decision. I suspect the former is their inclination, although that means Showtime's accountants will have implied themselves in the show's writing.


No, Lynch and Frost won't let Showtime touch their process. David Nevins has made that much clear. He's thrown up his hands and literally said, 'we don't know when it's coming out or how long it'll be, it's whatever they want to do.'

I think the new series will stand alone to a certain extent in that it will have a new central conflict and mystery in addition to perhaps the dangling Cooper cliffhanger, but the longtime characters and ongoing storyline will clearly still figure very heavily. They're not going to sweep anything under the rug, you only have to look at the return list for some of the most obscure players to see that.
Well, you know I didn't mean that accountants would be writing. If Nevins will stand as interference between the creative team and the budgetary pressure that a board of directors has every fiduciary responsibility to apply, that's fantastic. It's also unheard of. It's like he'd be bracing for anything, including a massive loss. But, I can see it happening, as you say, given he has a background as a producer/writer. Execs will say they care about creativity, but they care about their bonuses. The Showtime portfolio has examples of losers as well as winners; I suppose it's his job to balance them, and that, I still say, is calculated. The board of directors is still answerable to the NASDAQ.

I agree with your assessment (the second paragraph); it's the most reasonable approach.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby N. Needleman » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:52 pm

Be that as it may, David Nevins and Showtime are not going to touch the story or creative process of TP because Lynch will never stand for it. And they know from experience he will raise hell if they interfere. They have rolled the dice and, in this very rare case, that means standing back and doing nothing.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby the haystack » Fri Oct 23, 2015 8:56 pm

N. Needleman wrote:Be that as it may, David Nevins and Showtime are not going to touch the story or creative process of TP because Lynch will never stand for it. And they know from experience he will raise hell if they interfere. They have rolled the dice and, in this very rare case, that means standing back and doing nothing.
Man, this does make it even more exciting, huh? Risk management. I'm stoked.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby Gabriel » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:53 pm

I think part of what made the first season and initial part of season two successful was how it played with people's expectations. Critics at the time just didn't know how to approach it. After the closure of the Laura Palmer story, it really meandered, which was a gift to critics who could just dismiss it as gimmicky and silly.

The new show is in an interesting position. Twin Peaks stands with the likes of The Prisoner as a king of cult shows, although it was initially far bigger than a cult show, acknowledged as one that somewhat lost its way and FWWM has been undergoing a critical rehabilitation for years (something the new show might complete.) There's a hunger for more episodes and, as I've said elsewhere, we know TP can work even if there are new characters, as with FWWM. There are certain expectations – resolution of Cooper's story is a biggie – as well as the need for a strong story hook to hang the show on.

I also wonder about the possibility of what comes after this season. Is there room for a spinoff? Could the anthology route, so popular on cable TV with the likes of True Detective and Fargo, work with Twin Peaks, meaning we might have a fourth TP season featuring a number of new characters but still within the town?

The new show will, presumably, be a jump-on point for people who haven't seen it before, so we'll have to see how it goes. But if Lynch and Frost are keeping it focused, it could very well reach out beyond the cult image again.
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Re: Re:Lostin

Postby james » Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:08 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:
james wrote:
LostInTheMovies wrote:Ok - I see the reasoning for all of that and I certainly wouldn't say it's outside the realm of possibility. I just think it's extremely unlikely. Based on the evidence of his career so far and the statements he made, Lynch seems like the somebody who doesn't mix art and practical concerns. Much as he wants to keep his kids working and his foundation funded, the Art Life demands absolute purity in his work. Everything has always been about total control for him and the only times he let that slip out of his grasp - Dune and Twin Peaks - it was due to necessities at the time and he vehemently regretted it later.


You kind of passed over all my points without addressing them and sort of sounded a bit patronising in your response. I don't buy this whole 'art life' purity you're suggesting - partly because you're not backing it up with any examples. His art world IS his practical concern day-to-day - Lynch very much lives a simple life around creating paintings or music, his working areas built into his house so they are right there.

Are you making specific reference to the book by Robert Henri or just flinging in things because I can't see what point you're making.

What have I suggested that points to a muddying of 'absolute purity' with Lynch's work? I'm not at any point declaring he should sell out or bow to the forces of commercialism, far from it.


James, I don't think I was rude in any way and I certainly didn't intend to be but maybe it's time to let this question rest. Neither of us have answers, only speculation, and eventually we'll know based on his actions. For now I think we're both happy we're getting at least 1 new season.

To explain one thing, the Art Life thing is something that Lynch has spoken about where he felt that his whole life would be centered around his work with all else falling by the wayside. Obviously it didn't quite work that way for him, he married and had a child very young for starters, but it always remained a guiding principle for him (and it is a practical day-to-day concern precisely because he made it that way - it feels a bit perverse that you would say the above since it's essentially confirming my original point: he structured his life around creating his art). He talks about a bit in Catching the Big Fish I think, and it definitely features a lot in the biography Beautiful Dark by Greg Olson.

(And yes, it originated with the Henri book which had a big impact on Lynch when he was young.)


Ok you weren't rude but I was being a spoilt child and hoping for you to write me a long post in response, apologies for my over-eager brat behaviour. I am happy about another season of course, but I'd only be truly happy if I was promised 100 more seasons. That's the crux of the matter.

About the art life, its interesting to know that Jen Lynch did describe her Dad as a workaholic, so I think its more a matter of perspective or opinion. David does really promote TM but he also warns people against having any therapy, which is interesting. He did say that he stopped seeing a psychiatrist at one point because he was worried it would diminish his creativity. Perhaps he was wrong and he was just being a youthful rebel? I find it very fascinating that Lynch seems to be opposed to therapy when you look at the content of his films, which very much deal with psychological breakdowns, eccentricities and so on. Overall I hope you don't take my comments as too perverse or argumentative, my only intention is to have a great discussion with you. :)
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby james » Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:15 pm

Gabriel wrote:I think part of what made the first season and initial part of season two successful was how it played with people's expectations. Critics at the time just didn't know how to approach it. After the closure of the Laura Palmer story, it really meandered, which was a gift to critics who could just dismiss it as gimmicky and silly.

The new show is in an interesting position. Twin Peaks stands with the likes of The Prisoner as a king of cult shows, although it was initially far bigger than a cult show, acknowledged as one that somewhat lost its way and FWWM has been undergoing a critical rehabilitation for years (something the new show might complete.) There's a hunger for more episodes and, as I've said elsewhere, we know TP can work even if there are new characters, as with FWWM. There are certain expectations – resolution of Cooper's story is a biggie – as well as the need for a strong story hook to hang the show on.

I also wonder about the possibility of what comes after this season. Is there room for a spinoff? Could the anthology route, so popular on cable TV with the likes of True Detective and Fargo, work with Twin Peaks, meaning we might have a fourth TP season featuring a number of new characters but still within the town?

The new show will, presumably, be a jump-on point for people who haven't seen it before, so we'll have to see how it goes. But if Lynch and Frost are keeping it focused, it could very well reach out beyond the cult image again.


A post I wholeheartedly love Gabriel! Is the new series of TP in itself a spin-off? I wonder!

I would hope that people will love the characters so much by the end of the new season (or two, if its split into two parts?) they will want to follow more stories about them in the midst of the large drama of Twin Peaks as a whole.

I'm very intrigued to wonder how far the new show can reach beyond the cult image as you mention. I know some people who have even written this new season off, merely based on some negative viewpoint they have. The show was definitely in the mainstream for the first season, then it seemed to waver somewhat and it ended more in the 'cult' territory, although I'm not sure that's true. The audience was still big enough, despite being shifted around everywhere and the quality of the episodes being inconsistent. Perhaps a big part of the 'cult' status was that Twin Peaks required knowledge on the part of the viewer due to being a continuing story - each episode did not offer a self-contained plot like many shows. It was a mystery show, but the different mysteries were not wrapped up neatly very often, plots over-lapped and it was definitely somewhat confusing for the average viewer. We'll have to see how this is tackled in the next instalment.
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Re: Re:Lostin

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:57 pm

james wrote:I am happy about another season of course, but I'd only be truly happy if I was promised 100 more seasons. That's the crux of the matter.


Fair enough and you're right that what we're hoping/fearing informs what we think might actually happen! In addition to my own opinions/suspicions about what Lnch wants, I admittedly am not psyched by the idea of more Twin Peaks after this (although I'm very psyched by the prospect of the upcoming season). The worrier in me sees too many things that could go wrong, especially if Lynch is not directing. I am also much more a movie than a TV buff, and I like endings. I don't want to see Twin Peaks peter out into something inconsequential as the years pass and Lynch grows less involved, as often happens with TV shows that go on for many years. Heck, that almost happened to Twin Peaks back in 1990, over the space of a single year! So those are my personal worries.

About the art life, its interesting to know that Jen Lynch did describe her Dad as a workaholic, so I think its more a matter of perspective or opinion.


Perhaps when I typed "practical concerns" I should have stated "non-art concerns" instead. He is a workaholic, but his work is his art. I just found it difficult to believe he would continue Twin Peaks for reasons other than his own personal passion for creating it himself. But I guess we'll see...
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Re: Re:Lostin

Postby Gabriel » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:14 am

LostInTheMovies wrote:I admittedly am not psyched by the idea of more Twin Peaks after this (although I'm very psyched by the prospect of the upcoming season). The worrier in me sees too many things that could go wrong, especially if Lynch is not directing.


It depends: say Lynch and Frost decide to become showrunner/exec producers for another season. They break down the storylines for a season, handpick directors and maybe Lynch and Frost direct a couple of episodes themselves. They oversee the scripting that's done from their storylines by some other writers and rewrite where applicable. I feel that would still be a valid way to proceed.

The problem the original incarnation of Twin Peaks suffered from was the conventional network thinking of the time. TV show storylines tended to be simpler and rushed – The Thomas Eckhardt/Andrew Packard story could be the focus of a 12-episode season these days, for example, with flashbacks to Hong Kong likely included – Twin Peaks was also lethal to regular castmembers, with characters dropping like flies. Because Twin Peaks was breaking the mould, it was making execs nervous, the same way critics got nervous. Nowadays, showrunners are given far more control and far fewer network notes. So a Lynch/Frost overseen and run series ought to do fine. What the show needs in the producer-led medium of TV is a firm guiding hand to keep its look and feel consistent, which is where the original fell down.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:58 am

Good points. I'll qualify my worries by saying I don't think there's any way the show would slip as badly as it did back in 1990-91. So even if it continues with Lynch/Frost as EP's we'll end up with something definitely better than the middle of season 2 and probably better than late season 2 as well. But I think my biggest concern at this point would become not so much quality as end-game.

Again, there are definitely personal, subjective reasons for this in addition to concerns about how things could go wrong.

1) I am a movie person much more than a TV person; as much as I appreciate good serialized long-form storytelling (which offers many opportunities a 2-hour feature does not) I want it to have a clear, strong end point and an overarching narrative that carries it all the way. I remember being frustrated by Sopranos building up an ominous mood that at times just seemed to be diverted in season-long arcs that ended patly when the season was over to make way for the next hook (of course, they faced something not unlike WKLP when Nancy Marchand died unexpectedly early in s3 I think). I just feel let down at the end of a series when it's a collection of good episodes but nothing quite leads anywhere.

2) I watched Twin Peaks years later on DVD, in quick succession, rather than while it unfolded in real time in the early 90s. That's one big thing separating me from you & James, and others who are probably more eager for multiple seasons than I am (which is why James & Showtime have banned us youngsters, along with hipsters, from the new series ;) ). As such, I've never really experienced Twin Peaks as an ongoing show without an end in sight. It's possible that after watching the new show unfold that way my mind will be changed and I'll be craving more Twin Peaks fix! But part of the reason I love Twin Peaks so much is knowing that Lynch came back in the end with the finale (which I know you feel differently about - viewing it much more as a temporary, and somewhat cheap, cliffhanger) and the film to give the original cycle a strange but effective sort of conclusion, so that I could look at it as a cohesive whole. If they keep the show going perpetually, and (God forbid) something happens to one of the creators we are left with an incomplete Twin Peaks instead of one that tells a complete story.

On another note, it's really hard for me to envision a world where Lynch actually effectively performs the role of showrunner. The evidence of his career so far - and especially the first run of the show - suggests he needs to be directly hands-on to really feel invested in the material and that otherwise his involvement would be more in the nature of calling in occasional suggestions, vetoing stuff he doesn't like, and maybe popping up as Gordon Cole! That's just how his creativity rolls. As such I think a Lynch executive-produced show would be very, very different from a Lynch-directed one and we would get some of the dilution we got the first time. Which isn't the end of the world: something I really love about the show is how various writes and directors evoke Lynch indirectly, carving out their own thing in his shadow. But I feel we've gotten that, and now I'm ready for a straight-Lynch Twin Peaks or nothing.

It's all hard to say right now without the experience of watching the new series, seeing how it goes & how it feels watching it unfold week-to-week. But my gut says that Lynch/Frost have an almost miraculous window of opportunity to conclude Twin Peaks with grace and power and that anything beyond that has a high risk of diminished returns and overstaying its welcome. Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby Gabriel » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:54 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:Good points. I'll qualify my worries by saying I don't think there's any way the show would slip as badly as it did back in 1990-91. So even if it continues with Lynch/Frost as EP's we'll end up with something definitely better than the middle of season 2 and probably better than late season 2 as well. But I think my biggest concern at this point would become not so much quality as end-game.


True, although I think the town and its secrets offer many opportunities for different standalone stories with different characters.

Again, there are definitely personal, subjective reasons for this in addition to concerns about how things could go wrong.

1) I am a movie person much more than a TV person; as much as I appreciate good serialized long-form storytelling (which offers many opportunities a 2-hour feature does not) I want it to have a clear, strong end point and an overarching narrative that carries it all the way. I remember being frustrated by Sopranos building up an ominous mood that at times just seemed to be diverted in season-long arcs that ended patly when the season was over to make way for the next hook (of course, they faced something not unlike WKLP when Nancy Marchand died unexpectedly early in s3 I think). I just feel let down at the end of a series when it's a collection of good episodes but nothing quite leads anywhere.


I understand that view, although, like it or not, this is a TV show. ;) At its best, a show can tie up most threads without overtly dropping a 'hook bomb' in the last frame. Look at how Fargo set up season two during its first season.

2) I watched Twin Peaks years later on DVD, in quick succession, rather than while it unfolded in real time in the early 90s. That's one big thing separating me from you & James, and others who are probably more eager for multiple seasons than I am (which is why James & Showtime have banned us youngsters, along with hipsters, from the new series ;) ). As such, I've never really experienced Twin Peaks as an ongoing show without an end in sight. It's possible that after watching the new show unfold that way my mind will be changed and I'll be craving more Twin Peaks fix! But part of the reason I love Twin Peaks so much is knowing that Lynch came back in the end with the finale (which I know you feel differently about - viewing it much more as a temporary, and somewhat cheap, cliffhanger) and the film to give the original cycle a strange but effective sort of conclusion, so that I could look at it as a cohesive whole. If they keep the show going perpetually, and (God forbid) something happens to one of the creators we are left with an incomplete Twin Peaks instead of one that tells a complete story.


Oh, God forbid it goes on forever! I rather like the way Fargo is being treated as a ten chapter novel, a la Swedish police stories, with the movie and first season representing two chapters. I remain unsure how I'll deal with Twin Peaks and The X-Files here in the UK. I've picked up an iTunes series pass for the French show The Returned, but only plan to watch it when all eight episodes are available. I suspect I'll do the same with The X-Files, given it's only six episodes. I've fallen out of the habit of waiting for an episode a week. Twin Peaks might be too much of a temptation though, so I might watch the series pass version, week by week (I'd never watch a broadcast version with commercial breaks or turn on the BBC!) Incidentally, I hated watching TP on broadcast TV. At one point, season two went off air for three weeks in favour of coverage of snooker!

I actually rewatched the whole first season in one day over the Christmas break on my old Betamax in the period between the two seasons' broadcast. But no, I never considered the ending to be anything more than Picard's Locutus of Borg moment in Star Trek TNG.

On another note, it's really hard for me to envision a world where Lynch actually effectively performs the role of showrunner. The evidence of his career so far - and especially the first run of the show - suggests he needs to be directly hands-on to really feel invested in the material and that otherwise his involvement would be more in the nature of calling in occasional suggestions, vetoing stuff he doesn't like, and maybe popping up as Gordon Cole! That's just how his creativity rolls. As such I think a Lynch executive-produced show would be very, very different from a Lynch-directed one and we would get some of the dilution we got the first time. Which isn't the end of the world: something I really love about the show is how various writes and directors evoke Lynch indirectly, carving out their own thing in his shadow. But I feel we've gotten that, and now I'm ready for a straight-Lynch Twin Peaks or nothing.


Fair enough, although the Laura Palmer saga worked well for me even with multiple directors and writers across those 17 episodes. It was only in the absence of the guiding hand show's creators that things went to pieces. Those episodes all felt consistent, tonally.

It's all hard to say right now without the experience of watching the new series, seeing how it goes & how it feels watching it unfold week-to-week. But my gut says that Lynch/Frost have an almost miraculous window of opportunity to conclude Twin Peaks with grace and power and that anything beyond that has a high risk of diminished returns and overstaying its welcome. Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic.


No, you're being justifiably and sensibly cautious. ;) Trust me: watching the show meander was deeply frustrating! However, shorter seasons with Lynch and Frost overseeing everything and ensuring that each wraps things up properly should work. And we all know that Twin Peaks is an interesting enough place to explore in any period and that there'll always be something or someone to intrigue us!
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:22 pm

Been discussing the possibility that the new show might actually be too transgressive for critics/viewers (something I hadn't considered in a while, since TV is generally seen to be an "anything goes" realm at least content-wise) on Twitter, spurred by a PM conversation with StealThisCorn. Curious what others think.

Interesting, the PM conversation was more about the potential content of the new series whereas the Twitter conversation has turned more toward Lynch's potentially revolutionary form. I'm interested in both aspects. Is there content, either in terms of theme or graphic presentation (I think more the former in Lynch's case), that would be considered shocking or too uncomfortable even by desensitized cable audiences? As for style, from what (admittedly little) I've seen of contemporary acclaimed drama I think the door is wide-open there. TV looks far grittier and textured today than it did 25 years ago, but it is still appears to be very reliant on convention (take True Detective for example, as cinematic as season 1 was there was still nothing that approached the wild invention of the TP finale from two decades earlier). Lynch is just the person to blow the door off those hinges. But how will people take it if/when he does?
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby N. Needleman » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:58 pm

This is completely unrelated, but what's interested me recently is how much the second series of the French series Les Revenants (The Returned), now running in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel, reminds me of early Season 2 of our show. Much like the premiere of S2 and how I remember the episodes both back then and upon rewatch, there's been a hard shift in Les Revenants to a whole new set of ideas, new conflicts, and a very different tone with some different rules, uncharted territory and new chances being taken.

Like S2 of TP, LR's second series was apparently very controversial in France, but I'm loving it and so it seems are most American critics. I haven't seen any show that reminded me so much of TP's carefully crafted tone and its dramatic shift between seasons, ever. But Les Revenants is also the scariest thing I've seen on television since 1991.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby MasterMastermind » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:16 pm

LostInTheMovies wrote:Been discussing the possibility that the new show might actually be too transgressive for critics/viewers (something I hadn't considered in a while, since TV is generally seen to be an "anything goes" realm at least content-wise) on Twitter, spurred by a PM conversation with StealThisCorn. Curious what others think.

Interesting, the PM conversation was more about the potential content of the new series whereas the Twitter conversation has turned more toward Lynch's potentially revolutionary form. I'm interested in both aspects. Is there content, either in terms of theme or graphic presentation (I think more the former in Lynch's case), that would be considered shocking or too uncomfortable even by desensitized cable audiences? As for style, from what (admittedly little) I've seen of contemporary acclaimed drama I think the door is wide-open there. TV looks far grittier and textured today than it did 25 years ago, but it is still appears to be very reliant on convention (take True Detective for example, as cinematic as season 1 was there was still nothing that approached the wild invention of the TP finale from two decades earlier). Lynch is just the person to blow the door off those hinges. But how will people take it if/when he does?


Twin Peaks may be polarizing, but I feel what with the democratization of media criticism these days (not to mention the business of diametrically opposed think pieces) it's harder for a monolithic gatekeeper to craft public opinion. I expect the response may be similar to what Arrested Development received for it's fourth season. In retrospect I believe people will love this, though.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby LostInTheMovies » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:09 pm

N. Needleman wrote:This is completely unrelated, but what's interested me recently is how much the second series of the French series Les Revenants (The Returned), now running in the U.S. on the Sundance Channel, reminds me of early Season 2 of our show. Much like the premiere of S2 and how I remember the episodes both back then and upon rewatch, there's been a hard shift in Les Revenants to a whole new set of ideas, new conflicts, and a very different tone with some different rules, uncharted territory and new chances being taken.


It's funny, I've actually heard this comparison before! (Someone on Letterboxd was bringing it up under reviews of FWWM.) All the more reason to check it out...

Like S2 of TP, LR's second series was apparently very controversial in France, but I'm loving it and so it seems are most American critics. I haven't seen any show that reminded me so much of TP's carefully crafted tone and its dramatic shift between seasons, ever. But Les Revenants is also the scariest thing I've seen on television since 1991.


I wouldn't be surprised if the new Twin Peaks ends up dividing fans more than critics - if Lynch goes as far afield as some think he will (including me, at times) it would potentially be more upsetting to people who are invested in what Twin Peaks than many critics who will be approaching it as its own thing. But I'm fascinated by what it might take to cause critics to loose their cool as they definitely did the first time around.
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Re: How will the new Twin Peaks be received?

Postby Mark B » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:15 am

I was reading a TP article earlier (I think on Slate), and it included old quotes from Lynch about how much he hates conclusions. I was wondering about the possibility that we aren't going to get a definitive ending to this series? I'm certain we will get a conclusion to Coop's posession story, but what do you all think about an open-ended ending beyond that? I sure, if there is one, that it would have its own internal logic, but would be quite happy to sew that. I personally loved the end of the series and FWWM as a sort of conclusion.

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