When did you first see Twin Peaks?

Discussion of Twin Peaks TV Series, Fire Walk With Me, and Books

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charles
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When did you first see Twin Peaks?

Postby charles » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:58 pm

I imagine that this question has already been covered, so please excuse the redundancy... but I find myself wondering how others, who are still profoundly attached to Twin Peaks, came to first watch the show. Did you see it when it was on TV in 1990-91 or on Bravo, or after first seeing Fire Walk With Me? I wonder how these factors affect our perception of the show. I was fourteen when it aired in 1990. As I recall, my parents told me that David Lynch had a new show coming on TV (they knew I loved Blue Velvet) and suggested I watch it. I was alone in the kitchen, lights out, when the pilot aired. I was transfixed. I cried when they cried about Laura. It was amazing. I was fully enveloped by this beautiful, misty, dark town with its fascinating and complex residents. It all felt so hyper-real and touched on something otherwordly that at the time I sensed but couldn't place. I fell in love then and there. You?
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Postby coolspringsj » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:18 pm

Same as you, watched it on its first run in 90-91 on ABC and saw FWWM in the movie theater.

I was 14 too when it first aired, LOL
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Postby charles » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:26 pm

coolspringsj wrote:Same as you, watched it on its first run in 90-91 on ABC and saw FWWM in the movie theater.

I was 14 too when it first aired, LOL

Wow. It's neat to hear from someone who was the same exact age as I was... I imagine we had a similar experience.
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Postby Evenreven » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:41 pm

I was too young when it aired, and when I got to be a snotty and predictably elitist intellectual teenager I decided I didn't really like TV, so I only watched Lost Highway, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart and Eraserhead.

Then I first saw the International Pilot on a strange digibeta copy at the cinematheque in Oslo in 1999. I was transfixed by the beauty and the sorrow of it all, and then when it went overboard after Coop met Mike at the hospital it was like being hit repeatedly with candy floss, by a woman with a beard; it felt too bizarre for words, even with Lost Highway and Eraserhead as my main yardsticks at the time. It was wonderful.

Then I watched the first season on a friend's VHS in 1999/2000 (first the real pilot disappointed me (no "make a wish"); then I warmed to it); then again in 2002 when it came out on DVD. Fire Walk with Me in 2004. Second season in 2006. Fire Walk with Me about 10 times more since.
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Saw it first run when i was 16...

Postby garethw » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:54 pm

But I think I was only interested in it because my older sister's cool friends were Lynch fans, so I thought it was something I had an obligation to "like".

I watched a few episodes, then missed one, and was so utterly lost thereafter that I abandoned it.

Then in 2001, after seeing Mulholland Drive and being transfixed, I bought the 1st season DVD set on a whim and was stunned at what I'd missed.

Curiously, the pilot does less for me than most Lynch material - even other TP episodes. There are a few great scenes - the slow drift down the high school corridor as the Principal makes the announcement comes to mind. But I've always been surprised to hear how many people love it to bits. As an Engineer, I'm not a "filmic" person - MD was kind of an awakening for me. Anyone want to take a stab at showing me the very, very wrong error of my ways? :)
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Postby Diane » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:15 pm

My first exposure was seeing the episode where Leland's hair turns white, back when the show originally aired. My friend was very into the show. Then I saw FWWM in the theater with him. I was a David Lynch fan, but at that point had only seen Eraserhead and didn't watch much television.

Then I saw all the re-runs on Bravo a few years later....then I bought the VHS tapes and watched them every year for a few years in a row.
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Re: Saw it first run when i was 16...

Postby Evenreven » Thu Jan 24, 2008 3:15 am

garethw wrote:Curiously, the pilot does less for me than most Lynch material - even other TP episodes. There are a few great scenes - the slow drift down the high school corridor as the Principal makes the announcement comes to mind. But I've always been surprised to hear how many people love it to bits. As an Engineer, I'm not a "filmic" person - MD was kind of an awakening for me. Anyone want to take a stab at showing me the very, very wrong error of my ways? :)

Haha, not really. Either you love it or you don't. If I should try to express what I love about the pilot, the main thing would be the way it shows a kind of quiet cinematic dignity in sorrow by actually making some of the characters undignified. Like Sarah's blood-curdling screaming, the slightly cracked voice of the teacher saying "there will be an announcement from the principal". It feels real.

What's most amazing about it is that it's really soap opera plotting: a major component of the soap opera writing method is stretching out drama by having all the characters get to know of the dramatic event, one by one. Having this happen at a really slow pace is the perfect way to get to know the town. So, to me who loves soap operas in theory, but hate most of them in practice, the pilot was like watching a dream coming true. "It is possible, after all!" :)

A 45 minute (or one hour with commercial breaks) pilot really wouldn't work on Twin Peaks, we need the slow grinding narrative, and we need the outsider (Cooper) to be introduced far into it. And I like how Cooper really is sort of nasty to Bobby Briggs (during questioning), somewhat condescending to Harry (the whittling comment), but slowly warming to Twin Peaks and the people. When he says "Harry you're all right", he's in. I love the "give me a donut" line too.

I also like how it really looks like February in Washington state, as opposed to, say, the outside of the Johnson house in the series, where they even have a washing machine outside. Is that common in Snoqualmie or North Bend?

And I like the biker presence in the Roadhouse. That's one part of the series that never developed. What happened to Joey Paulson? In the pilot script they go even further with the intellectual bohemian biker thing and they have a hang-out called "Hemingway's". I like that a lot. It's a shame nothing came of it.

Those are my main reasons, anyway. I watch the pilot at least twice a year, and I cry every time. There are only a few moments in the series that surpass anything from the pilot, in my view: parts of the last episode, the confession in episode 11 ("every cell screams"), the Roadhouse scene in episode 14, the scene at the Log Lady's cabin, and some of Audrey's scenes in the first season. But the pilot is still the best.
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Postby Sugardrugged Fairy » Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:14 am

In the early nineties, i was 5 maybe, and i remember watching the last episode in a dark room with my family.. and as i remember, it all ended in the red room.. no bad cooper was shown.
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Re: Saw it first run when i was 16...

Postby charles » Thu Jan 24, 2008 5:38 am

And I like how Cooper really is sort of nasty to Bobby Briggs (during questioning), somewhat condescending to Harry (the whittling comment), but slowly warming to Twin Peaks and the people. When he says "Harry you're all right", he's in. I love the "give me a donut" line too.
I also like how it really looks like February in Washington state, as opposed to, say, the outside of the Johnson house in the series, where they even have a washing machine outside. Is that common in Snoqualmie or North Bend?
And I like the biker presence in the Roadhouse. That's one part of the series that never developed. What happened to Joey Paulson? In the pilot script they go even further with the intellectual bohemian biker thing and they have a hang-out called "Hemingway's". I like that a lot. It's a shame nothing came of it.
Those are my main reasons, anyway. I watch the pilot at least twice a year, and I cry every time. There are only a few moments in the series that surpass anything from the pilot, in my view: parts of the last episode, the confession in episode 11 ("every cell screams"), the Roadhouse scene in episode 14, the scene at the Log Lady's cabin, and some of Audrey's scenes in the first season. But the pilot is still the best.

Evenreven,
You're a man?, woman? after my own heart! You really hit the nail on the head. About everything. And yeah, why didn't they develop the bikers? I wonder that every time I see the pilot as well. Scotty! That would've added a lot to the dynamic of the town/show."Give me a donut" is an all time favorite of mine too. Don't get me started on the Washington issue. Even though I'm going to CA to shoot those locations --after much resistance to the idea-- and I'm really excited about it... my heart belongs to Washington. I dream often about how the show would've felt had they shot the entire series on location in WA... or at least shot a ton more 2nd unit stuff like this, which comes up once or twice in the show. It's the same intersection (different angle) where they shot the engine revving scene in the (very summery looking) film, FWWM:
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Postby Evenreven » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:34 am

That picture is so intense and beautiful. Thanks for posting that. The locations in Fire Walk with Me are among the best I've ever seen in a movie, the parking lot outside the motel being a particular standout for me (the one with the jumping grandson.)

Thanks for the kind words. 'Audrey Horne' and others (including myself) let Joey and the Bookhouse Boys have a bigger part in the mammoth "let's talk changes" thread, and we plan on introducing more bikers. I think Billy Zane could have been a great Twin Peaks biker. Strange, ethereal, deep in thought and looking good in a leather jacket. (In my mind, John J. Wheeler never happened.)

I can't remember if I ever told you, but I love your site and wish you all the best in finding the California locations. There's something wonderfully spooky about seeing locations from films in real life, especially spooky places like a lot of the Twin Peaks locations. In fact, long before I heard of your site, I used to really like this site dedicated to the locations from Hitchcock's Vertigo (I'm a big, big Vertigo fan). It feels somewhat similar to your site, maybe you'll like it if you like the movie.

Btw, I'm Even (pronounced almost like Evan) from Oslo. Norway, not Minnesota. :)
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Postby silenttwn » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:46 am

My story's lame. I played a game called "Silent Hill" in 1999 and someone told me that this series was a main inspiration to the show. I tried watching it in high school, when Bravo did a marathon of it for Halloween (I'm thinking 2002?) but unfortunately, it was on a week night so all I saw was basically the pilot. Then I bought the first season set, and really liked it. I ended up downloading a season two broadcast because the DVD wait was unbearable and so I watched season two on a computer. I got the DVD for season two, and the Gold Box set, later of course.
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Postby jeep » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:23 am

Well, 1991 in France (march or april).
The show was broadcasted on a channel named "La Cinq" (out of business few years after 1991).
At the beginning, it was on prime time and the episodes were broadcasted two by two.
But like in USA, less and less people watched the show.
So, Twin Peaks last episode was on TV in summer late evening.

But, what a shock !
My dreams come true in 1999, when finally I went to Washington state to see the filming locations.
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Postby b1chvj39 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:40 pm

I was turning 18 when it first came on but never seen it!!! I only saw the first season finale and I realizedthat my Mother was watching the show and she taped all the episodes of the first season so she gives me the tape so i can watch it upstairs and I was hooked!!!
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Postby Audrey Horne » Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:18 pm

Okay, I'm going to make a horrible confession: I didn't watch it when it first aired. I was fifteen, and was probably watching NBC Cheers and The Cosby Show at the time. But soon all the hoopla was hitting strong. I think I watched the Donahue show, and then watched the season finale (I think I even fell asleep, I was really tired). Then in August, it reaired, and I taped every single one of them. I was hooked on the pilot right away. And in between each episode rewatched them a dozen times until the next episode.

I love the pilot for reasons mentioned by many above, and think it is an expert piece of filmmaking, and really exciting for a television show. I love a good soap, and I love a great mystery, and above all, I love strong acting and rich character development. It's all there.

But I think Twin Peaks gets it right in the followup episodes in the first season. The pilots tone and pacing would be impossible to recreate weekly, but the first season does it exactly right.

My first impressions -Lucy was my favorite, and I really loved the bikers too with James and Donna fleeing in the night. And God, I loved the Harriet scene- "Dad, I'm going to tell it to you and tell it to you straight ...see that window?"

I had Entertainment Weekly's rundown on the best of the year -and it had a big two page picture of Cooper and Audrey with an A+ rating, and I remember thinking Fenn must be another FBI agent who wasn't introduced yet, this must have been because of the hair length difference.

I became obsessed, and my friends did as well -my tapes were very hot commodities then.

I remember thinking Laura's parents weren't even going to be characters on the show after the pilot, maybe Sarah -but certainly not Leland.

I liked Audrey enough, but it wasn't until the fifth episode when she tells Battis, "Should we get started on the paperwork?" that she skyrocketed for me as one of the greatest characters in television

I've seen a lot of TV and movies- I'm an Old Hollywood Classics freak -and I always come back to Twin Peaks for it being closest to my heart.
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Postby Zachary » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:29 pm

I was 10 years old at the time, but on the night the pilot premiered my parents were watching it, and I sat down with them about halfway through. I watched all of the episodes when they first aired, even though at that age a lot of it went over my head. Still, it definitely affected the way that I watched TV a movies afterwards. My parents never seemed to think that the subject matter was too mature for me, but I remember one time my grandma was appalled that my parents let me watch it.

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