Sunday, December 5, 2010

Twin Peaks homage

The TV show "Psych" just did an episode that was an homage to "Twin Peaks", David Lynch's wild and wonderful show back from the early 90s. I watched it not because I'm a fan of "Psych" (I'm not) but because I absolutely loved Twin Peaks and was one of the handful of faithful watchers. Sadly, Lynch's vision was just a bit too weird for "normal" prime-time programming, and only ran two years. There was a movie, eventually, although I wasn't impressed with it, and there was some merchandise, and yes, there was a book that went with the series: "The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer", written by Jennifer Lynch, David's daughter. A TV tie-in book is nothing new but this was the first time I'd ever experienced anything like it. And Jennifer's book did offer a few insights, but really, it just added to the whole Peaks vibe.

Peaks used to be on Thursday nights (probably at 9 pm, but honestly, I can't remember that far back), and I loved to get into the show. I didn't go to a bar or a TP party, but I did have cherry pie at least one episode a month, and if one of my friends was coming over to watch, I'd even make coffee (I'm a tea drinker myself). All the lights would be off, and we'd dissect the episode after it aired, trying to figure out who Bob was, who was going to go off the deep end next, who would sleep with whom, etc. It's funny now to think about how involved I was with such a short-lived series, but obviously it can and does happen; look at all the rabid fans of shows like "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives".

So how did the producers/director of "Psych" do? I'd say they were spot-on, and there were quite a few things that helped them out. First, they were able to snag a good handful of the original cast members of Twin Peaks for their episode, including such biggies as Sherilyn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook (who has gone almost completely gray, but is still uber-handsome!), Robin Lively, Lenny von Dohlen and Ray Wise. They also had a lot of the original character types, including the strange guy who also loved Laura... I mean, Paula...the Native American deputy, the odd townsfolk, even The Log Lady. And after doing a bit of digging on Internet Movie Database, it turns out the actress who played The Log Lady on TP played the same character on this episode, although now she's billed as "Woman with Wood". How funny is that? There wasn't anything like Bob in this episode, which I think was smart of them - stay away from the elements that caused the downfall of the original series. But there was pie - cinnamon pie this time - and a hot beverage to go with it, cider (no coffee). They had a diner, a library (loved Sherilyn Fenn as the "hot" librarian!), and of course, the scenery that Peaks used to perfection. Overall, I thought it was nicely done, and it brought back a lot of fond memories.

So here's my question to you fans: how do you feel about such TV shows? Do you prefer to remember the original and leave the "new" stuff for others? Do you watch and compare? Do you watch the homage and just enjoy it for what it is? And how about those TV tie-in books - how do you feel about those? Are they worth picking up? Or do you think they blur the lines between the arts too much? Should there be more interactive options for books? Let me know what you think!

No comments: