Sunday, July 16, 2017


Against long odds and at a time when any good news seems miraculous, it appears as though the third series of David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks is something of a masterpiece. In light of this incredible development yer old pal Jerky has decided to revisit the beloved, landmark television series (and the film) that spawned so many enduring trends and motifs that it has become one of the cultural lodestars by which we understand the 1990’s and beyond.

At the time, the series launched numerous careers, became a cottage industry in itself, and exerted a profound influence on mass culture. Everything from Grunge Rock to The X-Files has some Twin Peaks DNA inside of it. But more importantly, it changed the way people take in popular culture, perhaps not creating but definitely bringing to the fore a sort of paranoid narrative style.

This, I suspect, is an artifact of Frost reining in and diluting Lynch’s wild industrial surrealism just enough to make it palatable to the uninitiated entertainment consumer. That way, the show could appeal to the average viewer who was just looking for something different, while also leaving itself open to deeper levels of interpretation by the obsessive, Mystery School set.

Succeeding at the former made the show a huge success. Succeeding at the latter made it into an enduring legend. For better or for worse, I think an argument could be made that the Twin Peaks phenomenon has had an effect on our culture that is only now--with the notoriously prophesied arrival of the third series some 25 years later--beginning to be understood.

Here is how I am going to go about this public exercise.

First, I’ll be commenting on one, two, or three episodes of the first two series per blog post. Then I will have a little something to say about Fire Walk With Me. After that, I will devote one blog post to every episode of series three (which is ongoing).

Most of my blogs will consist of bare bones, maybe even point form, running commentary. I won’t be trying to solve any mysteries, or make any conclusions, beyond basic observation. At least, not as a general rule.

For the time being, I will be severely limiting my intake of any Twin Peaks scholarship or analysis undertaken by others. You may see me get excited about finding some new clue or symbol that you already know about because it was mentioned on some other Twin Peaks website, or maybe you spotted it yourself, but please allow me any minor joy that my independent discoveries might bring, and, if you have a link to an article or blog post that builds upon my “discovery”, I would be grateful if you please included it in the comments section.

I’ll also be trying to avoid pointing out symbols or connections that are too obvious, pedantic, or general, the art of symbology being so wide open as to be essentially meaningless if one doesn’t attempt to streamline its application to some degree.

Watch for the first installment no later than tomorrow afternoon!

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